Families from throughout northwestern North Carolina were provided a glimpse into the area’s agricultural history Saturday as the Rock House Ruritan Club hosted its 18th annual Antique Tractor, Auto, Engine and Farm Equipment Show.
An assortment of displays and demonstrations provided youngsters with a look back in time while prompting plenty of memories for older generations. Displays included a blacksmithing exhibition by Joe Allen, a miniature model of a log cabin farm created by wood-craftsman Art Crider, Bill and Becky Johnson’s replicas of model engines from the early 1900s and a variety of horse drawn equipment once used to work fields.
Other activities included a morning hayride for children, an accompanying tractor parade through the community and a cash drawing, as well as an abundance of food and fellowship.
“This was a good show,” noted club member Don Bennett, one of the show’s primary organizers. “It’s probably the best we’ve had. We had some 20 tractors show up along with lots of equipment. And it was a good turnout, with everybody enjoying themselves.”
Among those bringing in classic tractors were members of the Troxler family from Reidsville. According to Matthew Troxler, the 1959 John Deere tractor accompanying the family had been restored and was being displayed in honor of his late grandfather, David Thomas Troxler.
“It belonged to him and he used it,” Matthew Troxler said of his grandfather. “It was his favorite and he worked it hard. It was always in the field.”
Jadee and Derek Smith of King made the day a family event, bringing along their daughters, 5-year-old Bailey and her sister, Sadie, age 7. Each family member also displayed a classic tractor, all at various stages of restoration.
Another tractor with a story was the 1948 John Deere Model B provided by Brandon Chilton and his daughter, Kaitlyn, of Reidsville.
“I bought this from my great uncle,” Brandon Chilton recalls, “and I gave it to Kaitlyn. He had bought it brand new after he came back from World War II.”
A neighbor of Chilton’s, Donald Lovelace, was in attendance and shared his own memory of the classic tractor.
“It was the first one of its kind in the community,” he remembered. “When he would ride it to the store, us children would all stop and watch it go by.”
“It’s good that these shows are still going on,” Brandon Chilton said. “They show today’s kids what had to be done to raise food and crops. They get to learn about how the equipment was operated and how people worked back then.”