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Fulton Fall Folk Festival features tractors and more

October 17, 2008|By DON AINES

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. -- Expect a traffic jam of tractors Saturday morning in McConnellsburg. Several hundred are expected in the Fulton Fall Folk Festival Parade that will make its way downtown to the Fulton County Fairgrounds Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

Organizers expect 8,000 or more people to visit the fairgrounds for the 28th annual Grease, Steam & Rust Association Antique Tractor, Small Engine and Machinery Show. This year, the featured manufacturer is Massey-Harris.

Fire engine-red machines such as Darren Wilson's 1952 Massey-Harris Pony will be on display, a machine the Frederick, Md., man said he has been working on for more than a year. He heard about the show from a man who supplies parts for these machines and wanted it ready to show off, Wilson said.

Frick Co. in Waynesboro, Pa., makes refrigeration equipment now, but a century ago, its business was steam. Some of the surviving steam tractors were chugging into a row at the fairgrounds Friday, along with other makes.

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Dave Capp of Walnut Bottom, Pa., was stoking the firebox of his 1916 Case 50-horsepower farm tractor. This 10-ton leviathan cannot simply be rolled onto a trailer and pulled from show to show with a pickup, he said.

"You need a semi and a low-boy" trailer, Capp said of the machine he and his mother bought in 1999 for $25,000.

Keeping an ancient piece of technology such as this rolling is an expensive hobby. Capp paid about $40,000 a few years ago to have a new boiler made in Canada.

There will also be tractor pulls and demonstrations at the fairgrounds.

Paul Schmidt is a director and past president of the association, which in 2009 will host the Prairie Gold Rush Convention, the owners' group for Minneapolis-Moline tractors and farm equipment.

Asked what kind of tractor he has, Schmidt listed a 1940, two 1948, 1951, 1957 and 1961 Minneapolis-Moline tractors, along with a cornpicker, manure spreader and plows.

Like many Grease, Steam & Rust members, he is not a farmer, but a collector.

Fulton County is offering plenty of other activities this weekend, including this morning's Dale Gordon Memorial 5K Run/Walk; historical tours of three McConnellsburg homes and the Fulton County Jail; a display of the permanent collection of the Fulton House; an automobile show Saturday at the Needmore (Pa.) Bible Church; tours of Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Church built in 1745; a day of activities and entertainment in the village of Waterfall, Pa.; and music, crafts and food at the Burnt Cabins (Pa.) Grist Mill.

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