Uncovering the Inspiration Of Stew Paquette’s Farmall Museum
By Tom Seest
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Stew Paquette was no ordinary red collector. He began collecting fairly late in life, had no farming ties whatsoever, and only enjoyed collecting International Harvester stuff (especially tractors ). Stew was very social and enjoyed seeing children walk through his buildings.
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Stew Paquette was an avid historian. He devoured every bit of knowledge available to him, believing that in order to understand your current state and where it has led, one must learn about where they came from. Stew embraced Harvester’s legacy by saving as much of it as he could, from tractors and refrigerators to nuts and bolts.
After opening his museum, word quickly spread. Florida being such a popular vacation spot, visitors flocked from all around to witness his collection! Many ended up volunteering their time helping to maintain and share their enthusiasm about Harvester with others – as well as going on tractor rides and attending shows and collections across the country, which Stew so appreciated!
No matter the focus, antique power collectors agree that visiting a tractor museum is the ideal way to dive into their hobby. Not only are these fascinating venues home to an impressive selection of machines in all sizes and shapes, but they also offer a history that’s sure to fascinate any viewer! Plus, they provide collectors with a chance to connect with others who share an appreciation of American history through this cornerstone hobby!
Stew Paquette was no ordinary red collector. He began collecting late in life and had no agricultural ties prior to retiring in Florida. Stew purchased two tractors from Pinky Provost at an auction in Vermont before transporting them home with him for repair work and giving them to his grandchildren as rides when visiting.
Paquette would become known for his impressive collection of vintage IH equipment when he died in 2008, one of the largest such collections anywhere.
Farmall-Land USA in Avoca, Iowa, is a must for IH tractor enthusiasts! This massive museum houses over 250 full-sized IH tractors as well as pedal tractors, toys, signs, and memorabilia in its 26,500-square-foot building – plan accordingly, as there is much ground to cover! Open from April through October with admission costs at $10 for adults, $5 for children aged 5-12 (children under five are admitted free) as well as offering catering services. Plus! They even have their own restaurant!
Paquette was an avid collector who appreciated history like no one else. He believed strongly in preserving as much as he could while also sharing it with others; that is why he often invited red collectors from all over to his museum in Florida – it soon became a destination for thousands of vacationers! But his true joy lay in creating his collection!
Farmall-Land USA in Leesburg, Florida, offers everything International Harvester collectors could desire and more! This museum showcases full-size tractors, pedal tractors, toy tractors, art prints, and memorabilia, as well as is home of Stew Paquette (one of the world’s biggest and most respected IH collectors who will be missed dearly), pedal tractors pedal tractors toy tractors toy tractors art prints memorabilia artifacts memorabilia plus more besides! Take a look at his amazing collection in this video below, and don’t forget about bidding – the auction closes on August 1.
Florida quickly became a mecca for red tractor collectors. Stew was always more than pleased to show them around his museum and property – both his love of people and Harvester history were evident, hosting thousands of guests from across the United States as well as several international visitors over time.
Many visitors became regulars, particularly snowbirds who flew down to Florida during winter to avoid colder climates and work on their tractors. Some even got to know Stew intimately enough to become volunteers at his museum – this allowed them to spend even more time with him while sharing in his passion every day!
Stewart boasts an impressive IH collection yet admits there’s still much he needs to discover about its history and company. Collecting is also a family affair; his wife Tia and children assist with collections at both museum and farm events.
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