While working on the Steam and Gas Show Directory, a listing arrived for a museum in North Spring field, Vermont. I knew it was in southern Vermont where my husband and I planned to vacation. The owner of the museum, Frank Gould, graciously invited us to come for a visit.
We found his place just off Route 10 easily. We then turned on, what else but, Gould Road where we found this creative entrance made by Frank. I thought he definitely had to be a John Deere man! Nestled among 12 acres of beautiful Vermont foliage, we found his house, his dog, and many outbuildings filled with his beloved treasures.
I liked Frank immediately. He was a big hearted, lover-of-life kind of person who drew your attention. His talents were many, including: mechanic, curator, storyteller, historian, and artist with a blow torch. Now, this wasn't all. He's a cook, sharing his blue ribbons won over the years at the Windsor County Fair for his blueberry pie. Frank definitely is not an idle person.
He looks forward to hosting the many school groups who come to visit during syrup time. He told me that the children love having hardboiled eggs dipped in syrup (I haven't given this a try!) When the sugar shack is not being used for syrup making, he can be found capturing the beautiful Vermont scenery on canvas.
My favorite part of his museum was his six vintage washing machines ranging from 1800 through 1936. The oldest agitating washer in his collection was 1805. Shown in the photo below is a 1900 Cataract washer with a wringer and a rocking copper tub and also a 1919 Gray Model Laun-Dry-Ette Serial #7025 UP. This model would wash and dry without a wringer. His collection also included a 1926 Maytag washer powered by a gas engine. After looking at early household items like these washers, you can appreciate the work involved in daily tasks that the women endured.
Frank's collection has a lot of variety, including everything from vintage John Deere models A, B & C tractors to one-lung engines. In the one end of the building sat a corn husker manufactured in 1854 by the Quaker Oats Co. belted to a 1? HP 1933 John Deere engine (pictured below.) There were cream separators with dairy items, a 1931 2 HP Taylor vacuum pump and motor, a 1920 Montgomery Ward 2? HP orchard sprayer, a 1901 Sattley corn planter, antique truck, farming implements both inside and out, a 1949 model MC John Deere crawler, scale-model toys set up into a display, and many tools. An early Gray wood saw manufactured in Middletown Springs, Vermont, in 1846 was housed in a small outside exhibit. This saw was originally horse drawn. Another unusual item was a contraption called a Pullford, which was manufactured in Quincy, Illinois. This was used to make a tractor of your car. I was trying hard to picture that happening today! (Editor's Note: See page 18 for a letter from the Pullford Company.) There were many engines lined up on the shelves. Shown pictured on the right is a ? HP Ideal, a 1 HP 1938 Fairbanks-Morse, and a 1921 2 HP Wonder engine. On the top shelf (below) is a 1902 1 HP Alamo Blue Boy, a 1926 2 HP Stover, and a 1918 1? HP Sattley manufactured by Montgomery, Ward & Co., Chicago, Illinois. Pictured left on the second shelf below is a 1937 Homelite 34 volt power plant.
Frank Gould loves to share his collection and his stories. If he has anything to do with it, his legacy will live on for many years to come.