We have a long and varied list of projects, plans, and goals. Listed below are some of the major ones. We rely on the generosity of our donors and volunteers, without which we could not come close to achieving success. If you or your group have any interest or ideas for these or other projects, please CONTACT us.
Future Home at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds
March 30, 2012
AVRM Chairman, Bill Rawlings was invited to meet with AV Fair Association CEO Dan Jacobs, Deputy Manager Debbie Smith, and artist Renato de Guia to begin plans for a new 10,000 square foot building to house the AVRM at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. Below is the first preliminary drawing created that day.
April 10, 2012
AVRM Chairman Bill Rawlings and Board Member Sheila Sola met with Renato de Guia at his studio to discuss the new home for the AVRM. A second drawing was created at that time to reflect the changes requested by the Executive Board of the AVRM
Newest color rendering of our future home.
Above: Toneman Concrete Corporation’s crew, led by Kenny Toneman, placed 90 cubic yards (9 trucks) of concrete on Monday, July 13, 2020. It was day 2 to complete the area in front of the museum. The last day of a heat wave with temps over 100°, these guys really worked hard.
Below: Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
The Simi Ranch Hay Loader
This 1946 Chevy chassis with a hay loader boom added represents the Alfalfa industry of Antelope Valley.
For several decades this type of mechanical loader was used to load and unload alfalfa and hay bales to and from trucks. This was state of the art machinery beginning in the 1950’s until the advent of the Squeeze in the late 1990’s.
This two man operation is still in use on several ranches today. This wonderful piece of AV agricultural lore also represents the premier event of the Rural Olympics, the Hay Loading Contest, which debuted in 1935 at the Antelope Valley Fair with two man teams loading and unloading 64 bales by hand, and continues at the Rural Olympics with the two man teams using loaders much like the one pictured here. This loader was donated by the Simi Ranch. It is the intent of the Antelope Valley Rural Museum to restore this fine example of AV agricultural history and display it in our museum as well as feature it in parades and events. Your help is needed to finance this project.
A team of members from the Antique Automobile Club of America, Antelope Valley Region High Desert Classics Car Club, led by John Knapp has taken on the restoration of this truck.
Pictured right: The loader as it appeared during the 2011 AV Fair.
After hundreds of hours labor by John Knapp and his crew, the old Chevy moves under its’ own power.
A lot of body work has been done, with considerable more to go.
Ernie Bailey and his1929 Fordson tractor competed in the Rural Olympics at the Antelope Valley Fair and Alfalfa Festival in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The AVRM will restore this antique tractor for display in the museum as well as parades. Funding is being sought for tires, parts and necessities for an expert restoration. David Pickus is spearheading this project. We hope to complete this project for the 2011 AV Fair exhibit. Militia and Ernie were inducted into the Rural Olympics Hall of Fame in 2009
Timeline of AV History
AVRM member Sue Page has taken on the daunting task of research and organization of the vast amount of information necessary to create a timeline of AV history, from prehistoric to the future. This timeline will become the core of the museum, and will continue to grow without boundaries. Our goal is to complete this project in three phases, with the research and editing continuing through each. It is our hope to feature highlights of all the communities and districts of the Antelope Valley.
Phase 1 will be a graphic timeline showing the chronological historical highlights of AV history.
Phase 2 will develop a program to bring the timeline to touch screen technology, incorporating a string of monitors for interactive access to all things related to the AV. This phase is perhaps the most ambitious and will require a great deal of financial and technical help.
Phase 3 actually started in 2010 at the AV Fair. This phase consists of the physical displays of artifacts, photos and memorabilia. In 2012 the physical timeline was anchored at one end with Indian artifacts loaned by the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, and at the other end with models and videos provided by NASA Dryden.
Don Padgett’s Hot Rod Tractor
Don Padgett raced this Allis Chalmers hot rod tractor in the Rural Olympics from 1953-1963. Don and the tractor are pictured at left winning the 1957 tractor race. In 2009 Don Padgett was inducted into the Rural Olympics Hall of Fame.
In 2010 the Padgett family donated the Allis Chalmers racer to the Antelope Valley Rural Museum, and in November it was retrieved from its Ridgecrest home by a group of AVRM volunteers. Because it had been stored outside for many years, it is in poor condition (see photo at right), but complete. The AVRM intends to restore this historical tractor for demonstrations, parades, and display.
1957 FORD F-100
This pickup truck used to belong to the AV Fair and was used by the maintenance department until Bobby Jones purchased it in 1973. The Bobby and Dorothy Jones Ranch has donated this to the AVRM in memory of Bobby and Dorothy.
The Jones Ranch has also donated this fine old piece of farm equipment. Not only was it used daily on the ranch, It was seen annually in the Rural Olympics. Bobby used it to pull the wagon in the three man field loading event beginning in 1953. The tractors real claim to fame, however, came through the girls. Mom Dorothy in 1953, then each of the Jones daughters followed suit, beginning with Barbara (Sterk) in 1954, followed by Judy (Gant), Brenda (Lamb), Linda (Peiper), and finally Toni (Tivis) in the 1970’s, after which it was retired. The AVRM plans to restore to its original color and mechanical condition.
Haro bed Mechanical Field Loader
AVRM member Tom Bookman has donated three New Holland 1046 Bale Wagons (circa 1960) from his east side alfalfa ranch. We are planning to combine the best parts of all three into one complete wagon. The search for one of these bale wagons has been one of our priorities for nearly two years. Before New Holland bought the patent rights, these machines were invented and developed on the east side at the B.C. Grey Dairy. They are named Harobed, which was their daughter Deborah’s name reversed. We are actively seeking donors and volunteers to take on the monumental task of restoring one of these to be displayed in our exhibit, and in parades.
Rural Olympics Hall of Fame-Established 2005, displayed annually at the AV Fair. We are continually updating statistics and adding photos and memorabilia to this major part of the museum.
Coming new in 2011– Among other things we will be adding a tribute to our veterans and patriotic citizens with a WARTIME IN THE AV display. We have plans to build new display cabinets, as well as a facade to resemble War Eagle Field. Dayle Debry and Bob Alvis are scheduled to provide the contents of the new cabinets.
We also hope to incorporate more information about the diverse agricultural history of the AV such as onions, carrots, fruits, nuts, dairy, honey along with our Alfalfa is King exhibits. We could use a great deal of help researching and developing each of these displays.
Have a resource or skill that could help with one of our projects? We’d love to hear from you…