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Steam, antique tractor and gas engine expo brings crowd
Steam Engine Expo
Philip (front) and Scott Day ride a 1953 Farmall tractor around the Cumming Fairgrounds during the weekend’s Cumming Steam, Antique Tractor & Gas Engine Expo. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

This weekend, an event at the Cumming Fairgrounds brought out a lot of people, noise and fun.

On Friday and Saturday, the Cumming Steam, Antique Tractor & Gas Engine Expo was held at the Cumming Fairgrounds and featured tractors and steam engines of every shape and size.

“Everybody seems to enjoy it,” said Michael Moore, an organizer for the event, on Saturday afternoon. “A lot of families and things are here; the older generation is trying to explain to the younger generation what these machines were used for years and years ago before there was so much electrical power and gas power.”

Moore said the local event was likely the only in the state to feature stream engines every year and had been going on for about 16 years. He said there was a decent turnout for the expo on Saturday despite non-ideal weather.

“[We had] a great crowd for the weather to be this cool … ” he said.

The event featured tractors and steam engines from across the years and serving a variety of functions including antique tractors, lawnmowers, vehicles and more.

Barney Hammond was at the expo with his 1952 Ford 8N tractor, which he brought in memory of a friend.

“Charles Heard and I were best friends, and I bought this tractor years ago and sold it to him and he restored it,” Hammond said. “It’s a six-cylinder, 95-horsepower. They call it a ‘Funk Tractor.’”

The nickname comes from Ford teaming up with the Funk Aircraft Company from Coffeyville, Kansas. The aircraft company produced conversion kits for the standard Ford tractors to increase horsepower for pulling airplanes.

Hammond said he first bought the tractor about 25 years before selling it to Heard, who restored it. After Heard’s passing in 2016, Hammond bought the tractor again at an estate sale and said he is planning to bring it to the show each year in his friend’s memory.

“It looked like we pulled it out of the boneyard, but he did a lot of work to it,” Hammond said. “He worked on it for several months a little at a time and restored it completely.”

Like Hammond, many collectors brought tractors from over the years to show off.

The fairgrounds cotton gin and sawmill were also going full speed. Attendees were also able to purchase clothing, antiques, food and other items from vendors at the event.

“It is so pretty today, and our son is obsessed with all things tractor, so we thought it would be fun to check it out because its Veterans Day and it’s good to be outside with people and enjoy it,” said Heidie Egan, who was at the expo with her husband, Shawn, and children Alex and Julian.

Egan said the family lived in Roswell and never had been to the event before. After finding out about the event online, she said she was impressed with what she saw on Saturday.

“It’s amazing to me that people actually collect these vintage tractors and take such good care of them,” she said. “It’s just really interesting to see it.”