Survivors from the Past

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Survivors from the Past


Fred Hanks

As published in the January/February 1994 issue of

Belt Pulley Magazine

Volume 7, Number 1

The enclosed picture (on the back cover) has some links with the past.  In the foreground are two of the “beauties” which we have restored and plan to preserve.  Another “link with the past” is the grand old maple tree in the background.

We have lived on this farm in Southeastern Minnesota for nearly forty-nine years now.  However, to some people, the farm continues to be known as the “Bagan place.”  The Bagan family moved here over one-hundred years ago.  During their first years on the farm, they planted a series of trees in the front yard.

During the time that we have lived here, Bagan family descendants have recounted the story of a neighbor who stopped by with their team of horses and buggy, to pay a visit to the Bagan.  In the course of the visit the team succeeded in breaking off the trunk of one of the young saplings.  Undaunted, the branches of the broken sapling re-sprouted below the break in the trunk and the tree continued to grow.  Today the tree has become a giant.  This is the maple tree that you see in the background of the picture.  The wound created by the broken trunk is still evident today.

All of the machinery currently in use on our farm is John Deere with the exception of a 1950 Massey Harris 22 (Serial No. GR 6729, pictured on the cover of the February, 1993 issue of Fastline, Minnesota edition, Vol. 6, No. 7) and a newly acquired 1951 Massey-Harris 30 (serial number 15095, the purchase of this tractor is the subject of an article in Wild Harvest May/June 1993, Vol. 10, No. 3).  Though the John Deeres pictured along with the two Massey-Harris tractors are collector items, they continue to be used on the farm on a regular basis in haying season and for grain and manure hauling.

The 1958 John Deere 630 (serial number 1692) was purchased in 1972 and has been used on the farm since that time.  The 1957 John Deere 620 (serial number 10752) was purchased in 1987.  The 620 has dual hydraulics and an air stack.  The 620 came with a 3-point hitch which can be transferred to the 630 as required.

We are very much excited about another restoration project purchased at an auction in September of 1992.  It is a 1943 John Deere H (serial number 46683).  It has an electric starter, lights, hydraulics, and fenders.  We hope to restore it to show-room condition so that it can join our other units at shows and parades.

These tractors as well as the old maple tree are truly survivors!

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