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Tractor Trot comes trotting back (24 photos)

Following in the furrows of their forefathers, many islanders gathered to mark Canada Day with antique tractors

The weather could not have been more perfect for the return of the Annual Canada Day Tractor Trot.

This year marked the 24th Tractor Trot which saw a total of 121 tractors gather at the James Harten Memorial Hall for the traditional drive into Richards Landing.

Due to COVID-19, there was not an organized Tractor Trot for two years.

The event began 26 years ago with four friends, Ed Arthurs, Lloyd Schell, Jerry Hawdon and Gord Hawdon, who got together to drive their tractors on Canada Day and have breakfast at what was then Ann’s Café.

The history is shared every year by Jeanne Arthurs. 

As interest in the event grew and the number of participants increased there was soon not enough room at Ann’s Restaurant so the Legion agreed to host a pancake breakfast. For that, the group is truly grateful, Arthurs told a packed Legion Hall.

On behalf of Ed Arthurs and Gord and Gloria Hawdon, Jeanne Arthurs thanked everyone for participating and preparing their tractors.

Jeanne thanked Greg Gilbertson.

“Every year he brings multiple tractors,” she said. “This year he brought 28 tractors, all different makes and models. Not only does he bring the tractors but has to find drivers.”

Of the 121 tractors, there were over 30 new drivers.

Jeanne also acknowledged East Algoma OPP, Thessalon Detachment for directing traffic and participating - bringing up the rear of the trotters.

The winner of the cash donation in memory of Lloyd Schell was Jackie Emery.

Greg Gilbertson with one of his 28 tractors, a 1946 Farmall McCormack H. Gilbertson is the second owner of the tractor. The original owner, Artie Littleton purchased the tractor in 1946 when he got home from the war.

Gilbertson, a young man of 17 years in 1972, bought the tractor from Littleton. When he retired in 2014 from the family business Gilbertson Enterprise. Over the years the tractor was restored, painted and detailed ready for its public debut.

Gilbertson began collecting antique tractors in 2008 and presently owns over 100.