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Antique tractors plow ahead with weekend entertainment

Antique farm equipment collectors got their motors running and headed out on the highway, or at least Park Avenue, during the 12th annual Lawrence County Ironmasters Antique Show this weekend.

More than 100 exhibitors participated in the event at the Ironton Hills Shopping Center near State Route 93 and U.S. 52 in Ironton on Friday and Saturday. Antique engines and tractors were on display, and events like the “kiddy pedal tractor pull” and the tractor parade kept the visitors entertained.

Rick Bentley, attorney for Wolfe & Bentley Attorneys-At-Law, stepped outside his office on Center Street to view the parade with his secretary’s son, Matthew Sexton, 7.

“They’re loud,” Sexton said. “I like the red ones.”

Bentley said he watched the parade last year too.

“I liked seeing the old ones,” Bentley said. “It’s interesting that people preserve them.”

Don Mootz, one of the coordinators of the show, had some antiques of his own to share.

“A lot of this equipment was used on farms in Lawrence County,” Mootz said. “I have equipment here that I grew up with.”

Mootz said a lot of the equipment is from the 1920s and 1930s, with some of it being even older than that.

Mootz said the weekend was a success.

“Everything is on schedule,” he said. “Friday evening we had a pretty big crowd. On Saturday, the ‘Kiddy tractor pull’ brings a big crowd.”

Mootz said the visitors have been all ages.

“The majority are older,” Mootz said. “The younger ones are interested in seeing how it was done before their time.”

Billy Cooper, 76, of Irvine, Ky., said he has brought antiques to this show for four or five years.

“I go to 18, 19, maybe 20 different shows a year.”

Cooper had a model man and woman made of wood at his tent that both moved with the help of a modern DC motor running off of a 1917 Delco power plant.

The man figure appeared to be sawing a piece of wood and the woman was supposed to be churning butter.

Cooper also had a display of almost 250 antique shucking pegs used for shucking corn. He said he started that collection after buying two of them at a yard sale for $1 each. He said the woman selling them didn’t know what they were.

“I just like to do it,” Cooper said. “I worked hard all my life and I just like it. I’ve always been interested in motors.”

Wayne Crank, 54, of South Point, was at the show with his grandson, Carl Lee McKenzie.

“This is the first time we’ve came here to it,” Crank said. “We took him to Bob Evans last year and he rode then and loved them.”

“It’s good,” Carl Lee, 6, said. “All of them are my favorites. I want to ride them.”

While he didn’t get to ride, he did get to sit on a red 1936 McCormick Deering Farmall tractor, and have his picture taken.

The tractor belonged to Frankie Chapman, 48, of Chesapeake, who was an exhibitor at the show for the first time this year.

“I’ve got three,” Chapman said. “They’re just old machines. My next-door neighbor got me started. The ones I’ve got were in the family years ago.

“They’re habit-forming,” Chapman said.