As chairperson for the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association Hall of Fame I am proud to announce Morrie Robinson from Sedro Wooley, Washington for Hall Of Fame 2003. Morrie was selected from an extensive list of nominees and selected for his contributions to our hobby.
Jerry Mac Martin
Morrie is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Pharmacy and has practiced pharmacy for 25 years in the Mount Vernon area. He resides in Sedro-Woolley, Washington along with his wife Charlene who is a primary school educator.
Morrie has been associated with our hobby of engines and tractors for over 25 years. His interest first started with Puget Sound Antique Tractor & Machinery Ass’n at Lynden, Washington.
At the Brooks National meet he met with long time friend and traveling companion, Chuck Watters, regarding the formation of Branch 26. These two individuals and one other were responsible for starting Branch 26 in 1987 at Alger, Washington.
Branch 26 Newsletter “Rust & Grease Gazette” was first produced by Morrie where he set the format for future issues. He has also served the Branch as Secretary and eventually President where he raised the standards for both positions.
The 20th Mid-Winter Gas-Up was held February 22. Morrie has attended all 20 shows. During the past 7 years he has been the chairman of the Mid-Winter and due to his promotional ideas has increased the size and scope of the show. Through his efforts the Skagit Valley Herald newspaper features a local collector just prior to show day, greatly increasing publish awareness and interest to our hobby.
His efforts to further promote our hobby involved the club effort to restore a tractor for a turn of the century Homestead Park in Ferndale. The county park wished to have a 1950’s Case tractor restored for use around the park for hayrides and general interest. He brought the idea before the membership and organized the work to complete the tractor. Burlington City has a parade each July, Berry-Dairy Days. Morrie has organized the Branch 26 entry during the past 2 years. Through his ideas and efforts Branch 26 has won “Best Agricultural Division” and “Best of Show” these past 3 years.
The Cascade Two Cylinder club was started 1993 with Morrie’s help. He served as the first secretary and newsletter editor for over 3 years. He continues to be active in the club helping members with gas engine problems and inviting club meetings to his farm.
Compassion is one of Morrie’s great attributes. In October 1997 Chuck Watters was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Chuck was to receive his award at the Fort Scott, Kansas National meet. Three months before the scheduled presentation, Chuck suffered a heart attack. Morrie visited Chuck on a regular basis and volunteered to accompany Chuck to receive his award and safeguard his health. He made all their flight arrangements since it was Chuck’s first flight on a commercial airplane. Morrie continued to be a close friend to Chuck and has taken him to Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minnesota, Albany Pioneer Days in Albany Minnesota and NW Thresherman’s show at Culbertson, Montana. These are shows that Chuck was very appreciative of the opportunity to visit with many long time friends at the shows before he passed away in May 2002.
Morrie not only participates in the local shows but also owns a Western 12 HP engine that has been on permanent display at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion. There he arrives a few days early to prepare his and other collectors items for the show. He also participates in the NE Thresherman’s Show, often arriving 3 to 4 days early to help get engines and tractors running for the show. Not being afraid to pitch in and help, he has helped get several engines and tractors not seen running for 7 plus years operating again. More examples of his willingness to promote organize and educate.
Morrie feels we should be moving away from merely storing our artifacts to using them as a means for teaching. The public should be more than attracted to an exhibit, they should be instructed. Morrie and Charlene are currently putting the finishing touches on a new museum and shop over 7000 square feet in size. Almost 3/4ths of the building is devoted to their extensive collection of gas engines, early tractors, farm antiques and memorable. These will serve as an educational source for the community. Numerous rooms include a barn, blacksmith, electric power plant, old time saw shop (crosscut and early chainsaws), bicycle, pharmacy, sporting goods, general merchandise, and hotel; all showing “how it was in the old days”.