New but Old: Forkland’s Farm Equipment Museum

Published 2:24 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Contributing writer 

The 2017 Forkland Heritage Festival & Revue on October 13 and 14 will feature a new historical exhibit, the Old Farm Equipment Museum. Included in this museum are many items used on local farms in the past: horse-drawn implements, harness, cider mills, fence stretchers, battery jars, an old farm radio, crosscut saws and a 1950s 40-lb. chain saw, antique barbed wire, and other antique farm equipment and hand tools. Outside the museum building will be larger pieces of equipment, such as a horse-drawn wagon and an enormous steam tractor. Old-timers will again get to see machinery like they used long ago! Children, such as the hundreds who recently participated in Forkland’s Kentucky Arts & History Day for Kids, will be fascinated by the old tools and especially will enjoy helping to make miniature hay bales on a model hay press.

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Several years ago, Lorine Coulter of Parksville donated a large collection of old farm machinery to Forkland Community Center, notably the Russell steam tractor and several horse-drawn implements. Some of this equipment, along with antique farm items donated by others, has been displayed at past Festivals. For the 2016 Festival, the metal building behind the Forkland Community Center was cleaned out to provide space to house the equipment, and a replica tobacco stripping room was built inside. After last year’s Festival, Cam Williams was placed in charge of the new museum, and he has been working on it since then. Cam has been collecting old tools and equipment since he was 3 years old. When he was 14, he began exhibiting his tools at the Forkland Festival, and he has continued to have an exhibit at each of the 23 Festivals since then. This year, he has combined some of his own collection with the existing farm equipment and recent donations from others to fill the museum with horse-drawn-era items. Cam says that it is still a work in progress. The museum accepts donations of most anything that was likely to be found several years ago on farms in and around Forkland. Cam is seeking unusual items, especially items with local history, and he invites old-timers to stop in and share their knowledge of farm life “as it was.”

Forkland’s Old Farm Equipment Museum will be open during both days of the Forkland Festival. If you want to see it at another time or want to make a donation, contact Cam at 859-332-7606 or

The Festival also features many other historical exhibits showcasing Forkland’s rural heritage: the Forkland Lincoln Museum, a 1790s log cabin hosted by relatives of Abraham Lincoln, Living History Skits, horse-drawn wagon rides, a corn maze and kids’ activities, demos of old-time country activities such as soap-making and chair-caning, and more. Other attractions are the Old Country Supper Theatre, live country music, a Silent Auction, booths selling handmade crafts, delicious food, and, on Saturday, an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast starting at 8 a.m., a Fox & Hound race, a classic car show, and, this year, a special Salute to Veterans ceremony at 4 p.m. The Festival is at the Forkland Community Center, 16479 Forkland Road, Gravel Switch, KY 40328, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 13, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 14. Admission is only $3 for adults and $1 for children under 13 (preschoolers free). For more information or tickets to the Old Country Supper Theatre, visit