For Mary Neske, her museum is a family thing filled with memories of her late father Pug Robinson. The collection is in a pasture area shared with a white guard horse named Huckleberry. When I visited this wonderful outdoor museum with Timothy Bishop, Baker County Tourism Marketing Director, I was amazed by all the wonderful pieces of agricultural machinery Mary has.
“Dad started this collection in the1970’s,” Mary said. “He was a Cat man,he drove them.”
In fact Mary added that back when he was a student that on his lunch hour he would use Caterpillars and plow for Clyde Ward & Sons. “That’s how he got started,” Mary said. “Dad was born in 1928.”
Over the years Pug would help build the Bonneville Dam and help build the freeway. His love of machinery got him to collecting old iron and today the result of that collecting is Power From the Past.
Caterpillars of all sizes along with other tractors sit around the pasture. They even have a cool cook house that years ago followed was the threshing machines when they threshed grain. Mary said when they had their shows at Power of the Past that she and her mother, that was also named Mary, cooked in these 1900 or so cook houses for the crowds that came to watch antique machinery in action. “We made biscuits, hash browns, gravy, pancakes, eggs and bacon.”
“Our first show was in 1992 and our last was in 2009. We did it for 30 years. There is a wide variety of machinery and most all of them have a story. One very cool Travelall is a 1969 model that Pug bought new.
“I got my driver’s license in this,” Mary said.
While there I spied an Advanced Rumley 22 horse power steam engine, what Mary called a One Luger Diesel engine, and a big Case 3 bottom roller, that Mary’s husband Martin uses sometimes.The day we were there Martin was busy out cutting hay.
Cletracs of all shape and sizes were there trucks, balers and other machinery all sit in the shadow of the mountains making a perfect backdrop. I loved this stop. Mary said if available they are glad to open to the public. Call the Baker City Tourism Office at 541-523-5855 for more information.
Note that transportation and accommodations for this trip were provided.