Ramble On

Friday, October 16, 2009

Heritage Festival Wrap Up

Following up on Wednesday's post about the Heritage Festival...

According to the brochure, this year's festival featured:
  • local crafts and homemade goodies
  • antique tractor, steam and gas engine show
  • exhibitions of wheat thrashing, log sawing, large steam engine, corn chopper, corn husker, and feed grinding
  • antique cars
  • blacksmiths
  • spinning wheel
  • white oak baskets
  • garden club
  • cider, apples, and apple butter
  • pottery making
  • Shenandoah National Park history

The antique tractors are always placed right at the entrance to the fairground, so you see them on the way in and out. This year some of the exhibits were rearranged and so there was a continuous driving display on a circuit throughout the grounds - a few of these photos are of tractors taken when they were on the loop.

Two distinctive brands that I always see well represented at this festival are Allis-Chalmers and Deere, so I looked them up on Wikipedia. Here’s a summary of their stories:

Allis-Chalmers first entered the manufacturing business in Milwaukee as E.P. Allis in the 1840s. They made waterwheel, sawmill and grindstones. While originally incorporated in Delaware, the company soon became a major manufacturer of steam engines and industrial equipment in the Milwaukee area after merging with other firms—Fraser & Chalmers were a large steel and mining retort manufacturer. Allis-Chalmers entered into the farm equipment business in 1914 at about the time of WWI, and played a role in WWII with equipment for uranium separation for the Manhattan Project, submarine motors, and steam engines for the Liberty ships.

There was a man in Luray who had a large collection of bright orange A-C tractors that he built up over 30 years of collecting and restoring. Among his prized vehicles was a road grader, one of only six or seven known to have survived. He recently retired from collecting and auctioned off a number of his vehicles, you can now see them all over the Valley as the sudden access via the auction was very popular. So there were a few of them at the fest this year too.

Everybody knows about Deere & Company, brand name John Deere. It is a leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery, a Fortune 500 company, and there are always a number of the distinctive green and yellow tractors on display at the fest. They also make construction equipment, but I didn’t see any at the fest this year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My favorite tractors to see driving the circuit each year are the Humely and the Frick!!