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This Week's Poll



4-17-19

Blast from the Past
-Stephen Foster Antique Tractor and Engine Show big hit

Kade Blount, nearly three, of Greenville, cannot wait to drive a tractor some day. He is explaining how much he likes tractors in the above photo, and that his Papa has a tractor too! Ashley and Matthew Blount of Greenville, drove nearly an hour and a half to bring their son, Kade, to the Stephen Foster Antique Tractor & Engine Show in White Springs. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


Many antique tractors were on display at Stephen Foster during the Antique Tractor and Engine Show recently. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


Tractor enthusiasts enjoyed a wide array of antique tractors on display at Stephen Foster during the Antique Tractor and Engine Show recently. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


By Tami Stevenson

Visitors came from far and wide to attend the 31st Annual Antique Tractor and Engine Show at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs recently. It is a family-friendly, fun event for all ages. Children enjoyed wagon rides and train rides throughout the park while others tried their skill at fishing for hula hoops on the lawn in front of the museum and other kids games like the watermelon seed spitting contest, 3-legged racing, squirt gun sports and other games set up around the park to make it an enjoyable time for all ages.
Adults were afforded the opportunity to put away their laptops and cell phones and take a step back in time to a day when one steam or gas powered engine could run anything from a washing machine to a belt-driven saw. Women canned most of their food themselves, washed their clothes in wringer washers and made their own quilts. Most men of this area spent their days working at a turpentine or lumber mill, tilling the ground on their farm, feeding the livestock, mending fences and putting up hay and other crops for the winter.


White Springs resident and owner of Marie’s Home Canning, Ethel McDonald, conducted the canning demonstrations for the 3-day event, along with her niece, Debbie Lewis of Tallahassee. McDonald has been canning for as long as she can remember.


“We’ve canned all of our lives. I remember washing the jars as a child.” She explained her mother started the canning business in 1965 and they have been going ever since. She is very well known in the North Florida area for her mayhaw jelly and other preserves. They still grow most of what they can and sell on their farm with 24 mayhaw trees, wild blackberries, pears, figs, and peppers to name a few of the things grown on their farm. Among the other demonstrations included were train displays, turpentine displays and quilting.


The antique tractors (and stars of the event) lined the park and represented over 100 years of ingenuity and innovation. The tractor pulls are always a favorite as tractor enthusiasts enjoy watching the different classes compete.


One may think only the older generation can appreciate how far we have come and enjoy the honest hard work of farming, but that is not the case. First time visitors Matthew and Ashley Blount of Greenville, heard about the event and couldn’t wait to bring their son, Kade, almost three, because he loves everything tractor. His parents drove nearly an hour and a half just to bring him to the tractor show.


“My Papa has a tractor,” Kade exclaimed as he pointed at the John Deere towering over him. He cannot wait to drive a tractor when he grows up.


His mother said, “Once he gets up on the tractor (at home), he doesn’t want to get down. He will almost fall asleep in his dad’s lap before he will get off.” She added he has tractor bedding, tractor clothes and all his toys are tractor related, so when they heard about this event, they had to bring him.


Park officials would like to thank park staff, volunteers and everyone involved in putting the tractor show together and helping it be a success for last 31 years. They are already looking forward to next year’s Antique Tractor and Engine Show that will be held April 2-4, 2020 at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs.


Ethel Mcdonald, owner of Marie’s Home Canning, pauses for a photo during a canning demonstration at Stephen Foster.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


Debbie Lewis, of Tallahassee, points to the mayhaw berries as she explains how they grow them, pick them and make mayhaw jelly.
She came from Tallahassee to help her aunt, Ethel Mcdonald, during a canning demonstration at Stephen Foster.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


Constant companions even on the tractor. “She is always with me,” exclaimed Amy Bailey of Live Oak about their dog, Daisy. “Even at the house when we’re plowing or doing anything. When I get on the tractor, she has to ride with me.”
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


Sammy Green, right, and Brinson Housch, of Lake City, enjoyed trying to get the bean bags through the mouth of the alligator.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson


Antique tractor enthusiasts enjoy seeing the implements just as much as the tractors. -SVT Photo by Mark Stevenson


Antique wringer-washer on display during the Antique Tractor and Engine Show.
-SVT Photo by Mark Stevenson