Volunteers at the Central Washington Ag Museum recently completed a restoration of Massey Harris Pony tractor that was originally made in 1950. The Massey Harris Pony was the smallest of the tractors manufactured by Massey Harris and was manufactured from 1947-1957 and was designed for use by small farmers. It has a three speed transmission (unsynchronized) and can develop 10.4 horsepower at the drawbar. It has a 4 cylinder Continental engine.
The tractor was owned by the Libby, McNeil and Libby Canning Plant located in Toppenish, WA and was used by them from the 1950’s until the 1970’s primarily to run test plantings of various corn varieties on a test plot in Toppenish. Over that 30 year span, common attachments for the Pony were a disc, spring tooth harrow and cultivator. In addition to corn, Libby, McNeil and Libby also had test plots of sweet peas, spinach, green beans and carrots.
Libby, McNeil and Libby went out of business in the early 1980’s and one of Libby’s field men, Robert Gallion acquired the tractor at this time. Mr. Gallion’s son, Rob Gallion used the disc and harrow for several years on his family’s property until it was donated to the Central Washington Ag Museum in 1992.
Rob had seen the Pony several times at the annual Pioneer Power Show, held the third weekend of August at the Ag Museum. He noticed the front tires seemed to be deteriorating over the years. He decided he wanted to get new front tires and help restore this Massey Harris Pony.
Rob did purchase new front tires. Then the work really began. Rob helped our Volunteer Crew completely dismantle the Pony. They did a major overhaul of the carburetor and the distributor, cleaned the accumulated dirt and grease, painted the entire tractor the original colors, and added new side panels and decals.
Rob himself proudly drove the restored tractor during the 2016 Old Town Days Parade in Union Gap, WA in late June. The tractor will also be displayed and be part of the equipment parade during the Pioneer Power Show held from August 20-21 at Union Gap’s Fullbright Park and the Central Washington Agricultural Museum.
“Driving that Massey Harris down Main Street, Union Gap in the parade was certainly a highlight for me. It brought back great memories of my father and the work he did for his career. Restoring this tractor has been very fulfilling and I want to thank the Central Washington Ag Museum’s volunteers for helping to make this happen,” said Rob Gallion.
The Central Washington Ag Museum currently has 148 tractors on site representing many of the leading manufacturers of their respective time. Several of the tractors are fully operational, although numerous tractors are in the need of repairs. If you have an interest in helping restore any of these tractors, or have a family story and history to lend to a tractor, please contact the Central Washington Ag Museum at www.centralwaagmuseum.org or call them at 509-457-8735.
The Central Washington Ag Museum is located at 4508 Main St, Union Gap, WA 98903