The First State Antique Tractor Club was formed on May 17, 2001. Bruce Reeder had attended the Hickory Ridge show in Milford, Delaware for many years. When Horace and Norma Potter chose to retire their show after twenty years, Bruce contacted some of the other attendees of the Hickory Ridge Show and called a meeting on April 18, 2001 at the Ellendale Fire House. There were eleven people present. After some discussion they decided to have another meeting on May 17, 2001 at Sam Yoder and Son's truss office in Greenwood, Delaware. Advertisements were placed in local newspapers. Twenty men and one woman attended the meeting. It was decided to form the club. Officer's were elected and September 22, 2001 was chosen as the first show dated. The show would be held at Mr. and Mrs. Sam Yoder's farm in Greenwood, Delaware. Members worked very diligently planning the show. On September 11, 2001, just eleven day's before our show, terrorist's attacked the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., killing thousands of people. Members of the club chose to go on with the show, not knowing what would happen from day to day. As it turned out the show was a welcome distraction from the sorrow and devastation in our country. There were 124 tractors displayed, toys, lawn and garden tractors, small engines and other farm related items. Antique cars and trucks were also shown. A flea market was also well attended by vendors and buyers alike. Craftsmen demonstrated and displayed crafts for all too see. Stagecoach and wagon rides were given during the day. There was also a team of oxen. An auction was held with items donated by members and local businesses. Dave Wilson and Jimmy Carter, members of the club and local auctioneers, chanted the afternoon away. Taylor and Messick's John Deere Dealership donated a pedal tractor, which the club raffled off. Royal Sounds of Lancaster County provided entertainment. Tressler Mennonite Church and the Improved Order of Red Men of Delaware provided food throughout the day. The membership grew from 139 members to 196 members on the day of the show. The highlight of the show was surprising Horace and Norma Potter by honoring them with their picture on our first plaque. Bruce Reeder's 62 John Deere was the tractor on the plaque. The show was a great success with many people attending and enjoying the day. Plans were made to have a two day show the following year.
In our second year our club members attended many local shows and the Delaware State Fair as a group.Our second show was held on September 27th and 28th 2002. We featured Ford Tractors and local Ford Dealers supplied the show tent for our featured tractors. Triglia Express, Inc. donated a Ford pedal tractor for our raffle. Melvin Fox of Milton, Delaware won the pedal tractor. Joe Triglia's 1953 Ford Jubilee was on the plaque. Our auction and bake tables were a real success. We had over 120 tractors exhibited. The number of small engines and small exhibits grew. Our flea market, stagecoach rides, wagon rides, food and the entertainment was enjoyed by all. Our membership again had grown, to a then 268 members. Our annual dinner was held in the Exhibit Hall at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in November 2002. Mel Craig and Duane Willis donated a 2001 Massey Harris 44 Collector's Edition pedal tractor to raffle off at the dinner, which was won by Roland Warrington of Seaford, Delaware.
The club held it's third show on September 26th and 27th 2003. We featured Farmall/International Tractors. The plaque had Webb Dulin's tractor on it. O'Neil Antiques in Laurel Delaware donated a 1999 Collector's Edition Farmall M pedal tractor for our raffle. Pauline Starkey from Felton Delaware won the tractor. The club also invited David Horsey and Sons to show the pickup and motorcycle they were raffling off with all proceeds going to Nanticoke Hospital in Seaford, Delaware. The members and visitors supported this worthwhile event and many other shows throughout the year. Our dinner was held on November 12th in the Exhibit Hall at the Delaware State Fairgrounds. Mel Craig and Duane Willis donated a F-20 Farmall pedal tractor and other small toy tractors and machinery for door prizes. Our Chinese auction and 50-50 did very well.
The 2004 show was held on September 24th and 25th at Mr. and Mrs. Sam Yoder's farm. Sam built a beautiful farm building with air conditioning, bath rooms and a kitchen. It was the Cadillac of show buildings, none so nice anywhere. We featured Oliver Hart-Parr tractors and Fairbanks-Morse motors. The Oliver Club was invited to attend our show. Club members Ray Starkey and Harold Carlisle donated an Oliver Collector's Edition pedal tractor for the raffle. Their picture was on the plaque. We also started a tradition with our tractor rides and picnics each summer. Our dinner was held at Harrington Fire Hall in November. We had a wonderful meal, Chinese auction, 50-50 raffle and great entertainment.
