Bakersville Homecoming draws people from all over Ohio

| August 12, 2019

Larry Sauder stands with his 1956 Allis-Chalmers. Sauder travels from West Salem each year to the Bakersville antique tractor pull. Beth Scott | Beacon

BAKERSVILLE – The annual Bakersville Homecoming is a tradition in the small community that draws people from all over Ohio and surrounding states. With tractor pulls, musical entertainment, and the ever-popular chicken barbecue provided by the Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department, the homecoming is likened to a big family reunion.

At about 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, volunteers with the fire department gathered at Burt Park to start the 800 chicken halves that were slow cooked over hot coals.

Head cook and organizer, Gerald Hothem, has been in charge of the chicken barbecue since 1985. Gerald’s father, Breton, started the chicken sometime in the 1950s.

“We used to have to walk along with sprayer cans and spray the chicken [to keep it from getting too hot],” said Hothem. “You’d have to pump up the can to spray the chicken. Now, we’ve got a water pump that my brother built and we can spray the chicken a lot easier.”

The original chicken barbecue recipe came from Charlie Haver.

The volunteers are mainly retired firefighters with the Bakersville Volunteer Fire Department.

“We always have these guys here two times a year,” said Hothem. “They’re always here to help do the chicken.”

On Friday afternoon, the antique tractor pull started at around 3 p.m. There were many people from out of town who participated in the pull and have been doing so for many years.

Larry Sauder of West Salem, has been coming to the pull for 18 years. He has a 1956 Allis-Chalmers WD45 and has had it for three years.

“It’s a good bunch of people,” said Sauder about Bakersville. “Larry Stahl still makes it a lot of fun.”

Sauder collects antique tractors, mostly Allis-Chalmers, and lives on two acres. He lives relatively near a tractor pull, but decides to come to Bakersville each year instead.

“I look forward to the pull down here every year,” said Sauder.

John Parks has been pulling at the Bakersville Homecoming since the early 1990s. This is his sixth year pulling his 1950 Oliver. Parks lives just south of Newcomerstown.

“I just like coming up here and visiting with the people,” said Parks. “It’s just a good time.”

Chad Morrison pulled his grandfather’s 1946 Allis-Chalmers at this year’s event. Before his grandfather, Rob Frey, passed away, Frey wanted Morrison to have the tractor and to continue to pull at Bakersville. It has been featured at a Bakersville tractor pull since the 1950s.

Other than the antique tractor pull Friday night, the homecoming featured musical entertainment, church services Sunday morning, Aug. 11, and additional tractor pulls throughout the weekend.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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