Thursday, June 23, 2011

Opa's Tractor Museum

West Amana is a tiny little burg right off of "220th Trail", the main drag that runs through 5 of the Amana Colonies.  It's also one of the stops you get with a Heritage Museum family pass.  Since most of the Heritage sites were still closed, we were happy to see that Opa's Tractor Museum was open that Friday we were visiting!  It's an 1883 barn with hand-pegged chestnut beams and a whole lot of memories for farmers young and old.

Can you guess what these little tractors were made out of? *answer below!

The barn is filled with (of course) tractors and other old farm implements.  Mark showed the kids how folks like mine used to pick up & transport hay.  See the tines up top right?  There's also a pulley up at the peak...we have a lot of this kind of stuff in our living room!  
Those tines would come in handy for picking up unruly kids, too

Opa must have had an affinity for Minnie Mo's  (Minneapolis Molines) because there were a bunch of 'em!

We saw all kinds of marble runs in the Amana Colonies, but nothing as big as this bowling ball run in the barn!

There was also a room sectioned off with more miniature replicas of farm life.  This one reminded me of the times that I would ride up to the fields with Mom to deliver lunch for my dad and brothers.  Nothing as elaborate as this, but some similarities remain.  A farmer has to keep working when the conditions are just right, no matter what time of the day it is!
You couldn't help but notice all of the gallon ziploc bags of water hanging from the tractors.  The boy working at the museum that day told me that the sun's reflection in the bags kept away the flies!  It did seem to work, actually!
'See that sign about the "Largest Solid Walnut Rocker" in the back?  That was our next stop in West Amana...stay tuned for tomorrow's post!

Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.--Ecclesiastes 11:6

*sewing machines!

2 Comments:

Blogger Astrid in Bristling Acres said...

Those sewing machine tractors are genius!

That bowling ball run would have captivated us!

June 23, 2011 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I couldn't get over the sewing machine tractors. They were $45...I should give them my old machine! The bowling ball run was pretty nifty. Must have taken them quite a while to build! Sort of Rube Goldberg-esque;)

June 23, 2011 at 2:49 PM  

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