Old engine, 10 feet tall, featured at Antique Farm Days

By Lindsey Ward - Anchor

Step back in time this weekend at the Southwest Virginia Antique Farm Days.

It's a festival that celebrates just about any engine you can fire up.

Imagine an entire feed mill powered off just one machine.

The organizers of Antique Farm Days have set up the 1920s engine for you to see firsthand.

The process for William Rutrough and Joe Brubaker to fire up the old engine includes nearly 20 steps.

They've gotten it down over the years and can now quickly get the engine going.

“It's something old. It's something new. We enjoy preserving the old-time stuff,” Rutrough said.

When they first pulled the engine out of Exchange Milling, it was covered in cobwebs and it needed work.

Thankfully, they got it out when they did; the feed mill caught fire in 2015.     

“There was a few parts we couldn't get and what we couldn't get we had to make,” said Brubaker.

The two men are passionate about preserving our agricultural history.

“They have a love for old iron and that's just about the best way you can put it. We just love old stuff and it don't matter what it is, we just like to fool with it and see if there's a satisfaction in bringing something back to life,” Brubaker said.

This weekend, thousands will see the engine cranked up in all its restored glory.

“A part of history is being able to imagine it. It's a lot easier to envision something that you can see sitting there running, doing things than it is to say a picture of an antique engine with a bunch of spider webs all over it. It's not very easy to imagine how that would have worked,” said Charles Brubaker, president of Southwest Antique Farm Days.

If you would like to see the 10-foot-tall engine powered up this weekend, click here for the schedule.

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