25 Pleasant Street Woodstock, Vermont 05091.
Mr. Leary has a collection of one-cylinder engines (horizontal approximately 30 in number), has 25 old gas tractors, mostly John Deeres, and says he needs a Waterloo Boy. He lets 'youngsters' of all ages view his engines for free. He believes that if these artifacts of our past are not preserved, we will all lose a part of our magnificent past. The following is his account of a steam rally he and his wife attended in Ireland.
Last June, Mrs. Leary and I went to Ireland to tour the Republic and look up where my grandfather Leary was from. Motoring from Dublin to Cork on the morning of June 16, I saw a lowbed with three Farmalls on itan A, H, & M. They were painted beautifully except without decals, and I found out later that none were available, so they were hand painted on the tractors. I stopped and talked to a nice gentleman about tractors and he told me he was on the road to a steam and gas tractor rally at Littleton. He told us how to get there, so we went, too
Tractor owned by Mr. Osmond Bennett which he has refused to sell for 250,000 (approximately $285,000). The original purpose of this tractor was to power a dynamo (generator) for emergency lighting at a hospital in Dublin many years ago. You will note the generator on the front. The belt was not connected to the pulley on the side of the steam engine.
It was a beautiful clean bright day with the fields, valleys, and countryside all in their best 'emerald green.' There was a parade led by a 50-piece bagpipe band, then the little pony cart hauling Mr. Donncha O Dulaing and Mr. Osmond Bennett who opened the rally. Following them were the Farmalls, an English Fordson, a few old cars, and then the steam tractors. The sky was darkened by their smoke (soft coal) and a hush fell over the 3000 people in attendance, then a spontaneous thunderous ovation. It was certainly thrilling.
Littleton is a small agricultural community of approximately 1500 to 2000 inhabitants. All the proceeds from the Littleton Rally went to the restoration fund for the local church. As the rally brochure aptly states, 'It is appropriate that the purpose for which this particular rally has been organized is the preservation and restoration of something old, Little Church a church of historical interest and architectural fame.' The community spirit and enthusiasm of all was some experience for Mrs. Leary and myself. We were both born on farms (she in Andover, Massachusetts, and myself in Waterford, Connecticut). We remember the old county fairs from our childhood, and we were both brought back to these memories by this experience in Ireland.