The Heidrick Ag History Center celebrated Halloween this past Saturday with our 2nd Annual Pumpkin Smash Bash Event! With the Center’s breathtaking collection setting the stage, costumed attendees featuring the likes of vampires, pilots and pirates, partook in smashing pumpkins, eating scrumptious BBQ and tasting delicious local brews while having a smashing good time! The evening’s festivities also included a costume contest, a raffle giveaway and of course the namesake pumpkin smashing contest. In addition to gift cards to some of the area’s best local venues, winners also received unique prizes such as a giant pumpkin that weighs around 400 lbs. and the chance to chuck pumpkins out of a helicopter as shown on Good Day Sacramento! Like last year, this year’s Pumpkin Smash Bash was fantastic thanks to all the enthusiastic patrons, as well as the generous donors and sponsors. However, let’s not forget all the wonderful volunteers and staff. If you missed out on all the action this year, be sure to join us next year when we roll out the bold ideas we’re planning for our annual events. We would also love to hear your suggestions for next year’s event. Tell us on Facebook at facebook.com/Heidrick.Ag or on our website at aghistory.org. Happy Halloween, everyone!
So what do we do with 45,000 square feet in the East wing? You’ve been suggesting that the Heidrick Ag History Center:
- Attract visitors through hands-on displays with moving parts and operating motors
- Create interactive and educational kids’ activities, such as Ag-tech displays
- Establish renewable energy and educational food displays
- Rotate art exhibits, auctions and opening events
- Showcase old and new collections in the same area, such as a tractor-pull; and use the ACMAC trailer as a mobile exhibit
- Rotate collections that showcase out of house displays, new tractors from local dealers, and hot rods that can be tied into the gift shop, events and sponsors
- Continue to help us find funding, volunteers and docents
We’ve been talking with many of you about this topic and how we will raise the resources to support the East wing. Ideas are being bounced around, such as renewable energy displays, rotating art exhibits, auctions, opening events, and a picture wall that would showcase local farming families. People like the idea of the museum as a place for people to gather and to learn about the culture of agriculture through interactive displays. Food education exhibits have also been discussed, including displays that could feature dairy, wheat and even a tomato display where you could make your own pizza! With so many thoughts and opinions, people still agree that the East wing should feature rotating collections with artifacts and hands-on displays never before seen at the Heidrick Ag History Center.
We invite you to continue to tell us how you can help make a difference!
Why did Holt Manufacturing name their early tractors “caterpillars”?
Learn the answer and hear other stories about agriculture history and the Heidrick Ag History Museum’s collection by activating the Guide by Cell tour during your visit. When you see the blue Guide by Cell symbol, simply use your cell phone to call the number provided and follow the instructions to select the story you want to hear.
Each Guide by Cell story uses historical vignettes and tantalizing detail to provide in-depth information about select items from our collection. For example, hear about the invention of the self-laying track or how WWI changed the tractor industry. All stories are available in Spanish or English. The visually impaired will find that it can enhance their enjoyment of the Museum.
We are always looking for ways to improve the accessibility, comfort, and convenience of the Heidrick Museum, and we welcome your suggestions. To give us suggestions via Guide by Cell, simply select “0”, followed by the “#” sign to record your comment. Or if you prefer, drop a written comment in the suggestion box in the front reception area after your visit.
As you enter the Heidrick Ag History Center the first piece you will see is the John Deere Waterloo Boy. Why is this piece so significant? Built in 1922 this two cylinder horizontal engine starts on gasoline and then runs on kerosene. The Waterloo Boy tractor was manufactured by the Waterloo Gas Engine Company until 1918, when the company was bought by the John Deere Company. The year 1918 also happened to be the height of tractor production when more tractors were manufactured than any other year in the 20th Century. The purchase of the Waterloo Gas Engine Company marked a monumental shift for John Deere, who started as a blacksmith and an inventor. The purchase of the Waterloo Gas Engine Company was a jumping off point for large scale tractor production.
