Bristol, New Brunswick Antique Tractor Shows

Antique Power Days in Bristol, New Brunswick, celebrates local traditions and proud heritage.

| November 2012

Most antique tractor shows mirror their community. Antique Power Days in Bristol, New Brunswick, Canada, is a classic example of that. In an area where agriculture and logging are entwined into a proud heritage, Antique Power Days is an apt reflection of a very unique place.

Located on the St. John River, Bristol has long been the center of a thriving farm community, just as it supported dozens of lumber operations in the nearby forests. In established local tradition, more than a few farmers headed to the woods to work in lumber camps until late March, then returned for spring planting. In Bristol, the old saying goes, a man had to be half-farmer, half-woodsman to survive.

Held on June 16, 2012, the 8th annual Antique Power Days drew exhibitors whose displays showcased local traditions and visitors who relished a look at the past. “It really began as a way for the collecting community to get together and put on a display,” says Coordinator Steve Patterson, Greenfield, New Brunswick. “This part of New Brunswick has a rich farming and lumbering heritage. Growing potatoes and cutting timber was how many folks made a living.”

Many exhibitors are members of the Old Flywheel Guys, a local tractor and engine club. “It’s great to have them here,” Steve says. “People enjoy walking among the collections and the guys love to answer questions and swap stories.”

Oliver 660 is another shade of green

Many antique tractors today rarely see daylight other than when they are displayed at shows. This gathering, however, included more than a few tractors that are still called upon to perform an honest day’s work. Among them was an Oliver 660 holding its own next to several Farmalls.

Ralph Carpenter, Richmond Corner, New Brunswick, is the original owner of the 1960 Oliver 660. Bringing the 660 to Bristol was a bit of a homecoming, he says, since the Oliver was purchased there in 1961. “George Marich, owner of a local hardware store, sold me that Oliver,” he explains. “I watched for a year and no one bought the 660. I was just a young guy but I was dead set on that Oliver. So I showed up with a truck to haul it home and I started talking to George and I kept talking all day. We worked out a deal and you know something? I didn’t pay a cent for a year. It was a different world back then.”