Wagons, Tractors & Fun


| September/October 1994


6277 Arbor Creek, Apt. 205 Memphis, Tennessee 38115

Antique engines and tractors have been familiar to me as long as I can remember. Bill Brown, my father, (P.O. Box 344, Como, Mississippi 38619), and collector of the aforementioned, was struck with 'Rust Fever' long enough to have completely filled every inch of usable space in his workshop along with several out-buildings. He has recently completed restoring a horse-drawn wagon that would have been used to cross the prairies in the early 1800s. A sizable amount of the restoration was actually reproducing the original box of the wagon, complete with the buggy springs and all metal detail work. The original running gear of the wagon was in excellent condition, and used intact with only a few minor adjustments. Along with the wagon, Daddy has collected several flywheel engines: a 1951 B Allis Chalmers, a 1957 420T John Deere, and a Gibson garden tractor.

My little brother Casey has a collection all his own. When Casey was 12 years old, he bought a 1937 B John Deere. With help from Daddy in the restoration and Mother doing the painting, the John Deere has turned out to be one of Casey's prized possessions. In addition to his tractor, Casey has bought, traded and sold several flywheel engines, Maytag washing machine engines, motor cycles, miniature replica tractors, and antique spark plugs.

My mother, for lack of another word, accumulates. She has accumulated everything from Redwing pottery to handmade birdhouses. She has her own workshop, where the walls are hung with out-of-the-ordinary antique tools; Chevrolet promotional posters dating to 1930; and baskets covering the ceiling leaving no clue as to what color the ceiling may be. There are dried flowers hanging downstairs awaiting arrangement, and several thousand Sardis Antique Engine and Tractor Show flyers waiting to be handed out. For the past few years my mother, Leslie Brown, has helped organize the Sardis Antique Engine and Tractor Show in Sardis, Mississippi. Last year the show attracted over 140 gasoline flywheel engines and well over 50 tractors. The three day show has proven to be one of the finest displays of antique machinery in Northern Mississippi. You'll find crafts, singing, Bar-B-Q, and more tractors and smoke-spotting engines that you can shake a stick at. So, I'll be looking forward to seeing you all in October at the Sardis Antique Engine and Tractor Show.

And be sure to stop by and say 'hello' to my folks.






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