Well-equipped

STOCKTON – The 40th annual Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show was held at 4578 Cemetery Road in Stockton over the weekend. The show featured restored antique trucks, tractors, and engines. Events included a silent auction, a parade, and a tractor pull in which tractor drivers hauled dead weight with their vehicles and competed against each other.

The Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Association was founded in the 1970s. The first shows were held at the Ellery Fireman’s grounds, and then the show moved to the Firemen’s Fraternity grounds in Stockton. In 2003, the CCAEA bought 17 acres from the Firemen’s Fraternity, where the show has continued today.

Hap Perry, an army veteran and former president of the CCAEA, was present. When he bought the land on which the show is held, it was a cornfield.

He is proud that, except for the museum which was built by the Amish, all the pavilions and structures on the land were built by his crew. “We work all year, and we’re proud of it,” he said.

“A lot of our stuff starts out burned up and rusted in the woods. We find it and restore it. It’s always fun,” he added.

According to Perry, five or six high school honors students participate in community service at the equipment show every year.

Jeff Bugler showed off the only motor-powered picnic table in the world. It features a grill disguised as a Chevy V8 engine, an operating 20 horsepower Kohler engine, and a steering wheel. He also showed a 1949 Ford half-ton pickup, powered by a Jaguar V12 engine.

Jim Delcamp, a member of the equipment show since its founding 40 years ago, showed off his 1950 Allis-Chalmers tractor, among five of his other tractors. The tractor cultivated many acres of tomatoes on Route 20 in Brocton, and was restored in 2012.

“We’ve had a very good week,” Delcamp said. “The rain has held off.”

Delcamp was raised on a farm and began to restore equipment when he was 12 years old.

Linda Fairbanks, who represented the Maple Producers of the Chautauqua County region, has been running a pancake stand at the equipment show for 10 years, selling pancakes and other maple products. Having served 300 breakfasts, she is satisfied with her sales.

“It’s great how family-oriented we are. This show isn’t just for men who like to see the toys, but it’s also for the kids, the teenagers and even the girls,” she said.

Fairbanks also remarked that there was no pulled pork or hotdogs for sale, a change for the show in recent years. The Stockton Fire Department provided barbecue chicken.

There was also a blacksmith shop, a print shop, a gas station, a flea market, and a museum. Higgley Nobles tended the blacksmith shop, which made trinkets and gave them to people passing by. The equipment show prints all of its own paperwork at the print shop.

Dawn Ossont, a mother of three, ran the “tractor petting zoo,” a play-pen for the children. She started four years ago because there was nothing for children to do at the equipment show.

“There are some kids without grandparents who just want to touch a tractor, or sit on it,” she said. “The children are nervous at first, but once they watch and try for themselves, they never want to go home.”

Next year’s show will be held Aug. 14, 15, and 16. It will feature steel-wheeled tractors and equipment, as well as Stover engines.