The Best Steam Engine was a machine ahead of its time. In 1906 Daniel Best’s steam traction engine design made mechanical improvements to farming equipment, which allowed for ease of operation and cost savings to owners. Best’s most significant improvement was the use of a piston-type or spool steam admission valve that alternated high-pressure steam in and exhaust steam out. By balancing the steam pressure, the steam engine tractor was able to move forward and backward more easily, depending on the orientation of the valve.
The Best steamer weighs 34,000 pounds and has wheels 8 feet in diameter in the front, and 5 feet in diameter in the back. The water tank holds up to 940 gallons of water and uses approximately 300 gallons of water per hour. The pressure inside the boiler is 160 pounds per square inch. The steam engine can be powered by different types of fuels such as wood, straw, coal and oil, with oil being the preferred fuel.
This monster machinery is not to be missed and will be on display at the museum for six months.
Join us as we place this piece, on temporary loan from Joe Heidrick, in the museum on October 13th at 11am as part of our Second Saturday Series. A discussion with Joe Heidrick, Tim Heidrick, Jess Gilbertson, and Ed Claessen will begin at noon. Come by and see this piece of agricultural history.
The Heidrick Ag History Center is launching a new series of family oriented educational events this Fall. Our theme is Fall into the Heidrick, check out, and learn about agriculture via the collection at the museum from 11am to 1pm. There is a slight up charge on Second Saturday and you’ll hear from some local, regional, and national experts in the field of agriculture. Second Saturdays are an opportunity for you to see how our agricultural pioneers operated and understand their contributions to agricultural commerce today.
Beginning October 13th- Second Saturday- showcases the Best Steamer at noon.
On loan from the Joe Heidrick Family, the 110 HP beauty will be driven into the museum where it will be on view for six months. Special guests Joe Heidrick Jr., authors Ed & Sue Claessen, and steam engineer Jess Gilbertson will be on hand to discuss some of the facts surrounding the Steamer.
Part of the early morning festivities include a Scarecrow Expo. You are invited to come in and setup you scarecrow before October 9th. We encourage everyone to participate and display their scarecrows on tractors in creative ways. To enter and receive a list of rules and regulations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fairbanks Morse Engine and Piston water pump, had the capacity to irrigate 40 Acres of Almonds when it was delivered to the Henry Morgue Ranch in Durham, CA in 1907. This was an amazing achievement at the time because it mechanized the irrigation process, with the capacity to pump 300 gallons of water per minute. The Fairbanks Morse Engine is known as a “Hit and Miss” because of the distinctive sound it makes as the engine fires and then coasts until the speed decreases and fires up again. This four horse power engine and matching Typhoon piston are on loan from Shannon Mlcoch and Richard Hunt and currently on view in the museum’s courtyard.
The Caterpillar Twenty Expo Tractor was built in 1927. The designation “EXP” or “expo” machine suggest it was either built for a special occasion or used by CAT dealers as a marketing tool at county and state fairs or other local events. This versatile machine was commonly used in agricultural applications, but also in road building, hauling airplanes, and other tough jobs. This sterling and enduring piece of equipment is a beautiful example of the track-type tractor, whose links heat treated for maximum wear, strength, and shock resistance, giving it the ability to maneuver under a wide range of conditions.
The Caterpillar Twenty Expo Tractor is owned by the Veerkamp family of Placerville, California. Collectors of antique tractors, the Veerkamps began the process of restoring the Expo Twenty in 2007. As they researched the machine, the owners discovered that the inaugural tractor had not been painted with the standard gray and red color scheme, which was typical of Cat products built in the late 1920s. Instead, it had received a unique white paint job featuring black trim with brass- and nickel-plated accents. The Veerkamps not only returned the tractor to its original appearance, but also restored its original purpose. Having come full circle from its days as a show machine, the Expo Twenty is back in the public eye, displayed at antique machine shows throughout the United States where it tells the story of a brand that has endured for generations.
The Heidrick Ag History Center is pleased to announce the launch of our new website!
The new website is user-friendly, and features information about visiting the museum, volunteer opportunities, event center rentals, photographs from our collection, and easily connects you to our blog!
Make sure you bookmark www.aghistory.org so you don’t miss out on any of the exciting happenings at the Heidrick Ag History Center!