My Special Fordson

| September/October 1981

  • Fordson tractor

  • Fordson tractor

Box 769, Millinocket, Maine 04462

My oldest son, Jeffrey, and I have been crisscrossing the remote woods areas of Maine with four-wheeler and float plane for the past several years, and have begged, scrounged, and bought several antique engines and tractors, but none have meant as much as the little Fordson crawler.

On a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon in August, 1979, Jeff and I landed at Chesuncook Village, a remote settlement located at the northern tip of Chesuncook Lake. We were met at the dock by Burt McBurnie. There are several summer residents at the village, but Burt and his wife are the only year-round residents.

I asked Burt if he knew of any old 'one-lunger' engines in the village and he told me that a collector had bought the only three that he knew about a while back. Jeff and I then asked him if he knew of any old steel-wheel tractors in the area and we immediately noticed his face light up.

'There is an old steel-wheel something down in the woods at the Frank LeRoy place,' he said. 'It is an old tractor that Alec Gunn used to own.'

Jeff and I practically ran in the direction Burt pointed, trying to find Mr. LeRoy. We found the man and he cheerfully showed us the little Fordson tractor. I couldn't believe my eyes. There it was sitting under the evergreens protected from the weather by a natural shelter. Everything seemed to be intact and the engine turned over easily with the crank. The radiator had frozen and split many winters ago and an 8-inch fir had grown up between the seat and the steering wheel.