LOCKINGTON — The Miami Conservancy District (MCD) hosted the Logan and Shelby County Antique Power Association at the Lockington Dam on Sunday, June 26, as part of the group’s annual tour of antique tractor enthusiasts.
MCD highlights the history and enthusiasm of the Logan and Shelby County Associations and the role the equipment played in maintaining critical infrastructure that the region continues to rely on today.
“The Antique Power Association consists of members who have had, have or enjoy antique tractors. The tractors on tour date back to 1932. Rubber tires were invented in early 1930 and prior to that tractors had steel wheels,” said TJ Godwin, member of the Shelby County Association.
When MCD constructed the dams and levees in 1922, the equipment used was primitive. Laborers walked along levees, swinging hand scythes or used horse-drawn, two-wheel sickle bars in the early years to cut grass on the levees and dams. Eventually those were replaced with motorized equipment including tractors and mowers.
“Today, MCD staff keeps the system maintained using specialized equipment on the levees and dams. With this critical infrastructure over one million people rely on MCD to reduce flood risk that also doubles as recreational amenities along the Great Miami River,” said MaryLynn Lodor, general manager of MCD.
The antique tractor route alternates between Shelby and Logan County each year and this year’s tour began at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. The first stop wad MCD’s Lockington Dam.
“MCD’s Lockington Dam regulates Loramie Creek to keep downstream communities safe from high water. When the Great Flood of 1913 reached Piqua, some neighborhoods were covered to a depth of 24 feet of floodwater. Over the last 100 years, Lockington Dam has stored floodwaters over 422 times – and 6 times in 2021 alone,” said MCD’s Chief Engineer Don O’Connor.
The second stop on the tour was the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency, a farm and museum celebrates 2,000 years of Ohio’s rich history and the final stop is in Lockington to see the remnants of five locks of the Miami Erie Canal that still exist today. The tour took the group back to the Shelby County Fairgrounds.
MCD’s vision is to have thriving communities, a healthy watershed and a higher quality of life, sustained by well-managed water resources throughout the watershed. MCD’s mission is to protecting lives, property and economic vitality within the Great Miami River Watershed through an integrated and balanced system that provides unfailing flood protection, preserves water resources, and promotes enjoyment of our waterways.
The Logan and Shelby Co Antique Power Association meets monthly to discuss agricultural and tractor history and provides educational programming to its members and the general public.