Antique tractor show this weekend | RecordCourier.com

Antique tractor show this weekend

by Susan Ditz
Special to The R-C

History comes to life at the 20th annual Antique Engine & Tractor Show 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in south Gardnerville.

A passionate group of collectors have transformed the 40-acre Valley View Ranch into a working museum that showcases how machines operated in the last century and contributed to the growth of Nevada agriculture and the mining industry.

"This year we'll have a working mine that was built by Ed Tomasic from Spanish Springs," said Club President Pat Geary.

He and his wife, Ann, own the property where the show takes place at 1000 East Valley Road, which features a replica western town the couple built.

Geary said he's eager for visitors to see, "where ore comes out of the ground, gets dumped into an ore cart, and is taken to a stamp mill where the ore gets ground into powder to extract the gold."

A big draw each day is the tractor pull where men and women driving restored tractors pull a 12,000-pound sled along a track.

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To qualify as an antique, a tractor must be a 1960 or older, and the engine can't be more than 100 horsepower.

According to show organizer Suzanne Schneider, competitors demonstrate their tractor handling dexterity by tossing bean bags into a toilet seat, carrying an egg while driving the tractor without breaking it, testing their driving skills in a timed barrel race and showing how well they can manage the tractor while planting seeds. There is even a competition for how slow you can go over a specific distance.

Games Chairman Jim Hillman of Gardnerville says another popular event is the balance beam, "where you drive your tractor up on what looks like a teeter totter and hold it there."

He said he's enthusiastic about displaying his 1948 Farm All in friendly competition "that's really just all about the fun."

Aside from dozens of restored tractors on display from collectors across Nevada and California, including Geary's extensive John Deere collection — which he laughingly says started 30 years ago because he loves the color green — there are lots of other interactive exhibits.

"The Corn Man, Marshall Brown, from Fallon has every corn grinding apparatus you can think of that he will demonstrate," Geary said. Visitors may also see restored antique cars and trucks including a fire engine and classic vehicles from the Silver State Model T Association, plus a swap meet and antique oriented vendors.

Honoring and preserving the past and teaching next generations is why Schneider and husband Dave of Jacks Valley have been involved in the show all 20 years.

"We need to teach kids about how tractors evolved and changed farming and ranching and show how we went from steam to the complex equipment of today," she said. Her husband's family has been ranching in Carson Valley since 1858 and the couple feels it is essential for young people to see first hand how this equipment works. "We try to bring history to life (with this show) so people understand how we use tractors and other equipment for cultivating, seeding, planting, harvesting and haying."

The Club is auctioning a fully restored 1947 8N tractor (the winner may choose $1,200 cash instead). Tickets are $1.

Cost for the show is $5. Entrants receive a $2 off coupon good for use in the store for T-shirts, hats and buttons. The event is handicapped accessible, food and drinks are available for purchase. For information, or to reserve swap meet space, call Geary at 291-2001.

if you go

What: The 20th annual Antique Engine & Tractor Show

Where: 1000 East Valley Road, Gardnerville

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Information: 775-291-2001