History of tractors featured at meeting

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, Delaware County (HSM), at its Annual Meeting Saturday, Oct. 17, will look back at a time when tractors were replacing horsepower of the four-legged variety.
The Oct. 17 Annual Meeting will be held at the New Kingston Valley Grange Hall on Cemetery Road, Margaretville from noon to 2:30 p.m. The event, for members and nonmembers alike, begins with a chicken and biscuit luncheon (vegetarian entrée available) prepared by the Grange. Reservations ($15) are required by October 12: Call 845 586-4448 or e-mail history@catskill.net.
The featured speaker is Dr. Milton Sernett, professor emeritus at Syracuse University. His illustrated lecture, “From Muscles to Motors on the Farm: Henry Ford and the Great American Tractor Wars, 1910-1930,” will discuss how the development of the Fordson tractor spurred a battle among equipment manufacturers that had a big impact on American life on and off the farm in a time of astounding social change.
The talk is free and begins at 1:30 p.m. following the HSM business meeting and election.
Milton C. Sernett joined the faculty of Syracuse University in 1975. He holds a Master’s of Divinity degree as well as Master’s and Doctoral degrees in History.
He is currently researching and writing a book about the transition on American farms from horse power to tractor power. His October 17 talk will discuss how this transition took place during an era of rapid social change in American life. The lecture uses rare images from the archives of the great tractor manufacturers and depictions of the seasons of agricultural work before the factory farm replaced the family farm.
Those attending the Historical Society program are encouraged to bring their own stories of this momentous time in their family’s history.
For more information, call Diane Galusha at 845 586-4973.