AGCO recently restored an antique tractor that belonged to Archie McDaniel, the namesake family of the McDaniel Farm Park. The 1956 tractor, an Allis-Chalmers WD 45, was rusted and the paint was peeling when CEO Martin Richenhagen discovered it in a barn while walking in the park with his wife. Charlie Underwood, whose great uncle owned the tractor dealership, donated the tractor a year ago, and the tractor was originally owned by Archie McDaniel’s family. Allis-Chalmers is a historic brand of agricultural tractors, and AGCO is interested in preserving this agricultural tractor history.
“When I came across the tractor, I knew we had an opportunity to work with the community to restore the tractor so it could be part of Gwinnett County Park’s educational program,” said Martin Richenhagen, CEO of AGCO. “Many people in the area where AGCO is headquartered do not realize how much of the land used to be agricultural. It is an honor for AGCO to pay homage to that history and return the tractor back to the farm.”
Over 70 days, AGCO dealer Powell Tractor painstakingly restored the tractor. Because of the tractor’s age, the Powell Tractor team ended up purchasing a duplicate tractor from which to source parts.
The McDaniel Family Farm is now the showpiece of the public park which has been restored to educate visitors on what a farm would look like in 1930’s Gwinnett County, with a furnished farmhouse, barn, blacksmith shed, carriage house, and tenant house. Park visitors are offered tours and modern touches such as a pavilion, three miles of trails, and restrooms have been added.
“The restored tractor helps us show park visitors why the evolution of farm technology is so critical to meeting the food production needs of a growing community,” said Catherine Long, cultural resources manager, Gwinnett County. “The planting and harvesting season used to take days or weeks using mules and horses whereas a tractor such as this one enabled farmers to produce more food in a significantly decreased amount of time and labor.”
A permanent display inside the restored barn will house the restored tractor and protect it from the elements.