Old Iron Show

| June 2002

When one thinks of a Maryland antique tractor show, one envisions rolling farmland with wooded hills in the background -not a suburban mall. But that is exactly where the Washington County, Md., Antique Tractor Club has been holding its spring shows for the past three years. The Valley Mall in Hagerstown is in a fast-growing area less than 100 miles from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, right next to the 1-70 and 1-81 highway intersection. It's definitely not a rural scene.

'Originally, the Washington County Extension Service invited us to bring our tractors to their show,' said Dave Lowry, the club's vice president. 'But there wasn't room so we decided to go out on our own. We did our first show at the mall from a Wednesday to a Saturday. The second year they invited us to come for the week.' This year's show was March 11-16.

The 120-member club started a decade ago and continues to grow. A second 2002 show will be held Aug. 23-25, at the Washington County Agricultural Center in Hagerstown. The club also has created a special parade float to help promote itself.

Displayed at the mall show, it was topped with a 1936 McCormick-Deering Farmall F-12 tractor, owned and restored by Robert Stoner of Hagerstown.

For Dave Lowry, encouraging recognition of the area's farming heritage is as important as the preservation of his own family's rural history.

'When Dad went to high school, he farmed a farm right where we're standing,' he said as he looked over the family's tractor exhibits. 'We have photos of the farm where the mall parking lot is now.'