Get a glance at the ‘old days’ of agriculture

of Northwest Agricultural Show A view of the Antique Powerland tractor display is seen at last year's Northwest Ag Show in Portland, Ore.

Farmers and others who come to the Northwest Agricultural Show are able to view the latest in farm equipment. For some, however, it’s the antique farm equipment that is a big draw.

“People really love this stuff,” said Al Hall, marketing and advertising director of Antique Powerland.

Hall counts himself among those attracted to old farm equipment. The first time he visited Antique Powerland in Brooks, Oregon, it was during the annual Great Oregon Steam-Up.

“I went nuts,” he said. “It was really exciting.”

That was 1998. Today Hall sits on the Antique Powerland Museum Association’s Board of Directors in addition to serving as its marketing and advertising director.

He said many of the 15 museums located on Powerland’s 62-acre site bring equipment to the Northwest Ag Show, marking it as the Powerland Association’s biggest display outside the annual Steam-Up.

Typically included each year are old John Deere tractors from the Oregon Vintage Machinery Museum; old Caterpillar tractors, displayed by the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Museum; vintage cars and motorcycles, displayed by Northwest Vintage Car and Motorcycle Museum; steam tractors, displayed by the Western Steam Friends Association; old locomotives and other antique power equipment.

In all, the museums typically bring more than 100 pieces of equipment to the show.

“We fill up half of Hall C,” he said.

Opened in 1970, Antique Powerland has a colorful history dating back to when several antique farm equipment enthusiasts decided to house and display their equipment at a centralized site.

The association has been run strictly by volunteers until last year, when the Antique Powerland Museum Association hired Pam Vorachek, formerly of the Gilbert House Children’s Museum in Salem, as its first executive director. The association used grant funds from the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust to hire Vorachek.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays in April through September. It also is open in March and October on Wednesdays through Sundays, depending on the weather.

The Great Oregon Steam-Up is held the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August each year.

Hall said to look for a robust Steam-Up in 2015. The association will be celebrating its 45th anniversary, and Hall, as enthused as ever by antique power equipment, likely will be there, and smiling.

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