Used for workshop and storage now, DPA barn will feature ag history later
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 9:31 pm
Special Features Editor
It is a building that will do double duty at Discovery Park of America. These days, the equipment barn, located on the northwest corner of the park, serves as a workshop for several projects and displays being put together for the multi-million dollar education and entertainment complex that is taking shape in Union City’s northwest quadrant between Everett Boulevard and the proposed I-69.
On a recent work day, original school desks that will go back in to the one-room school building to be featured at the park were being repaired and refinished in the space.
A huge woolly visitor that will welcome guests to Discovery Center in the park was taking a well-earned rest there before being moved to its future home, where it will remain upright and attention-garnering for years to come.
But once Discovery Park of America opens its doors later this year, the equipment barn will take on a new role and a new importance.
It will be open to guests and will be a showplace for farm equipment that played a role in making Obion County one of the richest agricultural areas in the state, if not the nation, in terms of productivity.
Children who may never venture very far out of the confines of the city, and even their peers who live beyond the bright lights and busy streets and their parents and grandparents, will be able to view horse-drawn implements and machinery that moved in miraculous ways when the steam engine changed the face of not only industry but agriculture as well.
They will be able to chart the advances in design and capability from one decade to the next by simply walking through the building.
One of the first pieces to be secured for exhibit there began life as a work-horse 1931 John Deere General Purpose Wide Tractor that was the pride of its owner more than 75 years ago. But times changed, and the proud piece of equipment stalled one day in a field and was considered too slow and inefficient to worry with any longer. Through the years, an oak tree took root and began to grow right up through the tractor relegated to a fence row in a field in Dyer County.
The story of the tractor’s rescue and what that effort meant to people bound by a love of the land and an admiration for the machines that help it produce in abundance were featured in The Messenger May 18, 2011.
Today, the tractor sports a gleaming exterior and is sure to dazzle visitors with its history and its purpose.
Farm graders, combines and other tractor models — all with a history of success in agriculture — will also be featured in what planners feel may become a favorite gathering place for many visitors to DPA.
Published in The Messenger 2.18.13