My oldest daughter just celebrated a big birthday. In a photo during her celebration she used the hashtag #my people. I thought that was so fitting because that is what this past year has been missing, My People! We did make a few tractor shows last year, but they were few and far between. I felt content with the safe places we traveled to, a lot of local historical sites. One wonderful tractor drive and events here and there that were masked and socially distanced. It was the way it should be. It was the safe way, it was what was needed I know, but I missed MY PEOPLE.
Winter didn’t offer the Florida Flywheelers and I had a big hole missing from lack of travel and seeing friends! Perhaps it was at the Franklin tractor Drive that we saw the most friends and family at one time at one event over the July 4th weekend.
Shows are Back, places to see My People!
I think everyone is making up for lost time. Heading out to local and not so local shows, antique tractor collectors are gathering and antique tractor shows are the hotspot! Not only tractor shows, but auctions and tractor drives offer the same type of fun.
The year had a slow start. Each year I have been posting an Antique Tractor Calendar blog, and my first two show we wanted to attend were cancelled. However, we made it to the Le Sueur, Minnesota Pioneer Swap Meet. This was great fun checking out all the tractors, parts and flea market. We didn’t see many that we knew, but it was a joyous occasion to be out and about! We both walked over 10,000 steps each day we were there!
While there we also learned about a new swap meet, new to us that is, one in Baraboo, Wisconsin at the Badger Steam and Gas Show. We made sure to hit this and enjoyed a new flea market. Hitting northern shows is fun because we find different equipment. It was not a very crowded show, but everyone was joyous to be out and about!
In July we hit Historic Farm Days in Penfield, Illinois. This is a yearly show where we meet a bevy of friend and enjoy all there is to offer. Again old friends like the Jansens and Maxwells are there and that is key!
Old Iron in Unexpected Places
In June we headed to the Amana Colonies to stay at the new Millwright Hotel. While the hotel itself is filled with antiques from the days it was a mill, we had a chance to spy some Minneapolis Moline history. We headed to Norm Schanz’s former furniture store. While we are sad that the store is now closed since Norm retired. We did enjoy viewing his beautiful Minnie Mo’s that he had arranged out front!
My People at Auctions & Museums!
Every year if we have a chance we enjoy Aumann Auctions Pre-1930 pre-show. They always have amazing never seen items, plus it is like a big reunion seeing those tractor friends that have been hibernating over the winter, or in this year’s case isolating! Kurt Aumann also had his tractor museum open too, all I can say is wow!
In April I also made it to the Kibbe Hancock Museum with my friend Sandy. While they have a variety of items and the museum is not just an agricultural one, they have some fine ag items like a John Deere buggy that a doctor used! I find that County Historical Museums offer an array of history and unique agricultural items!
In June of this year I was hosted in two wonderful Iowa towns, Pella and Oskaloosa. While heading east, we stopped in Monmouth, Illinois and toured the Warren County Historical Museum. Here there was a huge agricultural room with items made locally. We were most impressed with the beautiful wooden George Brown planter that was built in Galesburg, Illinois.
In the town of Oskaloosa, Iowa we stopped at the Nelson Pioneer Farm & Museum. This is also the site of the Mahaska County Historical Society (MCHS). The site includes 15 historic buildings dating from the 1840’s to 1970’s!. There are two large barns that house a wonderful display of agricultural equipment! We didn’t know anyone there, but we got the chance to see a lot of wonderful old iron, especially horse drawn items.
New Shows and events!
Thanks to friends posting on Facebook, we learned of the Spoon River Valley Antique tractor show in Bushnell, Illinois. At this show that was primarily a lawn and garden tractor show, I got the chance to drive Carl Davis’s David Bradley Tri-Trac! The show grounds had previously been a stud horse farm many years prior. We saw old friends and made new ones at this fun show that had a neat club house with a story behind it.
Along with new shows, there are some events that include antique tractors. This was true this past May in Butler, Illinois where they were having a birthday celebration for Montgomery County Illinois that was turning 200! And what a reason to celebrate! That same weekend we went to an old favorite, the Macoupin County Spring Festival in Carlinville, Illinois. There were not a lot of tractors onsite. However, just the chance to get out and see old iron and old friends like the Elliotts and the Doziers was marvelous. Here we saw old friends and even toured the Anderson Mansion for the umpteenth time just because. This wonderful historical society and agricultural group hosts both a spring and fall show!
There are some shows that are just special and are brand annual shows. Sadly we missed the Classic Green John Deere show in Columbus, Ohio, however, we were able to attend the 32nd Red Power Round Up in DuQuoin, Illinois. This show that is an International Harvester event is held all over the US. Each year it is at a different spot. The show was a homecoming to see friends like Dennis & Sallie Meisner, Sherry Schaefer, and Randy Bodine just to name a few. We also met a bevy of new friends from the southern climes that were wonderful new additions to our tractor buddies! I even got a chance to taste blueberry icebox pie! (Only a taste because I am behaving these days).
As the summer progresses, the Graham Bradley and Sears Sold tractors will be at the Half Century of Progress in Rantoul, Illinois. This is the largest working farm show highlighting antique equipment around. In August there is also the American Thresherman Reunion in Pinckneyville and so much more!
While the tractors are great, the events fun, it is the people, “My People” that I have missed and cherish. Where do you go, and what do you do that makes you feel the same?