Small Collectibles Shine at Pioneer Park Days

Good things come in small packages as collectors show off collections of small collectibles at Pioneer Park Days

| July 2011

At Pioneer Park Days in Zolfo Springs, Fla., a special area is set aside for small collectibles. The area includes a park, campground and nature preserve. Held in late winter, the event is one of the oldest and largest shows in the Southeast. The 2011 show was the park’s 43rd annual event. 

Highlights from the 2011 show included about 400 exhibits of tractors, gas engines, steam engines and farm equipment. Additionally, there were antique cars and trucks, a railroad steam engine and several buildings dedicated to museum items. The Florida Frontiersmen set up a camp to demonstrate pioneer living, cooking with a dutch oven, wood burning, basket weaving, pioneer toys, and hands-on instruction in making and playing a Native American flute. More than 500 vendor booths offered tractor parts, tools, produce and more.

As with all shows, the displays change from year to year. But you will always find a large selection of exhibits and exhibitors willing to share their collecting experience. Among the small collectibles at Pioneer Park Days:

Collecting corn items

Prior to World War II, most corn in this country was picked by hand. Several companies manufactured corn husker/shredders similar to threshing machines. They were expensive and took a lot of horsepower and manpower to operate. Interestingly, the husker/shredder and husking rolls became the main components of the modern corn picker.

Corn item collectors have a wide range of items to choose from. Although many farmers husked corn directly from rows, others harvested corn to use as fodder for livestock. In that case, stalks were cut, gathered into bundles and shocked for later processing. For the collector, there are many varieties of husking hooks, corn knives, shock starters, shock tiers, fodder cutters, ear corn driers, kernel graders, single- and double-row hand corn planters, shellers, grinders and grist mills.

The mortgage lifter

Hogs were one of the most important animals on the American farm. They were the main source of food and cooking oil. Until the mid-1960s, hogs were referred to as the “mortgage lifter” because they were prolific, produced two farrows each year, grew fast and were rather easy to raise.