Tractor show offers a look at La Porte history

September 23, 2018

La PORTE — The Rumely Allis-Chalmers La Porte Heritage Center’s Lawn and Garden Tractor Show, held this weekend, gave visitors a look at Rumely, Allis-Chalmers and Simplicity tractors.

“This is history. The younger generation doesn’t know Allis-Chalmers and its impact on La Porte,” said Sid Meyers, a vendor at the event.

Meyers runs a business of laser engraving, and had a booth set up at the show. He has been in operation for a year now, engraving wood, metal, acrylic, plastic, marble, leather and even canvas. His creations take on average 5 to 10 minutes.

Food at the show was supplied by Sweet Revenge, out of New Carlisle. Richard Lee and his two sons run the family business, supplying food and their signature barbecue sauce. Their business started seven years ago, but their barbecue sauce recipe dates back to the Civil War. They supply catering events as well as online sales. Their sauce has even gone as far as the VFW post in the North Pole.

Lee, scout master of Boy Scout Troop 664, said that part of their profit goes to high adventure outings for the scouts. This year, he is taking them to South Dakota where they will visit a nuclear missile silo, devil’s tower, Mount Rushmore and even take part in an archeological dig.

Those looking for parts new and old items could find them at vendors Michiana Lawn Equipment out of South Bend, and JC’s Farm and Garden from Bourbon, Indiana. Michiana Lawn and Garden displayed new Simplicity, Toro, Husqvarna and Troy-bilt mowers and equipment.

Owners of JC’s, Michelle and John Gast ran a booth that specialized in parts and novelties for Allis-Chalmers. A-C themed wind chimes, metal cutouts, seat covers, thermometers and tractor umbrellas adorned their tent.

Starting demonstrations with a 1974 Sears tractor was A.J. Hanselman, of Plymouth, Indiana, who used a single-blade plow to till a sample garden plot.

Following his demonstration was Greg Pointon of Door Village, who used a wood chipper attachment from his mower to make mulch from bark and tree branches. Pointon also brought a fully restored Simplicity tractor for raffle on Sunday.

“This (restoration) is my hobby. I wanted to help the Heritage Center with a fundraiser, so that they may add on to their building,” he said.

The Heritage Center is open the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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