Nonprofit of the week: Antique Power preserves old-fashioned farm pieces
Members of the Aiken Antique Power Association do all sorts of things with old farm equipment.
They restore it, and they do chores with it. They demonstrate how it works to interested people, and they shine it up and display it in shows to win prizes. They even play games with it.
“Many of us grew up working with this equipment, and we're trying to preserve it for the future,” said Harold Anderson, Aiken Antique Power's president.
Tractors are popular with the organization's members, and Anderson owns several made by Farmall and Ford in the 1940s and 1950s.He and his colleagues also collect other types of farm machinery.
“We've got one member who has a hand-operated hay baler, and another one has a cane mill that you can process sugar cane and sorghum with,” Anderson said.
A group led by Luc Goddard founded Aiken Antique Power. The organization held shows from 2005 to 2009, and for a while, it was known by another name. Following the 2009 show, the association disbanded. But in 2010, some other fans of old farm equipment reformed the club. They included Anderson, Butch McGee, Ed Coward and Rodney Boatwright.
That year and each spring since then, Aiken Antique Power has held an annual show. The most recent one was on April 12 at the Central Baptist Church softball field on Wire Road.
“There was so much going on that day because of The Masters, and there was a car show in Aiken, so our attendance was down a little bit, but probably 700 or 800 people came through,” Anderson said.
During the show, Aiken Antique Power offered tractor games such as Teeter-totter and Chain in a Box.
In Teeter-totter, each competitor drives a tractor onto a platform set on a center beam that resembles a very large children's seesaw.
“It's timed, and the person who can get their tractor balanced on the platform the quickest is the winner,” Anderson said.
In Chain in a Box, paint is used to make a box on the ground. One end of the chain is attached to the ground, and then the rest of the chain is pulled out of the box and stretched out. Using a tractor, each competing driver tries to get all of the chain back in the box as fast as possible.
Another activity enjoyed by Aiken Antique Power members is going on 18- to 20-mile day trips on their tractors. But having fun isn't the organization's only purpose. Aiken Antique Power helps out the community by donating money to Area Churches Together Serving and other charitable agencies.
Aiken Antique Power meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. from January through October at Center Fire Department Station No. 3 on Bacon Road.
“It costs $25 a year to be a member, and that's for your whole family,” Anderson said.
For more information, call Anderson at 803-649-7327.
Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.