Bradley family builds old iron tradition with annual hay days.
Bill Mellett is partially responsible for resurrecting friend Parker Uhlman’s McCormick hay press once they pulled it out of a local barn.
Part of the fun – and the only scheduled event – at the Bradley family reunion is a parade through the campground and around this hay meadow that also doubles as a grass landing strip for a few family planes. Lester Bradley leads the way with a passel of kids in tow.
Ralph Bradley (right) and friend Gary Thomas give Ralph’s son-in-law, Bryan Rineer (left), a hand with Ralph’s old Wright thickness planer. The trio is using Bryan’s 1939 Allis-Chalmers Model B, which originally belonged to his grandfather in Pennsylvania.
This trio had a ball shelling corn with this hand-cranked outfit. The cast iron Rumsey & Co. Burball sheller belongs to Lester’s nephew, Elie Roy, and it is always a big hit at the show.
Olivia Soucy is a proud third-generation rider on this lovely little Allis-Chalmers pedal tractor. Her great-grandmother, Del Gilman, bought it new for her children and the little machine has survived the ravages of several generations of family and friends, with only one new set of rear tires and some minor repairs.
Dean Roth grew up in Kansas, where hay loaders such as this McCormick-Deering model were used extensively. Dean notes that if it wasn’t literally happening in his own front yard, he might avoid pitching hay all together these days.
Herbert Portigue (his sister is married to Dave Bradley) of Alton, N.H., likes small engines because he can carry them around in the trunk of his car. He came to the family reunion with this miniature brass steam engine and a scale-model Economy.
Zack Mellett (on the rake) enjoys windrowing with this foot-actuated dump rake because he gets to spend time with his dad, Jeff, who is driving the 1951 Farmall Model H. The pair provided Zack’s grandfather, Bill Mellett, with enough loose hay to put an old hay press through its paces.
This lovely and unusual 1925 Holt Caterpillar M-35 farm crawler is Richard Hallberg’s pride and joy. The little machine drew plenty of attention at its unveiling after a yearlong restoration.