While you'll be drawn to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest for those beautiful flowers, there is much more to see. Antique steam tractors are on display at the event weather permitting. As part of Oregon agricultural history, the Case and Russell steam tractors are a value-added attraction for the Tulip Fest.
Before steam tractors, farmers worked their land and moved equipment with horses. Steam engines eventually were used agriculturally. Initially these were portable engines which were transported using horses. After that, the steam engine was built as part of the vehicle itself and, via a drive train, moved the equipment. These were called "traction drive" engines. Eventually the name became "tractor."
Steam engines were used until about the mid-1920s as gasoline engines became a cheaper alternative.
When you visit the steam tractor display at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest you'll notice stacks of wood standing by to be used as fuel to heat the steam chambers on the engines. The working Case and Russell steam tractors are worth seeing. Children are allowed to climb on them to have their pictures taken.
If you want to see them in action, visit Wooden Shoe Bulb Farm on Saturdays and Sundays through the 4th of May. They'll fire them up and you can see them driving through the tulip fields.
According to Barbara Iverson, general manager of Iverson Farms and producer of the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, her father owns one of the tractors and the others were used on area farms.
If you are intrigued with these steam tractors you might be interested to know that Brooks, Oregon hosts an annual "Steam-Up." The Antique Powerland agricultural museums are located in Brooks. The museum is run by dedicated volunteers.