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Brass in Berks County
National Tour & Swap Meet

Morgantown, Pennsylvania

May 18 - 22, 2014

Recap of the Tour

(Special thanks to Carol Hoagland, Carl Pate and Natalie Peiffer for sharing their photos
and Carol Hoagland, Anne Ottemann and Marilyn Balduff for writing a recap of the events)

     After the snow and ice melt in the northeastern states, it is time to spruce up our antique cars for the Brass in Berks County tour in Pennsylvania. Over the last 12 years or so, Clay Green, Gil Fitzhugh (the younger), Helen Turner and their committee manage to find new places to explore as the headquarters has been moved from New Hope, to Quakertown, to Reading and now, in 2014, to Morgantown.

     This year, the BBC honors Margaret and Herb Singe, Sr., who deserve the recognition after 64 years as dedicated HCCA members, tourists, and vendors. Their 1904 Curved Dash Olds appears on the banner and the tour book cover; but Herb is more apt to be driving the 1911 Palmer Singer or the 1909 Model T Ford.

     Lookers and shoppers come to the Sunday National Flea Market and Car Display. Added this year was a Ladies Driving School and Workshop (Get to Know Your Antique Car) ably handled by Kathie Conrad and Nancy Wall. The skies stayed clear so the BBQ dinner could be held outdoors with musicians from our group providing lively entertainment.

     The routes to reach our high-tech destinations meandered through the pastoral Amish farmland. The horizon was dotted with groups of silos next to huge dairy barns and outbuildings. The traditional houses frequently had laundry waving in the breeze. The Amish were in the fields with horses, not tractors. All very non-tech.

     We toured the New Holland Agriculture plant (manufacturers of huge farm machinery) and the very top-tech QVC-shopping TV studio. It was a contrast to stop at the Antique Ice Tool Museum. Yes, a museum filled with equipment used for cutting and storing of ice before electric refrigerators replaced the ice boxes in homes. Also, the trucks used for transporting the ice were on view.

     The evening program was an informative talk about Antique License Plates presented by John Willard and John Anshant.

     The rains held off for the morning coffee stop at the Montessori Country Day School. Parental permission was given beforehand so the students could ride in a genuine antique automobile. One enterprising youngster actually had 9 rides.

     We stopped at antique shops, Farmers Markets, ice cream stops, and the J. Maki Winery. Lunch in the pavilion at the historic Poole Forge gave us time to explore the 1700's Iron Master's House (under restoration). Then, a drive through the 1859 covered bridge over Conestoga Creek to more picturesque scenery on the way back to the hotel for final banquet.

Morgantown will be the hub again for next year's tour. Come join us.