38th Annual Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show is Aug 17-19


STOCKTON, N.Y. – The Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Association will hold its 38th annual show of antique engines, farm tractors, autos, models, and other mechanical equipment August 17, 18, and 19 on its grounds on Cemetery Road, Stockton, N. Y. For a $5.00 donation, the public can see the equipment in operation and on parade.

The national Leader Tractor Club will be holding its own show simultaneously on the grounds. There is a flea market, ample free parking, food, and permanent restrooms all on the grounds. There are demonstrations and events both continuously and at posted times. Children under 14 are admitted free.

The featured tractor at this year’s Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show is the LEADER. The Leader was a small tractor made by a small Ohio company for about 10 years. The name, itself, was used by a number of unrelated makers of tractors and engines, all obscure as it turns out.

Dayton-Dick and later Dayton-Dowd built a large tractor named Leader in several models from 1912 to 1924. The company was primarily known for centrifugal pumps. A Des Moines, Iowa company built Leader steam traction engines and perhaps kerosene powered tractors in the late teens. There was a Leader Gas Engine Company in Dayton, Ohio from 1900 to 1904. Leaders were made by the Holland Engine Company of Holland, Michigan around 1923. Snitz Wallin and Claude Snitz of Grand Rapids, Michigan made a Leader in 1905 and the name Leader Domestic was used by both the Leader Iron Works of Decatur, Illinois and Leader Engine and Pump Company of Shippenburg, Pa.

A Leader engine was made by Field Force Pump Company of Elmira for driving a high pressure pump for orchard spraying. One of these engines will be displayed at the show by Richard and Barbara Wise of Hamlet who also provided some of the above information.

The show emphasis will be on the small Leader tractors made from 1940 to 1949. A father and son, Lewis and Walter Brockway, in Auburn, Ohio started building garden tractors around 1937 in their repair shop. They used four cylinder Chevrolet engines for power. At first they called most of their tractors American but sometimes they called them Brockway. They tinkered and they improved. They apparently had no trouble selling however many they had time to make. In 1940 the Brockways incorporated as the Leader Tractor Manufacturing Company of Chagrin Falls. They were still made in Auburn, but Auburn didn’t have a post office and that had led to some postal inconvenience. They produced a much improved tractor, but still in very limited numbers. Somehow they kept going through the war. They tried a three wheel design. They used different colors. They came up with improved models. In their size range these were actually quite advanced, practical, and pleasantly operating tractors.

In 1944 when they no longer could get the Chevrolet engines, they switched to six cylinder Chrysler engines, but soon changed again to a four cylinder Hercules. Sources disagree on which models were produced in which years in which order, but they produced Models A (three wheeled), B, and D. The tractors were sold in a number of Ohio auto dealerships owned by the Schott Brothers who had loaned the Brockways a large sum of money so they could expand production. But in 1949 Schott Brothers foreclosed. They scrapped all the tractors and parts and destroyed the company records. Lewis and Walter Brockway didn’t give up on tractor manufacturing. They bought a foundry in Bedford, Ohio and set about making an improved, somewhat larger tractor they called a Brockway. The new company continued with a small output, less than 500 total, until 1959.

The national Leader Tractor Club is holding its annual show on the grounds in conjunction with the 38th annual Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Show from August 17 through August 19. So this will be a rare opportunity to see a rare tractor. The show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 17, 18, and 19.

Tractors, engines, and building displays will be on view continuously. Additional events at posted times will include saw mill operation, tractor parades, tractor games, tractor pulls, butter churning, and weaving. Food will be offered both by the Equipment Association and by guest vendors.

The Association will offer a biscuit, sausage, and gravy breakfast while the Maple Producers of the Chautauqua Region will serve a pancake and syrup breakfast at their building starting at 8 a.m. For the rest of the day there will be hot dogs, hamburgers, sloppy joes, ice cream, pop, coffee, Philly steak sandwiches, fried dough, cotton candy, and kettle corn available. The Stockton Volunteer Fire Company will put on a chicken barbecue Friday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at noon. The Stockton Citizens Organization for Renewal and Expansion will have bake sale items including cookies, pie by the piece, cakes, and more. Visitors can eat comfortably this year at the new picnic pavilion, the only public pavilion in Chautauqua County with an antique hay fork and track installed in the peak overhang.

The pavilion will also be the location for an 8:30 a.m. Sunday religious song and worship service featuring Mary and Gordon Carlberg Another new feature is the machine shop with belt powered machine tools on display. The blacksmith shop, expanded print shop, and old time gas station will be open and operating throughout the show. There is also an engine house with large oil field and industrial engines which will be started intermittently.

The museum building features household and domestic displays and active demonstrations. Antique machinery from the Association’s own collection and the large electrical insulator collection will be on view in the Dale E. Nickerson Building. Permanent restrooms in that building have been upgraded.

There is an equipment related flea market on the grounds. Other curiosities and demonstrations will be scattered over the grounds. These include such items as a windmill, stone crusher, stationary baler (hay press), operating threshing machine, shingle making, and industrial cord weaving machine. Gerald Nelson, nationally recognized expert on early local fire arms makers will have his prize winning display of Chautauqua County guns and gun making tools and history on the grounds.

The Old Dawg Bluegrass band will play on the grounds from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the 18th at no extra charge.

This is one of the most unusual, interesting, and economical event attractions in the area, perfect for families and all ages. Admission is $5 per day for adults, children under 14 free, senior rate $3 on Friday. Primitive camping is available for exhibitors. Full service camping is available next door at the Chautauqua County Firemen’s Fraternity.