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

  • A collectible cast iron seat
    A collectible cast iron seat from the collection of Lawrence Lord, Alexandria, Maine.
  • A collection of dairy items
    A collection of dairy items – milk cans, milking machine and cream separator – displayed by Wilsey Lawrence and Ralph Nickerson, Coldwater, Mich.
  • A collection of hurricane and railroad kerosene lanterns
    A collection of hurricane and railroad kerosene lanterns.
  • A colorful hog oiler
    A colorful hog oiler.
  • A still
    A still displayed by Buzz Smith, Key Largo, Fla.
  • Antique washing machines
    Antique washing machines from the collection of Glen Lesnet.
  • Rope-making machine
    Rope-making machine from the collection of Betty Beegle.
  • Printed burlap bags and gunny sacks
    Printed burlap bags and gunny sacks.
  • Hay carriers and forks
    Hay carriers and forks used to unload loose hay from wagon to hay mow.
  • A variety of corn husking pegs, hooks and gloves
    A variety of corn husking pegs, hooks and gloves.
  • A dairy centrifuge used to test butterfat content in raw milk
    A dairy centrifuge used to test butterfat content in raw milk, displayed by George and Pat Spilios, Rockledge, Fla.
  • Collectible spark plugs
    Collectible spark plugs.
  • Wrench-type and noose-type hog holders
    Wrench-type and noose-type hog holders, shown by Joe Jessup.
  • Hog-ringing pliers and snouters
    Hog-ringing pliers and snouters displayed by Joe Jessup, Centralia, Ill.
  • A collection of rotary and reel gas-powered lawnmowers
    A collection of rotary and reel gas-powered lawnmowers displayed by Bob Martin.
  • Colorful hog oilers
    Colorful hog oilers shown by Joe Jessup.
  • Wrench collection
    Wrench collection displayed by Dennis Bechtol.
  • Wood pencil collection
    Dennis Bechtol’s wood pencil collection, featuring pencils given away as promotional pieces by tractor dealers and dealers of other farm-related equipment and services.
  • Small boat engines
    Small boat engines displayed by George Wallen, Thompson, Conn., and Connie Nash, Sebring, Fla.
  • Homemade lye soap
    Homemade lye soap made by Katherine Lesnet.
  • Hand-crank corn shellers
    Hand-crank corn shellers.
  • Hay carriers and forks
    Hay carriers and forks used to unload loose hay from wagon to hay mow.
  • Hog scrapers used during butchering to remove hair
    Hog scrapers used during butchering to remove hair, from the collection of Joe Jessup.
  • Cast iron seats
    Cast iron seats
  • An unusual display of cast iron seats. The seats are stored inside the trailer during transport and displayed on the outer wall during the show
    An unusual display of cast iron seats. The seats are stored inside the trailer during transport and displayed on the outer wall during the show. This collection belongs to Lawrence Lord, Alexandria, Maine.
  • A collection of steam engine oilers, whistles and related pieces.
    A collection of steam engine oilers, whistles and related pieces.
  • Tools are an ever-popular category.
    Tools are an ever-popular category.

  • A collectible cast iron seat
  • A collection of dairy items
  • A collection of hurricane and railroad kerosene lanterns
  • A colorful hog oiler
  • A still
  • Antique washing machines
  • Rope-making machine
  • Printed burlap bags and gunny sacks
  • Hay carriers and forks
  • A variety of corn husking pegs, hooks and gloves
  • A dairy centrifuge used to test butterfat content in raw milk
  • Collectible spark plugs
  • Wrench-type and noose-type hog holders
  • Hog-ringing pliers and snouters
  • A collection of rotary and reel gas-powered lawnmowers
  • Colorful hog oilers
  • Wrench collection
  • Wood pencil collection
  • Small boat engines
  • Homemade lye soap
  • Hand-crank corn shellers
  • Hay carriers and forks
  • Hog scrapers used during butchering to remove hair
  • Cast iron seats
  • An unusual display of cast iron seats. The seats are stored inside the trailer during transport and displayed on the outer wall during the show
  • A collection of steam engine oilers, whistles and related pieces.
  • Tools are an ever-popular category.

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.