Collection Showcases Handmade Implements and Farm Tools
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The light, which Buck says was once shiny, was made of whatever was available, probably an old pan of some kind. Powered by kerosene, it has three cotton wicks which, when lit, provide enough light to fish at night. “We’d go down to the crick at night,” Buck recalls. “You’d set up the light and you’d take your gigging stick, and you’d get eels and suckers. In a couple of hours, you could get enough to eat for a couple of days. Eels is tough: you skin ’em and fry ’em.”
The handmade items are just a small fraction of Buck’s massive collection, most of which does not fall into neat categories. There’s a corner overflowing with blacksmith tools, including an outsize pair of bellows. There are harness and hames for horses, and yokes for oxen, dating to a time before tractors. There are shelves of carpenter’s tools, including an awesome selection of planes. There are antique tractors, pieces of a locally-built farm wagon, and farm implements in every state of repair.
“I had this building put up because the house was full, and the farm buildings were all full,” he says. “I got some stuff in other places, but all the best stuff is here.”
While many of the items were saved by Buck himself, others have come from auctions and donations.
“A lot of people have brought me things,” he says. “They say to me: ‘You keep it – I got no place to put it,’ so I take it. I used to go to the sales, but I can’t go anymore. I just give out.”
Buck is happy to show off his collection, but visitors should make an appointment. A sign-in book by the door of his museum is testament to the many people who have stopped to visit what has become a piece of Maryland history.
Ethel Gladhill, Buck’s wife of 67 years, has her own view of her husband’s hobby.
“I thought he was off his rocker when he started it,” she says. “I never thought it would expand to where it is. He gets stuff from all over ... books and such. It’s sharing a common interest. But it gives him something to do, and gets him out of the house. It’s cheap entertainment.” FCJill Teunis is a freelance writer who has lived in Damascus, Md., for 35 years. She enjoys writing about communities, their residents and history.
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