Treasured Collection Sold

Treasured collection of Cockshutt and Massey Harris antique tractors and antique farm equipment sold in Maryland

| October 2000

He was known as the tractor doctor. 

For more than 25 years, McComas Albaugh collected, fixed and restored antique tractors at the family dairy farm in Union Bridge, Md. His sudden death on May 10, 1999, at the age of 66, came just days before his biennial open house when he traditionally welcomed friends, neighbors and collectors to share his enthusiasm for the care and preservation of antique farm equipment. The show went on as planned, with a memorial service added to honor his name and his role in the world of collecting and restoration.

Fifteen months later, Round Spring Farm was again host to a large crowd of collectors as who came together for the day-long auction of his treasured collection.

There were more than 60 tractors. Many were expertly restored, while others waited for care and attention from a new owner. The names Massey Harris and Cockshutt were front and center, but other makes were also represented, including Case, John Deere, Avery and International Harvester Cub. In addition, an extensive display of equipment (much of it featuring Massey Harris and Cockshutt logos) included combines, plows, mowers, planters, balers, binders and pickers. A collection of tractor memorabilia included literature, farm toys, signs and mementos.

"They say this is the best collection of Cockshutt and Massey Harris on the East Coast," said Joyce Albaugh, McComas's wife of more than 40 years. "McComas used to go to shows, but it got too expensive, so we had open houses every other year instead and it was wonderful. People came from all over. He corresponded with everyone all over the world about the equipment, and they contacted him. He knew everything about old tractors."

The auction crowd came from far and near, with more than 500 potential bidders signing up to take an active part in the proceedings. Many were from surrounding communities in Maryland and Pennsylvania who remembered Albaugh with respect and affection. Others had traveled from as far as Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin and Illinois to be a part of the event and to make one last connection with the tractor doctor. Some took copious notes on equipment that caught their collector's eye, while others just enjoyed the cheerful companionship of those with similar interests.