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Echoes of the Past – Warsaw

 

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Warsaw Organization Preserves and Restores Antique Tractors

Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided 

Christina Morehouse with Warsaw-based Echoes of the Past says she enjoys capturing a unique part of farming history. 

She says Echoes of the Past is a successful nonprofit organization with a focus on promoting the preservation and restoration of antique tractors as well as other farm equipment, accessories and artifacts. 

Members of Echoes of the Past have encouraged the local community to preserve the history of agriculture though the organization.

“The club started in 1993 as a way to bring more attendance to the Kosciusko County Fair,” Morehouse says. “The club added the antique tractors to the fair as well as other attractions, and it has grown into what is known as Antique Village now.”

The club currently has around 130 members, and Morehouse couldn’t be happier about it. 

“We became a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in 2015,” Morehouse says. “The club is governed by a board of nine members, four officers and five members of an advisory board.” Echoes of the Past

Morehouse notes that the main goal of the club is to educate the youth and community about the history of agriculture, and the importance of preserving that history.  

“We hold several events throughout the year, all at no charge to those who attend,” Morehouse says. “Our main events include a tractor driving experience, which allows kids of all ages, even some adults, to give it a go. We want them to really feel what it’s like to drive a tractor, which they really love.”

Members of Echoes of the Past also provide vintage threshing and sawmill demonstrations to show how certain tasks used to be done, and also how technology has changed. 

“We are at the county fair all week hosting visitors at the Antique Village with food, homemade ice cream and activities,” Morehouse says. “We are continually improving the Antique Village area. Our latest project was the village’s gazebo, where we added concrete to avoid the muddy mess we ran into last year.”

Members of Echoes of the Past also work with schools in the area, much to the delight of several teachers and students. 

“We have been doing a lot of school presentations,” Morehouse says. “I believe we did four or five of them last year. We take tractors, farm tools and equipment to display to the schools, and the students are able to learn about them by asking the members questions.”

Morehouse says Echoes of the Past members also work with Future Farmers of America (FFA). Echoes of the Past

“We are also very proud of the relationship we have with the area FFA chapters, and also the 4-H clubs,” Morehouse says. “We are proud bidders of the 4-H auction at the fair each year. We also sponsor the FFA chapters each year. Any monies raised through donations at our events are used at the auction and given to the FFA chapters. Since 2014 we have spent over $20,000 on 4-H auctions. We started donating to FFA chapters in 2017 and we have donated around $4,000 to the local schools.” 

Morehouse adds that Echoes of the Past tractors are operable.

“Most of the club members use their tractors during their spring and fall plow days, so even though they are vintage and have been restored, they are still capable of doing farm work,” Morehouse says. 

The tractors may also come in handy given supply-chain shortages these days.   

“Who knows if they may have to pull these out to help with planting in the spring?” Morehouse says. “The sad part is that most people won’t know what to do with them.” 

Morehouse says the local community has responded very well to the club.  

“We have great attendance at our events,” Morehouse says. “Our event in August in Claypool was packed both days. Even with the rain at the fair, we were busy at the village. We continue to grow the number of events we do, and extend our community outreach efforts. We added our Toys for Tots drive and Christmas with Santa this year, both of which were huge successes.” 

For more information on Echoes of the Past, visit theechoesofthepast.com.

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