A restored Farmall A – the first one sold in Minden City after World War II – has been donated to the Port Hope Area Historical Society by Dan and Rosemary Oberski of Shelby Township.
Years ago, Dan Obserski helped his father-in-law, Zig Kaczmarszyk, use the A to farm Zig’s 80-acre farm near Palms.
Dan and Rosemary Oberski of Shelby Township donated their restored Farmall A tractor to the Port Hope Area Historical Society.
Dan grew up near Parisville. He sailed the Great Lakes, and then worked for Ford Motor Co. in the Detroit area for many years.
In the 1980s, Zig’s tractor had fallen on hard times. Dan got the family tractor from Zig’s widow. He spent a year and a half meticulously restoring it. The tractor originally cost $400 to $500. His restoration costs exceeded $2,000.
“After I had worked on it, my mother-in-law came down and saw it. She had tears in her eyes,” Dan said.
Some years later, Dan and Rosemary knew it was time to find a good home for their A. Other area museums couldn’t ensure it would be stored inside, protected and used. That is, until Dan connected with the Port Hope Area Historical Society.
The society is restoring the former Brinker/Hunter lumberyard in Port Hope, turning it into the Lumberyard Museum of the Thumb.
Museum volunteers Don Finkel, left, and Gary Gregg, both of Port Hope, look over the recently donated Farmall A inside the Lumberyard Museum of the Thumb.
The society could offer ample storage space, and the promise that the A would be used, displayed, and cared for.
As Dan Oberski noted, the Kaczmarczyks would be pleased.
Dan said, “The Port Hope Area Historical Society museum volunteers treated us like family, and we know the tractor is in good hands. It will be there for future generations to see.”
The Oberskis’ classic tractor will be on display next summer when the Lumberyard Museum of the Thumb reopens.
The Lumberyard Museum of the Thumb is at 8016 Portland Ave., PO Box 133, Port Hope, MI 48468.