Dorr's Tractors

In a field across Rte. 30 from Dorr Oil are a few dozen old tractors all lined up as if on display. Mixed in are a couple of other old vehicles and fifty yards behind are a few incongruous items such as a teepee and a life-size model of an ICBM. Some folks have told me than Donny Dorr keeps all this old equipment out for all to see in order to rub it in the eye of all the gentrification and development that has occurred in Manchester over the past twenty years. I went there to shoot photos today and came away with a very different feeling.

Here is a history of the machines that made Vermont go before the tourist industry took off. Many of these tractors have been restored to varying degrees and some look like they are in condition to start up tomorrow. Some have rusted beyond utility but are beautiful up close. These machines are here out of respect for the life that they and the people who ran them lived. They symbolize a Vermont which still exists in some places but that is fading with time. Walking among these tractors you experience a bit of Dorr's respect for what came before. He may being rubbing it your eye a bit, but it's more like he's just trying to open them so that you can see a little better. I hope he keeps these tractors here for a long, long time.








And Jane doesn't believe me when I say I'd like an old John Deere Model H or an N series Ford to restore. Like we have the room or the need!

She should've known when I hung a Hemmings Motor News "Abandoned Autos" calendar on the wall.

Oh, I believe you, Gregg, that's the problem!!

i'll keep my eye out for you, gregg. meanwhile, here's one completely restored for only $5700

Jane, Did you notice Bob's picture of the yellow Leader tractor? It was proudly made in Chagrin Falls, O-HI-O!

No tractors, please! And it's too bad that Chagrin Falls isn't as Gorey-esk as the name would imply. Quite the trendy place outside Cleveland, actually. I was very disappointed.

dad, i'm loving the quality of your photos. great detail.

i have to go back for more pics when the sun is a bit more in the west as all of the tractors face that way. i took almost 100 pictures today and there are about 20 that i'm going to process and print. i met someone up here who told me that in Vermont warm weather was for shooting and cold weather was for printing. now i know what he meant.

Here in the rural village of Glen Oaks we have the Adriance Farmhouse down the road a piece.
Each year they hold an antique car show for two days. Cars, fire engines, the occasional tractor and some vintage motorcycles chug down Little Neck Parkway early Saturday morning and line up for the viewing public. Some of the most beautiful photos I have of this crochety collection were taken on a rainy afternoon. The reflections of water and raindrops enhanced the
age and the beauty of these great machines.
Hey, I may have my portrait taken in the rain, too. What the heck!

Was recently in Blue Hill, Maine (relatively close to Bar Harbor, Elsworth, etc.) and all the old Lobsterman pile their rusting detritus (traps, appliances, Buicks) at the front of their driveways, much to the dismay of summering NY and Boston so and so's. But I got such a huge kick out of it--there's no denying the beauty of local junk. I hope, too, that it never gets touched.

Great photos.


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This page contains a single entry by published on May 7, 2004 3:13 PM.

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