Old Plow Display Panorama
(Page 2 of 3)
Once the display was launched, it generated its own leads. Friends brought him plows and alerted him to prospects. Elmer put a few miles on the pickup chasing plows. “I’ve gone as far as 500 miles for a plow,” he admits.
After a period of trial and error, he’s settled on a system for the display. Following restoration, each plow is mounted atop a short pole. In the summer, the grass is trimmed around every last one. “The kids never much liked the weed whacking,” he says. Truth be told, Elmer’s not so keen on it himself. “I’ve bumped my head on plow handles a lot during weed whacking,” he says. Whether it’s the memory of summer’s toil or simply a matter of aesthetic preferences, he especially likes the view in winter. “They look really sharp when they’re about half-covered in snow,” he says.
Saving farm history
Today, Elmer and his sons farm 4,000 acres in an operation substantially different from the farm he grew up on. “Dad had a walk-behind plow,” he says, “International, I think. I remember him plowing. I drove the horses when we loaded hay. He farmed 80 acres and milked cows by hand at three farms. In those days you had to work or you didn’t have shoes. Peas, lima beans, sweet corn — we picked all that by hand for a canning factory at Owosso.”
If he had it to do over again, Elmer says, he’d take a different tack with the display. “If I knew then what I know now, I don’t think I would do it again,” he says. “I’ve got a lot of money tied up in this; I should have been buying land.” But his argument lacks conviction, especially when he takes a long look at the display lit up at sunrise. “Well, it’s about history too,” he admits. “If I hadn’t saved them, they’d all have gone to the junkyard.” FC
For more information: Elmer Schneider, 18072 S. Corunna Rd., Chesaning, MI 48616.
Leslie McManus is the editor of Farm Collector. Email her at email@example.com.
Read more about old plows in Sulky vs. Gang: Different Plows, Different Chores, and admire unique yard art in Artist in Iron Creates Art from Old Farm Tools and Scrap Iron Sculpture.