|By CINDY LADAGE
PARIS, Ill. — Just seven miles from Paris, Ill. is an Allis Chalmers Museum. Comprised of three main buildings: one is a dealership-type display, one of AC toys and one of AC tractors, Dale Haymaker has created an AC oasis.
Dale’s father, James F. Haymaker, started it all.
“Dad bought an AGCO dealership in Dana, Ind., just 15 miles from here in April of 1995,” Haymaker said.
The dealership had been in business since 1936 and already had strong family connections with Dale’s brother-in-law working at the dealership as a mechanic.
His father’s purchase was short-lived. He died just six months later in October 1995. After his death, Dale’s sister and brother-in-law bought it and ran it until four or five years ago. When they decided to sell, Haymaker decided a museum would be a great way to share his collection.
A retired farmer and mail carrier, Haymaker decided he had the time to devote and opened the museum. His wife, Debie, didn’t mind as long as it didn’t interfere with their Haflinger horse farm.
“Anything AC, I can connect with the horses I can get by Deb,” Haymaker joked.
While he rents out most of his farmland, Haymaker set aside six acres to raise hay for his Haflingers.
“I used AC equipment to put up hay,” he said. “It is good hay around here. Until recently, I had never seen an AC square baler. I planted oats for a cover crop. I made three cuttings and really could have made four.”
The first of the three buildings in Haymaker’s AC museum is comprised of a replica of a 1950s Allis Chalmers dealership. Filled with hundreds of old stock parts, plus mini-bikes, generators, electric motors, a golf cart, terra Tiger, several snowblowers, power units, and lots and lots of memorabilia and literature, the display has many items coming originally from the Dana, Indiana dealership.
One such item that was quite expensive, but is sentimental to Haymaker is a clock.
“The man that sold it to me was a mechanic in the dealership,” he said. “He had a tractor repair shop and he had the clock.”
One unusual item included in Haymaker’s collection is the Allis Chalmers Terra tiger. The text Haymaker has to accompany it is worth repeating. “Allis Chalmers announced production of the Terra tiger in January 1968. It was a six-wheel drive unit with a watertight fiberglass body and was built for sports and recreation, commercial and military markets. Speeds up to 25 mph were possible on land with a 4 mph possible on water. Production ended in 1971. Had the company developed this machine even five years later, it might have met with greater success.”
The second building in the museum is a toy room filled with over one hundred toys including sixteen Allis Chalmers pedal tractors from the 1950 C to the AGCO tractor There is just one criteria on his toy collection like his literature, memorabilia and tractors, it must be AC. Of all of his toys, one is rather special to Haymaker. Haymaker explained, “When Dad passed away, I bought a pedal replica of the first tractor he bought which was a Row Crop WD-45.”
The third building holds Haymakers tractors and AC implements. The building holds over 60 Allis-Chalmers tractors from the first 1914 1018, of which only thirteen are known to exist, to the 1957 WD-45 with most variations of each model.
Other older AC models Haymaker has include an AC 18-30 which was made from 1918-1921 and a Model L 15-25 which was made from 1920-1927.
“I restore about three or four tractors a year,” Haymaker added.
In 2005, he had restored four. One really nice restoration job on a tractor that Dan (Doc) Smith did is Haymaker’s Allis Chalmers Model UC hi-crop.
“Built between 1937-1953, most of these went to Thomson Machinery in Thibodaux, La. after AC discontinued the cane model in 1953. Thomson purchased all UC components from Allis Chalmers,” he said.
“Approximately 1540 Model UC cane tractors were produced.”
Haymaker’s favorite tractor is the family tractor. This is the WD-45 that his father bought new on May 3, 1955 at the Ace Implement Co. Haymaker has the original canceled check showing the tractor and a 3-14 snap-coupler plow cost $2,000.
To contact Haymaker to schedule a tour of the museum, call 217-275-3428. The Allis Chalmers Museum is located east on U.S. Highway 150.
This farm news was published in the Feb. 1, 2006 issue of Farm World.