Delmarva agriculture celebrated at Antique Tractor Club Show

By Don Allen

The rich history of agriculture on Delmarva was celebrated this past weekend when the First State Antique Tractor Club brought its annual Tractor, Car and Truck Show to the grounds of the Governor Ross Plantation. This is the fourteenth year the club has honored and showcased our rural heritage but the first year the show has been held in Seaford.

Since its inception the showcase has been looking for a permanent home. The show started at Yoder farm and moved to Delaware State Fairgrounds. When that site became unaffordable the club migrated to the Georgetown Speedway.

Their three years there saw diminishing attendance so they approached the Seaford Historical Society about moving to the Governor Ross site.

Despite a threat of storms, the show opened at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 13. Over the next two days, attendees were treated to tractor parades, frying pan and wrench toss competitions and live entertainment, while they were able to inspect a large array of restored antique farm machinery, trucks, cars, small engines and early household appliances.

Exhibits shared the show grounds with a variety of food vendors offering everything from seafood and sausage sandwiches to soft pretzels and homemade ice cream.

A large flea market lined the mansion's north drive offering bargains in tools, hardware and collectables and throughout the grounds were exhibits and demonstrations showcasing life on the farm in days gone by.

The highlight of Friday's show was the presentation of $3,000 in scholarships funded by the tractor club and presented by Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee.

Throughout the day on Saturday the Island Creek Garden Tractor Pullers held a competition on a course located on the northeast corner of the property. Their beautifully prepared, highly modified Cub Cadet, John Deere and Case garden tractors put on quite a show.

Last November, the First State Antique Tractor Club requested a three year commitment from the Seaford Historical Society to hold their show at the plantation each June through 2016. Club officials were very pleased with the surroundings and the turnout this past weekend and several voiced the hope that they have found a permanent home.

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