Brownstown antique machinery show draws crowd


For three days, Hank Hansen set up a table full of odds and ends he’s accumulated over the years and displayed them for sale at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Brownstown.

The Seymour man’s miscellaneous items included a variety of tools and equipment including a socket wrench set, fishing lures and a saw.

At one point Saturday, a Freetown man browsing Hansen’s stuff showed some interest in a pair of hatchets.

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“I’ll do the pair for $20,” Hansen told Tony Burdine.

Burdine shook his head yes.

“See, isn’t that nice?” Burdine said.

That deal was just one of many made during the sixth annual Jackson County Antique Machinery Show. The event ran from Thursday through Saturday and offered exhibits, demonstrations, food stands and swap and flea markets.

“I like old tools and antiques and it’s not very often that you get to see something like this in Brownstown,” Burdine said. “You definitely don’t see these kinds of tools in the store.”

Hansen, who has items he’s collected from 35 to 50 years ago, said he enjoyed each day he was out there.

“The people who came by are just fantastic,” he said. “If you have something that you have accumulated, and they can use for not very much money, they appreciate that and it makes me feel good if they can use it.”

Larry Stuckwisch of Tampico also had a display of antiques for sale including a telephone booth, school bells, old seed planters and Raggedy Ann dolls.

He said he attended the first year the event was put on and returned again.

“I think this will grow,” Stuckwisch said. “They are just starting, but I think it will grow.”

Some of the attendees traveled from outside of Jackson County.

Charlie Precht and Bob Amrhein drove about two hours from Connersville.

Precht said he visited last year and had a good experience. Both he and Amrhein, who is a retired farmer of more than 50 years, wanted to see the Bolen garden tractors and the machinery.

“The flea markets are a draw, the tractors are a draw,” Precht said.

Jeremy Hensley visited from Mitchell and was accompanied by his 6-year-old son, Mason. They hauled their red 1939 F14 Farmall. It’s a tractor Hensley said he became interested in because his grandpa had one. Jeremy eventually bought one and fixed it up.

Both Hensley and his son could be seen riding around the fairgrounds on the tractor Saturday afternoon.

“We go to all the local tractor shows that we can,” Hensely said. “This one is pretty big, and we like it. He (Mason) loves tractors.”

Throughout Saturday, there were a variety of activities including tractor pulls and games, a parade and a silent auction. There was also food available and music.

Gary Needler of Seymour, who is secretary-treasurer of the Jackson County Antique Machinery Association, said the main purpose of the event is just like the association’s motto.

“We preserve the past to educate the future,” he said. “That consists of anything from antique farm machinery, automobiles, trucks and cars.”

Dennis Roberson of Spraytown, set up a display of three antique engines dating back to the 1930s — a Leroy, McCormick Deering and a Stover.

He and his wife also had an old corn sheller and a water pump, which his 6-year-old granddaughter Salisha didn’t hesitate to demonstrate. She also showed off her third-place trophy from the event’s pedal tractor pull.

Roberson said the draw to the three-day event is not only the collectable antiques but the friendships made with the others who are set up around him.

“A lot of these people, we just move from show to show,” he said. “We know almost everybody. It’s kind of fellowship more than anything.”

He joked about the difference between the engine displays and the tractors.

“We don’t need to have a crowd; we can just socialize and that’s it,” Roberson said.

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