For many years they formed the mechanical backbone of our farm industry but time and progress have thinned their ranks. On the weekend, a group of enthusiasts in Port Hope showed off the progress they have made in saving the lowly farm tractor
The Hope Agricultural Heritage Club was formed 30 years ago by Port Hope area enthusiasts who were concerned about the disappearance the area’s farming history, specifically of the machinery used to work the land
Earl Ashby “The equipment was going to the scrapyards, scrap prices were pretty high, a lot of the collectable items, at that time our dollar was low, it’s low again now, a lot of it was going to the United States, the really good stuff, so we thought we should hang on to this stuff as best we could”
So the group began salvaging tractors, implements and other tools. Some are left in their original condition and some are put back into shape by their owners.
Paul White “My buddy actually spray painted it for me cause I”m not that good, but I sanded the whole thing down, put tires on, had the tire shop come and take the liquid out of the back tires before but yeah, I done it all myself”
Like everything else these days, the internet is a source for parts for old farm tractors. Owner Brent Adamson found a US collector who had new engine parts made for a 1944 Case.
Brent Adamson “And he kept the designs and had another set made for me when I needed ’em and shipped ’em up and said you know what, pay me when they work and that’s the way the antique tractor world seems to be”
This 1949 Farmall Cub was rescued while on its way to the scrap yard by collector Robert Davy. It may be his last tractor.
Robery Davey, ‘And my wife said I couldn’t have any more tractors, so my brother and I got into collecting chainsaws. Most of the saws showed up in front of the garage, once they knew you wern’t going to scrap ’em, the older guys said here, put ’em in your collection”
When he retired, Bob Barraball took up golf but later got into antique tractor pulling and the rest is history.
Bob Barraball “And then it just escalated to more tractors, then all of a sudden I found I should have stayed golfing because it doesnt cost as much as doing antique tractor pulling”
And what would a tractor show be without a tractor pull?
Information about the Hope Agricultural Exhibition is available on their website at hahclub.com.
Steve Guthrie CHEX Newswatch Port Hope