Break Out the Plows: Idaho Club Puts Vintage Iron to Work

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Idaho's Panhandle Antique Tractor & Engine Club's first-ever Plow Day was held on a fine spring day, with the Selkirk Range in the background.
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Dennis Hamman (in the driver’s seat) drove his good-looking 1957 Allis-Chalmers D-14 with 3-point grain drill six miles to the Plow Day. Royce Ford (right) and his brother Nash helped with the Allis restoration. All three live in Kootenai, Idaho.
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Dennis Stubbner, Spokane, Wash., on his Farmall BN with 2-bottom plow, headed for the field.
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Ken Shadel, Sandpoint, powers through the furrow at the wheel of his restored 1947 CO-OP Model 30 pulling a 1944 John Deere 2-bottom plow.
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Club President Lee Burnett made the first furrow with his Farmall H and trip plow.
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Ted Schuster with his John Deere MC and disc, which he used to break up newly plowed furrows.
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Club member Don Eckelberry, Noxon, Mont., on the job with his 1944 Farmall W-4.
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Club members wait in line for their turn to plow.

Vintage iron roared to life at the first-ever Plow Day produced by the Panhandle Antique Tractor & Engine Club, Sandpoint, Idaho, in May.

In lieu of an annual tractor drive along rural roads and farmsteads, the club opted to tune up tractors, hook up plows and sharpen coulters for a day in the dirt.

More than 24 tractors of varied makes and models were showcased in the event held in northern Idaho’s Selle Valley. Named for a pioneer settler, the area is bordered by two tree-covered mountain ranges with peaks rising to 7,000 feet above sea level.

The scenic valley is home to the Panhandle club, which has a membership of more than 50 old iron enthusiasts. The club meets monthly, generally at members’ shops where tractor and engine projects are viewed and discussed.

The May Plow Day was held at a hayfield long overdue for plowing, discing, harrowing and reseeding. The event opened with a safety meeting and instructions presented by Lee Burnett, club president, and Jim Thompson, secretary/treasurer, both of Sandpoint.

Participants were told to set plow depth between 6 and 8 inches so furrows would be uniform. “Six to 8 inches,” said one man, “my Cub won’t plow that deep!” Good-natured ribbing followed. “Are you bragging or complaining?” responded another.

Plowing was soon underway, with Lee making the first furrow with his Farmall H and 2-bottom trip plow. Five hours later, the group (including guests from the Spokane Valley Tractor Club in eastern Washington) had plowed about six acres. “We gained four new members today, and we actually had about twice as many tractors and twice as many people than what we expected,” Lee said afterward. “We’re already planning another Plow Day for next year.” FC

For more information: Lee Burnett, 621 French Rd., Sandpoint, ID 83864; (208) 263-4079 (home); (208) 610-5871 (cell phone).
Cecil Hicks is a freelance writer from Sandpoint, Idaho.
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