Every year when I travel the back roads on Spoon River Drive with my farm collectible collecting farmer, I see something new. This year my first “farm find” was a very cool John Deere industrial vehicle with I am sure some unique military history. “It is not that old and it is not on display,” my husband said. “It is being used for some type of construction work.”
So be it! It was still a tractor I don’t see and don’t know about, thus, a farm find! For those that have never been on the Spoon River drive, the area became nationally known from the work of Edgar Lee Masters, author of the noted Spoon River Anthology. Masters hailed from Lewistown, the county seat of Fulton County. The drive meanders through small towns where the Spoon River twists and bends through the county and offers festivals, food and neat sights that I always love like the lone dam on the Spoon River at Bernadotte, a public boat dock at London Mills, the historical Ellisville Opera House, and of course the Boy Scout statue of Liberty erected in London Mills.
Then, for us, there are farm finds. One hearty vendor Ford’s Antiques had my favorite finds of the day. Vernon and Kathy Ford from Canton, Illinois had some very neat items. They offered a grain cleaning screen and a Salesman sample cattle feeder. The company name on the end of the Salesman Sample shows Tox-O-Wik. When I researched this I found that they are a company in the Farm and Garden Machinery and Equipment industry out of Janesville, Wisconsin.
What is more interesting that finding information about products from the past especially when they are still in business? One of my favorite stories was finding this very cool Avery neon sign at a swap meet in Portland, Indiana. When I was researching information about it I contacted the company which was still in business to ask a question. My contact was excited about the sign. I passed on information about the seller. I don’t know if he ended up buying it, but those interconnections make writing about this hobby great fun.
At another vendor my farmer found a find he should have bought, a Ford pith helmet.
Since he had most of the other farm brands, this would have gone quite well with his collection and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg, and he wouldn’t lose his head (pardon the pun) at the price! There was also a neat cast iron horse toy and wagon.
I am not sure just how old it was, but it was quite lovely. If you haven’t headed out on the Spoon River Drive, there is still time. This event takes place the first and second weekend in October and that is coming up this weekend.
Maybe I will see you there! Log onto http://www.spoonriverdrive.org/ for more information.