By Gary McKechnie

You’d think that Stewart Paquette had a passion for tractors all of his life.

But you’d be wrong.

After decades of running a paving company in Leesburg, Fla., and in New Hampshire, he was winding down his career when he realized he finally had time to reflect on what helped build America. And he thought of tractors. So he bought a couple of classic Farmall tractors (think of a Model T for farm equipment). And then he bought another. And then another and another.

Now Stewart Paquette has what is arguably the world’s most comprehensive collection of 150 Farmall tractors, the oldest from 1923, and each one has been sandblasted, painted, and so perfectly restored you'll think they've just come off an assembly line.

And they're all on display in a wonderful museum that Stewart created: The Paquette Historical Farmall Tractor Museum near Wildwood.

In a charming New England accent, Paquette explained why he created this place.

“I love American history, and a lot of it comes from the farmers. Farm families in the Midwest were all tied to the tractor; everyone working together with the tractor helping the nation grow.”

It’s nice to see someone pursue a hobby like this. It’s even better when that hobby turns into one of the finest collections in the world.

It’s fantastic when that collection happens to be found off the beaten path at the Crossroads of Florida in Wildwood.

When you go...

Paquette’s Historical Farmall Tractor Museum
615 S. Whitney Road