Countians form club
for enthusiasts of historic iron
to be linked to historical society
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (February 2008) Growing up
on a farm in Brownsboro, tractors were just a natural part of Gene Cradys
childhood. These memories have never left him, and he is now sharing
his love of antique iron engines and implements with others.
Crady and several friends approached the Oldham County History Center
with the idea of starting a club for collectors, hobbyists and individuals
who share the same interests. As a result, the Board of Directors approved
of the idea, and Antique Iron was started for anyone with an interest
in antique engines at least 50 years old.
by Don Ward
Crady, one of the clubs founders,
poses with his antique tractor.
The club fits the mission of the History Center
by telling the story of its people and events that shape its development
using the objects and artifacts that symbolize history, said Nancy
Theiss, executive director of the Oldham County History Center.
There are already about 30 members, said Crady, 65. He has been collecting
antique tractors for 15 years, but it is hard to favor one over the
others because I enjoy them all.
He is a member of the Oldham County Tractor Club and former member of
the Salt River Tractor Club in Spencer County, Ky. He and fellow iron
collector Marshall Geoghegan believe the drive to Taylorsville for a
meeting every month was too far away. Geoghegan said Antique Iron is
not restricted to just tractors.
Hit or miss engines, outboard motors or anything relating to antique
iron history is acceptable, said Crady. Their goal is to have fun, use
and preserve the antiques.
Members ranged from grandpas who want to show off to the serious collector
who might own 40 or 50 engines of the same make.
People will travel all over to find the perfect tractor,
Every time you see (a tractor) on the back of a truck going to
the scrap yard, you know its not going to be in existence anymore,
Crady said. Preserving these revered implements is one way of showcasing
them to youth who want to know what their fore-fathers worked
Antique Iron has planned a year full of activities and educational opportunities.
They are working in conjunction with the History Center to hold a Tractor
Ride Day, Plow Day and Agricultural Day on March 20.
Anytime we can provide authentic, hands-on activities for the
community, it helps to engage people in their local resources and history,
Antique Iron will participate in many parades in surrounding counties
this year including the Warsaw Parade on July 4, the Shelbyville Christmas
Parade, Westport Daze, Trimble County Applefest at Bedford, Brownsboro
Festival, Oldham County Day in La Grange, New Castle and Campbellsburg
Parade, and Masonic Homes of Kentucky.
Crady and Geoghegan are both Masons and have participated for the past
three years in an antique tractor show on Oldham County Day. From talking
with spectators, Geoghegan said the general consensus was that we
need a tractor club in Oldham County.
Geoghegan began collecting antique tractors several years ago after
restoring one for a friend. He was raised on a farm in Jefferson County
and drawn to anything mechanical.
His oldest tractor is a 1937 Farmall F 20; the newest is a 1950 Minneapolis
Moline. Geoghegan, who collects engines other than tractors, said it
is cheaper to collect tractors right now compared to car collecting.
Tractors will run from $300 to $400 in price, whereas cars will go for
$15,000 to $18,000.
Giving spectators a glimpse of the past through demonstrations and displays
is what Antique Iron is all about. Geoghegan owns a 1923 hit or miss
engine that was used in the past to pump water, grind corn or separate
To become a member of Antique Iron,
individuals must join the History Center. Dues include membership
to Antique Iron for anyone who wants to participate in activities. Antique
Iron meets at 7 p.m. every second Wednesday of the month at the Rob
Morris Chapel Educational Building on the History Center grounds. For
more information, contact the Oldham County History Center at (502)
Back to February 2008