Families display antique farm implements for Howard County Fair


July 27, 1998|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MABLE FRANK drove to the Howard County Fairgrounds Wednesday in the 1929 Model A Roadster -- complete with rumble seat -- that her brother Burgoyne Frank had painstakingly restored.

Burgoyne Frank drove a pickup truck with a trailer carrying two antique farm engines.

The Franks, who are members of the Howard County Antique Farm Machinery Club, responded to the club's request for collectors to display farm machinery at the fairgrounds to publicize this year's Howard County Fair at a news media breakfast Wednesday.

When Burgoyne Frank arrived, he began tinkering with the 1914 Economy hit-and-miss engine, a free-standing, two-cylinder, water-cooled engine that sat in the shade of a small umbrella.

The machine has an opening at the top and water inside. It makes a distinctive hissing and popping sound when it is running.

"I'm trying to get it started, but it's got a fit on it," he says as he closes a small, well-used tool kit. "I'll try again later."

Burgoyne's brother Ed Frank Jr. and Ed's wife, Dorothy, brought a trailer to which four hit-and-miss engines are bolted in a permanent display.

The heavy cast-iron engines range in power from 1 1/2 to three and six horsepower.

They look primitive to the modern eye. To farm families in the early 20th century, they were invaluable.

Farmers used belts to connect their power drives to machines that shelled and cracked corn, pumped water and ground meat for sausage.

Ed and Pat Smith of western Howard County also brought their collection of model farm machinery.

The Smiths and Franks sat under maple trees in portable chairs, waiting for the media and for lunch as a breeze stirred the leaves and brought some relief on a 100-degree day.

Burgoyne and Mable Frank live in the family homestead where they were born on Triadelphia Road -- the homestead that their father bought in 1919. Their brother Ed -- who is known as "Junior" -- and their sister Eileen Kazer live across the road.

Kazer managed the Ellicott City branch of the Commercial and Farmers Bank for years.

Junior's son John lives down the road.

Ed Frank Sr. owned a threshing machine and a baler. At harvest time, he and his crew -- including Junior and Burgoyne -- went from farm to farm in central Howard County harvesting oats, wheat and barley.

They threshed and baled at a number of farms, including the one across from the fairgrounds (now owned by Jim Moxley Jr.); the farm owned by Jim Moxley Sr. that became Hobbit's Glen Golf Course; farms in the Pine Orchard area; and the Brown farm -- Mount Pleasant Farm, now home to the Howard County Conservancy.

In other seasons, the Frank family raised chickens and sold eggs and chicks.

For several years, Ed Frank Sr. cut timbers for homes, setting up a shanty and a sawmill on the sites.

He was a skilled blacksmith and taught the craft to his son Ed, who in turn taught the craft to his son John.

John Frank demonstrates blacksmithing at Mount Pleasant Farm. This year with his wife, Virginia, he is organizing the Farm Heritage Days.

All of the Franks are members of the Howard County Antique Farm Machinery Club, a nonprofit organization formed in 1995 to promote education, preservation and restoration of the agricultural way of life in the Howard County area.

The club has 80 active members. It has held auctions in the spring, organized displays and demonstrations at the Howard County Fair and, for the past two years, held shows at Mount Pleasant Farm.

The club sponsors educational programs for second-graders from Waverly and Elkridge Elementary schools the Friday before their show.

Club members are collecting and restoring farm equipment -- from simple hand tools to complex and expensive threshers and binders. They are working to create a farm museum in Howard County and have raised $35,000.

This year, seven or eight club members will work together to demonstrate "Old Time Threshing" at 4 p.m. Aug. 15 and 16 at the Howard County Fair. The fair continues through Aug. 22.

Club members will participate in the Antique Automobile Show at 11 a.m. Aug. 16 at the county fair.

People can see their display outside the gates of the fair or visit Farm Heritage Days at Mount Pleasant Farm on Sept. 26 and 27. Visitors may spend a few moments cracking or shelling corn or watch a threshing operation.

Information: 410-988-8165 or 410-531-2569.

Soccer camp

The second annual Viking Soccer Camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. Aug. 4-8 at Mount Hebron High School.

Boys and girls, ages 5 to 15, are welcome to register. The cost is $80 and includes a camp T-shirt.

Campers will be grouped according to ages and ability.

Jonathan Davis and Scott Conroy, girls and boys coaches, respectively, at Mount Hebron, will direct the camp.

The staff includes local players and coaches: Jeff Doulan, Debbie Pulone, Jeff Bradbury, Julie Kickham, Brian Slater, Steve Campbell, Bill Riegel, Kevin Rhodes, Josh Hummel, Jennifer Flynn, Tom Wunk and Sommer Cork.

Information: Jonathan Davis, 410-313-8372, or Scott Conroy, 410-902-1052.

Honors won

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.