Ready to PATOOT

Friday, June 29, 2012
Burdette Stier is shown on his 1950 Massey-Harris Model 22, which he will drive in Peterson's Annual Trip On Old Tractors, the 10th of its kind. The Massey is this year's featured tractor. (Photo by Gabe Licht)

Travelers of the scenic byways in southern Clay and northern Buena Vista counties will likely be seeing a lot of red Saturday morning.

That's because the featured brand for Peterson's Annual Trip On Old Tractors will be Massey.

Burdette Stier is excited to show off his 1950 Massey-Harris Model 22 in the 10th annual event.

He first used it in 1959 for cultivating and other chores on Walt Hill's farm near Rossie.

Hill must have appreciated that work because when someone else asked to purchase the tractor, Hill said he had already offered it to Stier.

In 1987, Stier purchased it for work on his own farm seven miles south of Peterson.

"I restored it because it was really beat up when I bought it," Stier said. "The grill looked like I used it as a bulldozer. It had the original tires on it when I bought it and I could see the inner tube on the tires."

But, he replaced and fixed more than just the tires.

"I overhauled the engine, repainted it and repaired everything that was worn out," Stier said.

He kept the original red and yellow colors attributed to Massey-Harris. Other PATOOT participants may be sporting the red and grey motifs of Massey Ferguson tractors, which first rolled off the assembly line with that name in 1958 following a 1953 merger.

Though Stier no longer lives on the farm, his lot in Peterson includes a building big enough to house both of his red tractors, the Massey-Harris and a Farmall his granddaughter will be driving as she rolls down "Route PATOOT."

This year's event will kick off at 7 a.m. with breakfast at Lon's Lounge. Runners and spectators alike will be able to fuel up for the 5K and 10K fun runs starting at 7:30 a.m., which have become a staple of the annual PATOOT festivities. Registration for is $10 for runners 18 and younger and $15 for others.

PATOOT registration will be from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Main Street. The $35 fee covers the ride, a T-shirt, magnet and meal.

Individuals may also ride the route in style, with a wagon ride for $6.

The ride is expected to conclude at noon and a meal will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Legion Hall for $6 per person.

The event is sponsored by the Peterson Commercial Club. It began in 2003 as a fundraiser for Peterson's sesquicentennial celebration in August 2006.

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