Celebrating tractors at the Waterloo Farm Museum

by Arlene Kaiser

Once again,  the sound of hit-and-miss engines, tractors and trucks were heard during the annual Antique Tractor, Truck and Farm Equipment Show Aug. 8 and 9 at the Waterloo Farm Museum.

Organizers weren’t sure they would be able to have an event at the museum this year, due to the restrictions on group gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.  But the Board of Directors pulled together to make it happen and with cooperation from the DNR Parks Division, it turned out be a great weekend.

Still, COVID-19 protocols resulted in some necessary changes to the show this year on the museum grounds at 13493 Waterloo Munith Road in Grass Lake.

Guests were greeted by a nurse who took their temperature and asked the pertinent health questions before they were allowed to enter. Masks were worn and/or social distancing was seen all day. Everyone was respectful of these health requirements.

Physical tours of the farmhouse could not be conducted, but guests were able to take “A Peek Through Time” self-guided tour from each of the four porches.  Narratives on each porch described the view as guests looked through the (locked) screen doors and windows.  For most of the weekend, the Log House had a guide who talked as guests stood by the roped-off doorways.

Woodworker Steve Hopkins, blacksmiths MK, Chris and Rob, along with Beverly Larsen, who operated her sock machine, found all the guests to be very cooperative and respectful with masks and social distancing.

While the show did not offer as many tractor and equipment displays as in the past, some fine examples of vintage machinery could be seen on the museum grounds. This gave lots of room for guests to wander at safe distance.

John Shiel, president of the Jackson Antique Tractor Club, brought his Ford 8N and was present all weekend to help with the organization of the tractors and tractor games.

Antique farm equipment on display included:

  • A rare 1953 International Harvester Super M, one of a very few made in Louisville, Ky., not Chicago, where the majority were manufactured.


  • A 1923 Rumley Oil Pull 20/40 made a great addition to the lineup.


  • A 1928 Cross Engine Case, very rare, was added to the lineup.


  • A 1954 Allis Chalmers CA, headed up a collection along with a 1956 Allis Chalmers WD 45, and a 1949 Allis Chalmers WD.


  • Not to be outdone by the Allis Chalmers orange, the International Harvester red could be seen as well. A 1940 Farmall H and a 1941 Farmall A arrived from Dansville.  A completely restored Farmall Cub shone beautifully in the summer sun.
  • Bob and Veronica Zick had their beautiful 1953 Ford pickup pulling the trailer of engines that ran a water pump and industrial fan all weekend.


  • A small-scale Kenworth semi and miniature “Cat” bulldozer joined the event on Sunday.
  • A 1946 Dodge pickup rounded out the trucks to the event.


(NOTE: This list is not complete. I know I’m forgetting some. Please forgive my errors.)

Throughout the weekend, many people enjoyed the company of those who are passionate about their tractors and passionate in their support of the museum.

A special thank-you to all the exhibitors who participated. They helped to make the 14th annual show a success during this unusual time.

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