Antique Iron

Oldham Countians form club
for enthusiasts of historic iron

Club to be linked to historical society

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (February 2008) – Growing up on a farm in Brownsboro, tractors were just a natural part of Gene Crady’s 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.

Gene Crady

Photo by Don Ward

Gene Crady, one of the club’s 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,” said Crady.
“Every time you see (a tractor) on the back of a truck going to the scrap yard, you know it’s 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 with.”
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,” said Theiss.
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 cream.

• 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) 222-0826.

Back to February 2008 Articles.



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