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Indiana antique power show to feature Deere equipment
Indiana Correspondent

ROCHESTER, Ind. — John Deere equipment will be featured at this year’s Fulton County Historical Power Show, June 16-18, at the Fulton County Historical Society grounds four miles north of Rochester on U.S. 31.

The show hosts the Northern Indiana Two-Cylinder Club and the Custom Cub International Summer Convention. Special emphasis will be on the John Deere G.

Also on display will be a variety of tractors, including International Harvester, Farmall, Allis Chalmers, Ford, Case, Minneapolis Moline, Massey Harris, Oliver, Cockshutt and McCormick-Deering.

Members of the Vintage Garden Tractor Club of America from a five-state region will have a special section featuring John Deere tractors along with a homemade tractor shown by Howard Lease, a Rochester collector.

In addition, there will be displays of hit-n-miss engines, a device used to transplant strawberries, combines, trucks, various pieces of farm-related equipment and a miniature train.

Vendors will offer foods, crafts, flea market items and swap parts. Admission is $3 for adults (12 and older), and children 11 and under free. Parking is free and tram rides are available. The grounds are handicapped accessible. Admission to the museum, round barn and a living history village called Loyal, Ind., also is free.

Activities include a parade of trucks and tractors each day at noon. Tractor games - barrel roll, blind driver race, chain in the box, slowest tractor, swinging gate contest and balancing tables - will take place all three days. Kids’ games include a pedal tractor pull, money in the straw and more.

Food vendors will sell hot and cold sandwiches, onion rings, kettle corn, ice cream, elephant ears, cotton candy and drinks. The Historical Society will serve a breakfast buffet daily at 7 a.m. that includes biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, ham, fruit and beverage and will serve lunch of submarine sandwiches and homemade pies in its air-conditioned meeting room.

Featured business this year is Baileys’ Hardware, an 88-year old hardware located in downtown Rochester. They will have an exhibit tent in center field filled with a collection of memorabilia.

For further information and entry forms on the Prince and Princess contest for kids ages 10-14, contact the museum office at 574-223-4436. Contestants will ride in the June 17 noon parade and be interviewed by the judges. Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Friday in the round barn.

Tractor Pulls: The antique light and heavy weight pull will start at 5 p.m. Friday. The team pull starts at 5 p.m. Saturday with two tractors pulling one old-fashioned stone boat. Other contests include a John Henry contest - a tug of war between man and tractor - at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The tractor wins if it pulls the people 20 feet, but they win if they hold the tractor for 10 seconds. A 50/50 pull, which both the driver and tractor are 50 years old or older, will start at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Demonstrations will include baling hay, grinding corn, using burr and shingle mills, operating buzz saws, edgers and sawmills. Entertainment will include the Swingin’ Dudes Round and Square Dance Club on Saturday from 5-8 p.m. in the upper level of the round barn. Dick Burns will be the caller with Dave Talbott as the cuer. Other entertainment will be announced later.

Fulton County Historical Power Assoc.’s 120 members, headed by Dan Peters, president, hail from a number of counties, including Fulton, Pulaski, Marshall, St. Joseph, Kosciusko and Miami.

Those interested in joining, should send $15 dues to Fulton County Historical Power Assoc., c/o FCHS, 37 E. 375 No., Rochester, IN 46975. The association, a branch of the Historical Society, meets on the second Tuesday of each month at the museum.

For more information, contact the club or by calling secretary Melinda Clinger at 574-223-4436 or by e-mailing her at

The website is

John Deere contact
Robert “Skeeter” Daugherty, the John Deere contact person for this year’s show, is a man of many colors. As assistant chief of the Rochester Police Department, he wears blue all day. But when he goes to his rural home after work, he thinks green - John Deere green specifically - unless he happens to be restoring a vintage Oliver, Cockshutt or International tractor.

John Deere, however, is his passion. He began acquiring these tractors in 1989 and quickly had 13. He has since narrowed that number to five. His favorite is a John Deere G, the tractor receiving special emphasis at the 2006 show.

“He also has a room full to toy tractors,” his wife, Shelly, added. She started that collection when she gave him a Waterloo Boy replica some years ago.

Daugherty’s enthusiasm is contagious. Shelly is the detail person - the one who adds decals and final touches. Daughter Taylor, 14, is working on her third tractor, having won both grand champion and reserve champion at the 4-H fair. Eleven-year-old Lauren isn’t as involved as her father and sister, but she has restored a wagon, a tricycle and a scooter.

“The girls abide by the same rule my dad enforced,” Daugherty said. “That is: If you drive it, you have to start it.”

Not only can they start their tractors, they also know how to use a grinder, power washer, sandblaster and paint sprayer. Taylor has rebuilt carburetors and is always ready to help her father in their paint shop - even in off-times when they’re working with something besides green and yellow. Daugherty’s telephone number is 574-223-3031.

This farm news was published in the June 7, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.