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News stories tagged with "tractors"

Some of the 19th century graffiti on the walls of the schoolhouse under restoration in Madrid, NY.  Photo: Todd Moe
Some of the 19th century graffiti on the walls of the schoolhouse under restoration in Madrid, NY. Photo: Todd Moe

Madrid: If old schoolhouse walls could talk

Traditional farming will be on display in Madrid this weekend. Antique farm implements, an old sawmill, draft horses and steam power are all part of the annual Antique Gas and Steam Engine Exhibition at the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum in Madrid. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the museum's campus on the former Goolden-Mann farm.

Originally the St. Lawrence Gas and Steam Association back in 1976, the Power and Equipment Museum was formed in 2004 with a mission of preserving the history of the machines and engines that helped shape life in the North Country.
The museum includes more than 28,000 square feet of covered space for storage, collections and exhibitions, including a new building dedicated to restoring and exhibiting antique tractors.

Todd Moe caught up with one of the museum's longtime trustees, Roger Austin, for a tour of a 19th century schoolhouse that used to stand just north of Watertown. It was sold to the museum by the Indian River school district, disassembled and moved to Madrid. Built in 1850, it's the museum's oldest, new acquisition. Volunteers are busy this summer replacing the school's floorboards, windows and shingled roof. Visitors will be allowed to walk through the partially renovated structure this weekend. Austin says the goal is to have the old school fully restored -- including the original student graffiti -- by Labor Day.  Go to full article
Jim McGraw on his '58 John Deere
Jim McGraw on his '58 John Deere

A caretaker of old tractors

Some people collect coins or stamps, others find joy in restoring vintage farm equipment. In the antique tractor world, collectors are divided into color categories: Farmall red, Allis-Chalmers orange, or John Deere green. Some collectors are sentimental and still want to use old tractors on the farm simply because it brings back the old good days. Others resurrect these metallic work horses to compete in tractor pulls. Todd Moe caught up with Jim McGraw, a St. Lawrence County classic tractor buff, as he was preparing for the annual Old Fashioned Harvest Days Exhibition in Madrid.  Go to full article
The 1923 Farquhar Steamer in Madrid, NY
The 1923 Farquhar Steamer in Madrid, NY

Heard Up North: An Iron Horse for the farm

A hundred years ago, steam power was used on farms during the fall harvest. Black steam engines on massive steel wheels traveled from farm to farm. They belched smoke, hissed steam and drove belts typically attached to threshers and choppers. This antique farm equipment is rare today. Over the weekend, the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum held its annual Old Fashioned Harvest Days. It featured lots of old tractors, engines, and fieldwork demonstrations. Today's "Heard Up North" is the museum's resident 1923 Farquhar Steamer.  Go to full article

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