So you have to wonder… what did a man, whose background was in road construction and paving, want with opening an International Harvester tractor museum? Quite some time after selling his business in 1998, Stewart Paquette was watching TV and happened upon RFD-TV with Max Armstrong (“This Week in Agribusiness”). Max was driving his tractor in downtown Chicago and the more “Stew” watched and listened the more intrigued he became.
“Stew” purchased his first tractors in 2004 to repair and lightly restore for his grandchildren to use on his property in Leesburg, Florida. His connection with International was the International trucks that he and his father had for their paving businesses. They were a good company and he felt a certain loyalty to them and liked the fact that they were made in America. Stew was never a farmer and had never been on a tractor. Recently he has been called a leading authority on all things International Harvester, although, “Stew” will tell you that he learns something new about IH daily and there is so much more to learn. What was originally a fascination has now become, what we’ve been told, the largest collection of International Harvester farm equipment and memorabilia in the U.S. The annual tractor show has grown to welcome over 3000 visitors each year.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to “Stew’s” museum located in Leesburg, Florida. We are extending an invitation to you, your family or group to visit our unique facility. Our location is conveniently nestled in a peaceful part Lake County between Leesburg and Wildwood, Florida. We have a variety of tractors, farm implements and other antique memorabilia on display for all our guests to see. We often offer special group and individual guided tours of Paquette’s Historical Farmall Tractor Museum. Our volunteer tour guides hail from all over the country and come from many varied backgrounds. Several guides worked for International Harvester in capacities such as dealers, mechanics or manufacturers. Others have farming backgrounds and actually worked with many items similar to what we have on display. We are very fortunate to have these dedicated people volunteering here.
“Stew” and his valued volunteers are here full time. Summer is Red Hot in Florida and many spend part of their time in the northern states. Stewart heads to the many tractor shows around the country when there are no events planned at the museum. However, he is in Leesburg year-round and looks forward to meeting each and every one of the museum guests and guests who attend many of our musical shows in the Show Barn.
Tours can last from 2-3 hours depending on the interests of the guests, pack a lunch and stay all day! We can arrange a delicious catered lunch for groups of 20 or more for an additional fee. Meals are served in our Show Barn where you’ll be treated to a movie of International Harvester clips. You will also enjoy the atmosphere of the Show Barn which houses many antique signs and collectables. If some of the members of your family or group are not tractor lovers or were not in agriculture, they will certainly enjoy the beautiful museum grounds, fresh air and welcoming hospitality and they may even spot buffalo or miniature donkeys who call the museum home!
Our large golf cart “limo” is used to carry guests from building to building if necessary. Wheelchairs and walkers are available to guests who may need them during their visit. We have ample parking for buses as well as cars & motorcycles. Call today to arrange your tour - $15 per person for groups of 10 or more. For children’s groups the fee is $100 for 25 kids/4 adults. Normal rates are $20 per person and children 9 and under are free! We are open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. This is certainly your spot if you are looking for something out of the ordinary during your Florida vacation.
(admission prices and hours are subject to change)