I felt a little like Timmy in a “Lassie Come Home” show when we drove up to Benton Harbor, Michigan on June 26th, 2014 and brought our Bradley tractor along with a few other collectors back home to the Ross Carrier plant where they were built.
We were part of a group of collectors on our way to their annual show as part of the group that gathers each year to celebrate tractors sold through the Sears Catalog. This includes Graham Bradleys, Sears Economy and Thrifty Farmer tractors. The group was heading to the Gilmore Car museum for the 35th Annual Antique Tractor, Engine and Machinery Show, sponsored by the Kalamazoo Antique Tractor, Engine and Machinery Club. The late Joe Harvath set plans in motion for the tractors to be featured along with Averys at this show. His widow Pat served as hostess for the collectors that headed to Kalamazoo.
Along the way we took advantage of an opportunity to take our pictures in front of the former Ross Carrier Plant now owned by Dave Kirshenbaum, who gave us permission to make the stop. Our thanks goes out to Dave for allowing us to park in front of his historic building!
What made this stop even sweeter was that James Fred, editor of the Graham Bradley and other Sears sold tractors convinced Tom Parrett, grandson of Dent Parrett, the designer of the Bradley tractor to come to town for the photo op.
Tom Parrett remembered working in the plant as a young man in the early 1970’s. The Bradley tractors were built as early as 1930 and were just one of the tractors that Dent Parrett had a hand in.
Keep on the lookout for more details in my column “Wrenching Tales” coming up in a future issue of Farm World.
The day was the culmination of a dream for several collectors that made their way along to the Ross Carrier plant to reminisce and like Lassie, “Come Home”.