Rough and Tumble didn't start out as a dusty collection of memorabilia. It began as an event. Steam threshermen and farm families originally got together after the crops were harvested to have a reunion and picnic. Games were held and prizes awarded. These festivities attracted manufacturers and salesmen who showed off their new models of labor saving devices.
Farm equipment dealers, farmers and threshermen organized "The Pennsylvania Threshermen and Farmers' Protective Association" to keep the needs of those who used steam farm equipment before the Pennsylvania Legislature.
As the days of the steam-powered traction engine came to a close, the Lancaster and Lebanon County Threshermen's Association chapters decided to spend their remaining treasuries on an old fashioned "Threshermen's Reunion". This reunion was held in 1948 on the grounds of farm equipment dealer, Arthur S. Young, just across Route 30 from Rough and Tumble's present location.
Those at the first reunion had such a good time they decided to make it an annual event and eventually formed ROUGH AND TUMBLE ENGINEERS HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION to perpetuate their annual "Threshermen's Reunion."
Family Activities - One of the great aspects of Rough and Tumble is the amount of multi-generation family activities observed here. Many of our photos, especially parade pictures, show two or three generations of family members on a single tractor, driven by men and women and children. Many of the restorations that are undertaken so that you can see and enjoy like-new antique tractors at Rough and Tumble are completed by fathers and sons and fathers and daughters, and sometimes grandparents and grandchildren.
Statement of Purpose
The Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association is a museum organized to collect, preserve, restore, and exhibit the tools and related artifacts that commemorate agricultural and rural people, to perpetuate their work methods and daily life style through the organization of an annual reunion to demonstrate these methods with the use of working machines and demonstrations.
The Association is organized to seek and maintain a membership with privileges of active participation.
The Association will continue to update its collection so that it may tell the history of these people as written into the things their hands made and used, and to teach past skills to all who wish to learn.