In 2005 we had our show on September 23rd and 24th on Sam's Farm. Our featured tractor was Allis Chalmers. Alvin Hastings donated the pedal tractor and Henry Hastings was on the plaque. We had the Maryland and Delaware Cooperative Extension Service teach Youth Safety Seminar for the youth attending the show. The club also started a scholarship program, giving a $1000.00 scholarship to two high school senior's going into the agricultural field. Sam added a commercial kitchen to his building and the club had our annual dinner there.
On October 6th and 7th 2006 our show featured Massey Harris Tractors. Jimmy Carter provided a Massey Harris Collector's Edition pedal tractor for the raffle. His picture was on the plaque. The club was invited to put a different tractor in the Delaware Agricultural Museum each month. This is still a community service the member's enjoy. The club also decided to start selling a Longaberger basket each year with that year's featured tractor on the lid. However, the first basket had the club's logo on the lid.
In 2007 Hoober's Inc. Case/International gave the club a Case pedal tractor for the raffle. Telford Rager was on the plaque. Our show took place on October 5th and 6th at Sam's farm. The club ladies had a cookbook published and were very successful in selling them.
In 2008 O'Neil Antique's in Laurel Delaware donated the John Deere pedal tractor for the raffle. Jerry Warrington's John Deere MC Crawler was on the plaque. We had over 200 tractors at this show. Our membership has been growing. In September the club started holding their monthly meeting at the Greenwood Fire Company building. Our dinner was held at the Bridgeville Fire Company.
We held our show in 2009 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds for the first time. Steve Britt and Bill Argo met and negotiated with the fair for space for our show. We had 40,000 square feet of space in two pavilions plus other space for a flea market and vendors. The members and the public were really pleased with the layout of our show. Our show was on June 12th, 13th and 14th, our first 3 day show. There were several bands which everyone seemed to enjoy. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware Kids Fest and the Mid-Atlantic National Quarter Horse Show was held at the fairgrounds during our show. Steve Britt sold sponsorships to business to offset the expense of renting the space at the fair. On Sunday afternoon we had a Garden Tractor pull for the first time. It was very well attended. Jack and Jane Dhue donated the pedal tractor this year and Ginny Stanley won the tractor. Jack Dhue was on the plaque this year. We gave three $1000.00 scholarships this year thanks to an anonymous member who donated $1000.00 to the fund. The club has since voted to continue giving three scholarships instead of two. The club purchased a Farmall Cub tractor to use as advertisement. Our dinner was November 14th at the Harrington Fire House. Joe and Larry Fuller donated a Farmall F-20 Collector's Edition pedal tractor for our 2010 show.
Our 2010 show was on June 11-13 at the Delaware State Fair Grounds. The Kidsfest and Quarter Horse Show was also the same weekend. Dallas and Harold Fry with their truck and tractors were on the plaque, flyers and advertisements. Larry Fuller who donated the pedal tractor for the raffle was on the buttons. Glen Mc Dowell's International Model M 1-1/2 horsepower gas engine was the show engine.We had beautiful weather and 159 antique tractors registered at the show. Our entertainment was the best ever. Ed Kee, Delaware Secretary of Agriculture was present to help present the three $1000.00 scholarships to the recipients. This year's winners were Noah Vincent from Laurel, DE., Lauren Nickerson from Hartly, DE., and Logan Bishop from Felton, DE.. Secretary Kee spoke to the group about the importance of a good education and that the agriculture field has great potential for new graduates. He asked that the club continue promoting agriculture and education.We had a consignment auction at the Show on Saturday, and were pleased with the results. Plans are to have another auction next year.This year the club had their first calendar made with club members tractors for each month. It was an 18 month calendar and sold for $6.00 or 2 for $10.00.The flea market was improved that year with more spaces and better items for sale. We are hoping next year will bring more vendors and more selections for the buyer.The Eastern Shore Stock Garden Tractor Pulling Association had another pull on Sunday and asked to be invited back next year.
As of 2011 our show was located at the Georgetown Speedway in Georgetown, Delaware which provided us with the opportunity for expanding the show. Until finding somewhere that was more comfortable for the members of the club.
In 2014 we moved our show to Ross Mansion and Plantation at 23669 Ross Station Rd. Seaford, DE 19973. This was our first year having a two day show. Show dates were June 13th and 14th, 2014. The Mansion was open for tours for a small fee.
As of today we are still having our show at Ross Mansion and Plantation. All member of the club as well as our guests seem to love the relocation and are happy with the turn out each year.
We hope so see you at next years show!
First State Antique Tractor Club, Inc.