Visit to the American Tractor Museum
There is a new tractor museum in town, the American Tractor Museum. It will blow your socks off! The museum was created to honor farmers. As a farmer’s wife, we were thrilled at this recognition and tribute to agricultural preservation.
This museum is a beauty. Keith and I were invited to take a look a few days before the grand opening. We loved what we saw.
Located in Perryville, Missouri, the museum has an amazing array of tractors. The museum highlights tractor collector Kenny Buchheit’s collection. Many tractors are restored by his friend and restoration genius Arly Berkbigler. Then there are also loads of pedal tractors belonging to Richard Moldenhauer as well.
The American Tractor Museum is in the Catalyst Center. This is a former International Harvester Dealership. The building houses the tourism department where Trish Erzfeld, the tourism Director works in front. The museum is in the back.
The tractors and museum
Kenny Buchheit started collecting tractors after going on a road trip. That was 18 years ago. The collection took off from there. With tractors in various buildings, his children thought consolidating them was a good idea. Thus, he bought the former dealership. After extensive cleaning, they created the museum. The tourism and economic development board worked with him. A partnership was formed!
“We have 15 to 18 tractors that are over 100 years old,” Kenny said. There are several very special tractors. I couldn’t hardly take my eyes off the amazing Gray Drum tractor that is so unique and different. Then there is the Rumley, the Greyhound, the Indiana, the Illinois and so many more. The Cape Mfg Co created the 1896 threshing machine and then there is the Avery steam engine adding another element as well!
If you are a Hollywood geek, you will be drawn to the 1950 Oliver 77 Row Crop and 1951 Oliver 77 Row Crop. These two tractors were used in the movie “Walk the Line”!
Richard Moldenhauer has pedal tractors and pedal cars! These beauties fill the shelves above the tractors. What is amazing is Richard has another museum at home with even more! These pedals round out the collection and Keith was thrilled beyond belief to see a Graham Bradley pedal!
Last Friday Arly Berkbigler turned 83. He still works three days a week restoring tractors. While we were there, he never stopped moving. He said the Huber tractors are his favorite since that is what he grew up on. Arly figured he restored half of the tractors at the museum.
Piece of Art
The museum is a piece of art. Every place they found just the right backround and way to design. I loved it and so will you!
Call 573-547-1097 for details. Perry County has many things to see and do. Plan to stay a while!
Enjoy reading about other tractor museums on Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl as well!