So. Central Montana Antique Tractor & Machinery Assn. EDGETA Branch 29 - Worden, MT
The South Central Montana Antique Tractor And Machinery Association was formed in 1987. The club was conceived during one of Oscar’s Dreamland shows, when several of the clubs prospective members were helping Oscar with his show and started talking. Since each of them had some antique machinery of their own that they would like to display, they decided to form a club, so they could have their own show. Thus the birth of the South Central Montana Antique Tractor and Machinery Association, called the Antique Tractor Club for short. It later became Branch 29 of the EDGE&TA. The Antique Tractor Club is a non-profit organization and is dedicated to promote the collection, restoration, preservation, exhibition of early day agricultural machinery & tools, including power and horse-driven farm machinery, or any other equipment of historical value.
Some members are interested in antique tractors, such as two cylinder John Deere’s, McCormick-Deering, Farmall, Case, Rumely, Hart Parr, Oliver, Allis Chalmers, Fordson, and others. Other members are interested in stationary engines, the engines that were used on early day farms and ranches to pump water, grind feed, power electrical plants, power stationary hay balers, and even including grandma’s washing machine. Others are interested in horses and horse drawn plows, discs, seeders, wagons, buggies, and surreys. Some of the members are interested in blacksmithing, using a hot fire from a forge, a hammer and an anvil to form iron into intricate shapes such as gate hooks, steak turners, coat hooks, even to reshape plowshares.
Steam traction engines were used on early farms and are owned and operated by several of the Antique Tractor Club’s members. Steam engines were used for threshing, operating a threshing machine by a long flat drive belt. They were also used to power sawmills and were used to pull plow to break up the prairie sod. In 1997 the club undertook a major project of building a blacksmith shop. The 48′ X 56′ pole construction building is used to display a blacksmith shop that they purchased near Circle, MT. The club not only displays the blacksmith shop but also uses it for other static displays related to The Old Tractor Club.
Club members interested in doing blacksmith work can demonstrate their expertise during the threshing bee, and will have the use of the building any time during the year to perfect their blacksmithing abilities. The Threshing Bee is held each year the third weekend in August at the Huntley Project Museum of Irrigated Agriculture and is the highlight of the club’s yearly activities.
This is the time of the year when the club members bring out their latest restoration of a tractor, stationary engine, or demonstrate their expertise in driving horses, blacksmithing, binding grain, threshing, sawmill operation, as well as operating tractors and steam engines.
In addition to the things that used to be done on a farm at the threshing bee, the members also compete with each other in a slow tractor race, where the slowest tractor wins! They also demonstrate their tractor skills in a barrel race, where antique tractors are used to push a barrel across a finish line. A tractor balance, like the teeter-totter that we all played with in grade school only for a tractor and his driver, also demonstrates the operators’ skill (and luck!).
For the smaller kids, the members sponsor a kiddee pedal tractor pull, where the younger set can test their strength and skills. About the middle of each day of the two-day threshing bee, a parade of power is held, where each mobile piece of equipment is paraded and shown off to the spectators. A thresher lunch is available at noon each day.
Musical entertainment is also provided at the Threshing Bee. The Antique Tractor Club also participates in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Billings each year. Members decorate their tractors, hayracks, and other machinery and enter it in the parade. (The green John Deere’s fit right into the St. Patrick’s Day theme.)
The club also participates in Broadview Days, a parade held in Broadview each year about the first weekend in June. Once in the spring and once in the fall, the Antique Tractor Club has a potluck dinner meeting for the whole family. The club’s membership consists of over 100 families. It’s members’ come from Miles City to Columbus, and Bridger to Billings, and even has members from out of the state, such as Iowa, Nebraska, and Arizona. This club is affiliated with the “Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association”, (EDGE&TA) as Branch 29.
The EDGE&TA is an national organization that puts its members in touch with other collectors all over the USA. The club meets monthly, every third Thursday, at the REA Hall in Huntley. For membership information contact Dick Tombrink, 2250 Road 12 North, Worden, MT, 59088, phone (406) 976-6687, email [email protected]..
Club Mailing Address:
2250 North 12th Road, Worden, MT 59088
Club Contact Email:
Club Phone Number:
Branch Officers for 2019
4343 Wells Place, Billings, MT 59106, (406) 652-5973 [email protected]
3200 Indian Creek Road, Huntley, MT 59088 (406) 967-2319
2309 North 9th Road, Worden, MT 59088
(406) 967-3258 [email protected]
2250 North 12th Road, Worden, MT 59088
(406) 967-6687 [email protected]
3900 Yard Office Rd., Laurel, MT 59044
(406) 628-6541 [email protected]
1328 Valley Forge, Billings, MT 59105
(406) 248-7518 [email protected]
2250 N 12th Road, Worden MT 59088
Contact Branch officers listed above for more information on Branch 29 or attending or participating in branch events.
Visit Branch 29’s website: AntiqueTractorClub.com