It was raining in Illinois and Rockville, Indiana was calling. So, Keith and I loaded up in the Chevy pickup and headed out across Route 36. We heard that there was a tractor show in town. It was a last hurrah before we could get in the fields.
It was a pretty drive with cool sights along the way like a farmer loaded with round bales of hay.
Downtown Rockville proved to be a delight. We found the antique shops Finders Keepers and Hog Heaven Antiques. I picked up a rag rug and soap dish for a birthday gift. Finders Keepers was playing some amazing Bluegrass music. The owner mentioned that her parents used to book bluegrass bands. She said after COVID-19 is over they plan to book bands and have them play onsite. What fun!
Down the street is the Old Jail Inn which looked like a fun place to stay. The former jail has been converted to an inn!
The Thirty-Six Saloon was recommended for lunch. We stopped in this motorcycle haven. Dining in the outside garden spot it was a family friendly area. I had a great burger with a bourbon sauce and tangled onions. Keith enjoyed BBQ and potato salad!
The motorcycle carvings were a fun aspect. From our tall table I had an amazing view of the courthouse. On our way out of town I noted the beautiful Memorial Presbyterian Church and a bell tower!
A cute Calico cat seemed to be waiting out front to greet me as I ran up to read the plaque on the Memorial Presbyterian Church and bell tower. “This Bell was moulded by fusing the bells of the old and new school Presbyterian churches of Rockville after uniting in 1869”. The sign went on to explain that the tower was restored in 1950. What I loved though was the last line of the plaque. “Ring out O bell to the glory of God!”
The tower is right next to the lovely church that has a little library in front of it.
The tractor show
The show was held next to the historic Rockville Chautauqua Pavilion. The Pavilion was built in 1913 by Edgar Jerome. Hosted by the Covered Bridged Antique Power Association the group was celebrating their 25th anniversary.
There were just a few tractors on display, but they were very nice. D.J. who hails from Coatesville, Indiana was at the show with his two-custom made Wheelhorse lawn and garden tractors. “Both tractors were built by Bob Rock out of Pewamo, Michigan,” D.J. said.
One is a four-wheel drive and the other looks like a hot rod low rider! I was excited when he let me sit and pose in one. Look for an upcoming story in the Lawn and Garden Tractor Magazine about these tractors!
The H3 Crawler!
John Fulider had his 1963 Allis Chalmers H3 crawler that was converted to an Ag tractor! His friend, John Coon and his son Chris helped John restore it.
The desire to have an Allis Chalmers H3 tractor began for John when he went to a toyshow. There he picked up a magazine written in 1962 or so. “It had the D series and this crawler was at the end. I started looking for it. After 20 years, I found a tractor.”
Although John added that it wasn’t quite the tractor he wanted. With John and Chris Coon’s help, they turned it into the Ag tractor he wanted. “John ran a dealership, Coon Implement in Hillsboro, Indiana,” John Fulider said. This meant he knew all about Allis Chalmers tractors.
John Coons said, “We turned it into an Ag tractor by looking at my manual and using brochures. It is not hard to do if you know how to do it. We started in 2005 and took it to the Danville, Indiana show.”
The H3 construction tractor was taken down to bare metal for the conversion. John Coons said it all started when John F requested a new dash! “We made a paint booth in my shop. We didn’t kill ourselves and it turned out well,” he added.
Antique Power covered the beautiful tractor in 2006. John F seems to be a lucky fellow. In 2000, he won a 335 Minneapolis Moline tractor from a raffle ticket he bought!
The Memorial Ford
At the show Carl Smith Jr. had a beautiful 9N Ford. The tractor originally belonged to his grandfather Kyle David Smith. Then it was, his father, Carl David Smith Sr’s. Carl had re-manufactured the lovely Ford.
Rockville is part of Parke County,which is known for its covered bridges. After the tractor show, Keith and I set out in pursuit of covered bridges. They are so beautiful. We found around six of them. One of the loveliest was the Narrows Covered Bridge not far from Turkey Run State Park.
Not far from there we also stopped at Turkey Hill Farm Antiques and Uniques. I found a cool Santa that I had to have. You would have bought it too!
All in all, it was a wonderful day in Rockville and Parke County Indiana! Read about another covered bridge in rural Illinois!