CHAZY - Anthony Trombly has been collecting John Deere tractors for the last 22 years. It's more than a hobby to him, it's a dream come true.
Along Route 9, many people stop on a daily basis to see the 70 tractors lined up in a field at the farm he owns, called John Deere Hill Farm.
"I'm not trying to impress everybody, or anybody for that matter," said Trombly. "I put them here because I like seeing them here."
Trombly said the tractors have been lined up since June, and prior to that they hadn't been in the field for nearly 20 years.
His collection first began in 1988 when he purchased a John Deere 2-cylinder for $300.
"That was a splurge," Trombly recalled.
Trombly said he took over the family farm at the age of 16, putting every penny he had back into the business that he considered "financially bankrupt."
"Nothing like this would have been in the picture," Trombly explained as he looked down the line of the tractors. "But I turned it around through hard work and management."
After spending 12 years without making a single purchase for himself, he saw a deal with the $300 tractor and decided to take it.
From there on, Trombly purchased every tractor in the line.
"There was a point in time where the tractors weren't old enough to be antique, but they were too old to be efficient," he explained. "So you could buy them cheap."
"I made the deal. I bought every single one. And every one has a story on how I found it, how we derived at the price and how it got here," added Trombly. "It's unbelievable the stories that come with them. It really gave me a life."
One story includes an eventful trip to a tractor auction in Iowa to purchase a 1935 tractor. After Trombly's wife, Marsha was looking through a catalogue of tractors that were going to be auctioned, she noticed something familiar about one of the serial numbers. It in fact was the next consecutive number of a 1935 tractor Trombly already owned.
"They were made one behind the other in the factory," he explained.
Another tractor in the line up is not a John Deere at all, but an International Farmall tractor.
Trombly purchased the tractor from the son of a man who was long-time friends with Trombly's father.
"There was always a rivalry between John Deere and International," he explained. "He was always strong International and we were always strong John Deere. So I just had to have one of his after he passed away."
The ages of the tractors in the line range from the 1920s to the 1970s, which Trombly finds is a way to show agricultural history.
"I can see the evolution," he said. "It's right here and it's fascinating. The oldest one is a 1927 and the newest 2-cylinder is a '59. The last four tractors ... they call them new generation, are out of the '60s. They're the next step in a collectors dream."
The tractors on Route 9 are the ones Trombly considers to be "retired."
"They all worked," he said. "They're having a good retirement, I think. They're being admired. People stop, they come up in the yard and a lot of people will walk the line."