May 27, 2018
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Doodlebugs to have their day in Orrington

Photo courtesy of Curran Homestead
Photo courtesy of Curran Homestead
This antique machine owned by Lloyd Holland is an example of the Doodlebugs and Jitterbugs likely to be seen in the pulling contest on Sunday at Curran Homestead in Orrington.

ORRINGTON — Ever see a Doodlebug? Maybe your dad called them Jitterbugs.

You’ve heard about, and perhaps watched, horse pulling, tractor pulling and truck pulling, but what about Doodlebug pulling?

“You won’t want to miss these antique machines as they battle to pull the biggest load,” said Karen and Irv Marsters of Glenburn, who helped with the most recent Jitterbug-Doodlebug Pulling Competition in June at the Farmington Tractor Festival. “We’re excited that the drivers have agreed to schedule their next meet here in the Bangor region as a special event during our 20th anniversary year celebration,” the couple added.

At high noon Sunday, Aug. 7, the Curran Homestead Living History Farm & Museum will partner with the Maine Antique Tractor Club to produce a Doodlebug Pulling Challenge at the Curran Farm, 372 Fields Pond Road.

A Doodlebug is a vehicle that must be of older vintage than 1950, have no tractor parts — unless those parts have nothing to do with the pulling — and vary in pulling classes mostly by the number of transmissions and the weight of the vehicle.

The last Doodlebug Challenge held in Farmington offered competition among 11 drivers from central and eastern Maine featuring three 1930s Model A’s, a 1933 Chevy, a 1940 K5 International, two late ’40s Chevys and a ’49 Ford among others. The winner of the top weight class pulled some 20,000 pounds of weights.

The local challenge in Orrington will operate under the rules established by EDGE&TA, Early Days Gas Engines & Tractor Association, which has as its primary objectives to support friendship, networking, fun, vintage vehicles and equipment, driver competition and safety.

The Curran Homestead will award trophies to the top three winners in each of the three pulling classes. Visitors will receive a program of information and the rules of the pulling challenge. Karen and Irv Marsters, who also serve on the Curran Homestead board, will narrate the challenge, introduce the drivers and their vehicles and keep spectators abreast of what’s happening during the meet.

John Mugnai, president of the Curran Homestead board of directors, has proclaimed Aug. 7 as Doodlebug-Jitterbug Day at the Living History Farm and Museum.

Admission is $2 each, a maximum of $10 a family, which includes all activities except the barbecue cookout at 11 a.m.

From 10 a.m. to noon there will be Model T and tractor-driven rides; live music by Freshly Cut Grass and The Original Condition bluegrass bands; tours of the farm and the recently acquired collection of family farm implements and equipment.

Mugnai and Curran volunteers will cook up hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken for purchase.

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, since viewing will be on the farm’s hillside overlooking the parking lot, where the pulling challenge will take place.

The Curran Homestead, celebrating its 20th anniversary year, is a living history farm and museum preserving a vast collection of eclectic, turn of the 20th century artifacts for education purposes. Using these original and reproduction artifacts, the Curran volunteers provide experiences and exhibits illustrating the rural farm-family culture and economy in Maine, provoking thought and discussion about our history. The Curran Homestead is an all-volunteer community education project and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that relies on its members, donors and the community for support.

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