Partnership Pays Off
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While much of the construction equipment is club-owned, some is member-owned. â€šÃ'ÃºAs members, we are lucky to be able to keep the larger machines here,â€šÃ'Ã¹ says Dave Chester. â€šÃ'ÃºTheyâ€šÃ'Ã´re safe here and you donâ€šÃ'Ã´t have to haul them anywhere to play with them.â€šÃ'Ã¹
During the summer show, QVEA volunteers run regular shuttles back to the sandbox, where the big attraction is the huge 1953 Northwest Model 80D shovel. This monster of a track-mounted cable digger is powered with a venerable Murphy diesel engine that obligingly belches black smoke into the tree canopy overhead when stripping gravel from the cliff face in front of it. Machines such as this were once found in smaller mines, pits and quarries around the country, where they ruled supreme until the advent of hydraulic excavators and front-end loaders.
Interestingly, some of the largest mining shovels in operation today, though incredibly sophisticated by comparison with the Northwest, still employ winches and cables to run the shovel.
Looking to the future
The fruitful partnership between the QVEA and the Colchester Historical Society, and the success achieved with their seasonal events, has led to an aggressive development plan that will expand the Zagray Farm Museumâ€šÃ'Ã´s role as an area attraction and historical preservation authority. For example, several original Zagray homestead buildings are slated for restoration, including the dairy barn, machine shop, foundry and sawmill. Plans also include construction of a series of buildings to house QVEA machinery and engine collections. The partners also intend to vigorously develop the museumâ€šÃ'Ã´s potential as an educational facility, with an emphasis on working displays. FC
For more information:
-Zagray Farm Museum 2006 Summer Show, July 15-16; Ed Bezanson, (860) 442-5182; www.qvea.org
Oscarâ€šÃ'ÃºHankâ€šÃ'Ã¹ Will III is an old-iron collector, freelance writer and photographer who retired from farming in 1999. He splits his time between his home in Gettysburg, Pa., and his farm in East Andover, N.H. (717) 337-6068; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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