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Parking Ramp Tractor Display
The parking ramp at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (J.U.M.P.) in Boise, Idaho, has to be the world’s most unique tractor museum. Drive or walk through the floors of the ramp and you’ll see unique and very rare tractors behind display windows or fences. The ramp houses only part of J.R. Simplot’s farm equipment collection, much of which was purchased from the Oscar Cooke collection several years ago. Other tractors, steam engines, and equipment are on display in and around the multi-purpose 57,000-sq. ft. building and grounds.
“J.R. bought around 110 tractors, steam engines, and stationary engines, more than 200 pieces altogether, at the Cooke sale and we have 51 of them on display at J.U.M.P.,” says Rob Bearden, J.U.M.P. “Three of them sold for more than $100,000 each.”
Simplot had planned to build a $100 million farm equipment museum in Boise but died before he could do it. The Simplot family foundation worked with the city to create J.U.M.P. It integrates the collection with multiple maker and doer studios, meeting spaces, and an urban park. The building is designed around the parking ramp at its center, with a 5-story slide for those young-at-heart and eager to get to lower floors.
The collection includes the Moline Universal Model C. Built from 1917 to 1923, it featured an electric starter, lockable axle, and standard headlamp. It had a variety of rear attachments but was designed to pull horse-drawn equipment. Other unique tractors include Kerosene Annie, the first edition internal-combustion tractor built by Rumely in 1909. A fully restored four to six-horse 1920 Dowden potato digger, antique sleighs, hearses, stationary engines, and more round out the collection and exhibits.
“We have a Port Huron 32-100 traction steam engine, one of only three remaining,” says Bearden. “Our 1910 Olmstead 15-50 is one of a kind with its oscillating, articulating, and fully sprung design. Our Avery Track Runner is one of only two in the world.”
One of the most unique tractors in the collection is the original Ford Tractor Company tractor. Set up by a speculator to take advantage of Henry Ford’s reputation before he introduced a tractor, it forced him to call his the Fordson. Only 30 of the seriously flawed machines were sold. The company folded, but the experience of one frustrated customer led to the establishment of the Nebraska Farm Tractor Tests.
Bearden reports that about 80 percent of the tractors in the collection turn over. That includes around 60 tractors off-site. Those that turn over have been lubed and worked with. Around eight that needed work have been fully restored with more to go.
Images of the tractors on display, as well as background information on the tractor and company, can be found on the J.U.M.P. website.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, 1000 W. Myrtle St., Boise, Idaho 83702 (ph 208-639-6610; assist@jumpboise.org; www.jumpboise.org/vintage-tractors).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #6