The 11th annual Mackinac Bridge Antique Tractor Crossing held on September 7 celebrates the uniqueness of antique tractors. Members of antique tractor clubs haul their machines from all over the United States to participate, all the way from Minnesota, Indiana, even from Iowa and California. Tractors line up on the Mackinac City side of the bridge, and begin crossing in parade fashion toward the destination of St. Ignace, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The trip can last anywhere from a couple hours to six or seven hours, depending on your spot in the lineup.
Gordon Waltz, GreenStone’s crop insurance operations coordinator and a member of the All Color Antique Tractor Club and Barb Dinsmore, financial services officer in GreenStone’s Corunna branch are two GreenStone team members who participated in this year’s tractor crossing.
“I drove a 1957 International Harvester 450,” Gordon shared. “It was bought new in Mason by a neighbor and has come full circle in the last 60 years to within two miles from where it started out.”
“And I crossed with a 1948 John Deere A,” Barb added.
Approximately 700 antique tractors lined up for the crossing when the event first took place 11 years ago. This year, there were more than 1,500 tractors registered to participate in the crossing.
This annual event is a great way for those in the community, and those not necessarily a part of the local community but part of the agricultural community, to come together and build comradery among each other.
“I have participated in the crossing ten out of the 11 years,” Gordon said, “And my favorite part is always getting the opportunity to visit and build friendships with farmers.”
When the drivers reached St. Ignace, they were welcomed with a group lunch, a variety of tractors to admire in the parking lot, tractor games in the afternoon and lots of good company.
“My Mom and Dad have participated in this event since it has started and this will be my third year going across” Barb said. “I am thankful that I get to have this fun experience with my family. My favorite part is seeing all the different tractors. I really enjoy meeting new people and getting to hear the stories behind their tractors.