CLAYPOOL — Threats of inclement weather didn’t hold off the hundreds of visitors to the Echoes of the Past event Aug. 6 and 7.
Adults and kids of all ages came out to enjoy all the activities and great food provided. The club had 97 antique and vintage tractors on display and 17 garden tractors for their viewing pleasure.
Jim Ellison won best of show in the tractor division with his 1941 John Deere H and Mark Shafer took the top award in the garden tractor division with his 1968 Wheel Horse 8 H Commando. Kids enjoyed the addition of the treasure coin hunt, finding quarters and silver dollars or winning prizes after finding the golden coins hidden in the threshed wheat. The corn maze, tube slide and tractor driving experience were huge hits with the kids as well.
A horse-drawn wagon ride, provided by Sam Hedington, gave those in attendance a new experience in what life in the past may have been like. Tractor pulls kicked off Friday evening around 6 p.m. to a full capacity crowd. Tractors of all makes and models, antique and vintage, made their way down the track. To the surprise of the crowd, many were pulling much farther than they would have been expected to pull. The crowd was treated to a pull by a 1968 M35a2 Kaiser Army Jeep and a 1957 homemade tractor named “Ernie”. If you have never attended one of the club events to see Ernie and learn it’s history, that needs to be added to your bucket list. It is a very interesting story and an even more interesting piece of equipment. Thank you to Studebaker Farms for providing the sled and manning the pull. Delbert Slaybaugh, Nappanee, was on hand with the dyno machine providing insight into the power the antique tractors.
The tractor drive on Saturday included 45 tractors, four wagons and a Jeep Army truck and lasted 12 miles through the countryside of Kosciusko County.
All of the visitors were treated to great food provided by Someplace Else Saloon on Friday and Wheels on Fire on Saturday. Proceeds from Friday night went to the Backpack Program at Claypool Elementary School and proceeds from Saturday benefitted local cancer patients in Kosciusko and Fulton Counties. Various flavors of homemade ice cream were enjoyed throughout the two days of the event.
The club would like to thank those who helped sponsor this particular event. Without their support, the club could not do what they do to help the youth in our area. Thank you to Ransbottom Excavating, Complete Fleet. TTP-Pierceton, McAllister Machinery-Ft Wayne, Wentzel Insurance-Warsaw, TTG-Wabash, Kerlin Motors-Silver Lake, Poet-North Manchester, Ron Smith- Indianapolis, Silveus Insurance-Warsaw, Lewis Salvage-Warsaw, Packerton United Methodist Church, CFS-Milford and the Silver Lake Police and Fire Departments.