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His great grandfather got to see it restored four days before he died (4 photos)

Daniel Black restored his great grandfather's 1953 tractor and presented it to him while he was at ARCH hospice

Fred Woolley couldn’t afford the tractor so the local co-op made a deal and traded it to him for veneer logs.

That was 1953 and years later, Woolley's 14-year-old great grandson Daniel Black would fix that tractor up and present it to him looking almost brand new four days before he died.

Black rode that tractor at the 2017 Prince Township Tractor Cruise on Saturday and while he was there, he told SooToday the tractor’s story.

In 1946, after serving in World War II as a driver, 23-year-old Woolley bought 248 acres of land in Bruce Mines near where he had grown up and started the horse farm Red Rose Stables.

Woolley did all his farm work with horses until 1953 when he traded the Bruce Mines co-op veneer logs for a shiny new red 1953 McCormick W-4.

According to, the McCormick W-4 would have cost around $2,000 USD back then.

“He used it to plow, spread manure — just about every job a tractor could do… It was the only tractor he used for 30 years,” said Black.

The tractor broke down in the 1970s and Woolley parked it in the back of his shed where it sat for almost for 40 years.

When his nephew Larry exhumed the tractor in 2013 and bought it, the engine had seized. 

Larry Woolley began repairs on it but never finished the job and soon sold it to Black who, when he just 14, began the process of restoring it.

In 2014, Fred Woolley became ill and was admitted to ARCH hospice.

Black raced to have it completed in time and just four days before Woolley passed away, Black was able to take the restored tractor to ARCH and present it to his great grandfather.

That year, Black rode the tractor in the Richards Landing Tractor Trot in honour of the deceased Woolley, who was fond of that particular parade.

Black, now 20 is currently studying mechanical engineering at Laurentian University

“I’ve always had an interest in agricultural things and it’s nice to be able to keep the family heirloom,” he said.