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Getting a ‘Burch’ cut in the 1960s in Highland County

Lead Summary
Steve Roush-
Ladies and gentlemen, back in the 1960s last week, we went to the Moon – Moon Tractor Company – to look at lawnmowers. This time, let’s drive the Studebaker over to Burch Tractor and Implement Company on North West Street and see what kind of mowers and deals they have there.

We’ll see if we can get a “Burch” cut, so to speak.

Don’t know where Burch Tractor and Implement Company is? In the 1970s, the Burch facility became Suiter Sales and Service at 310 N. West St. Both companies had the same phone number, 393-1955.

In an advertisement in the spring of 1968, it said, “This year, make Burch Tractor and Implement Company your lawn and garden center” and to buy “the mower with that GO…” and that “prices start as low as $68.”

OK, let’s take a look, as they seem pleasant by saying, “Call us or stop in and let us demonstrate any of these mowers before you buy.”

Over here, they have the new Snapper Comet, boasting a “simplified design, all steel construction and careful manufacture that assures complete ease of handling with minimum maintenance costs.” There are Comets with 26-, 30- and 41-inch cuts with 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-horsepower engines. It climbs 45-degree grades and with implements that will haul and move snow, among other things (I could have done without the four-letter “S” word!). It’s “a superb riding mower made by the famous Snapper folks.”

Want something with a little more power and runs like a “Deere?” Well, they have three new John Deere “Weekend Freedom Machines,” “Machines that let you stretch your weekends by allowing you to get your all-season homesite chores done in less time. Time you can spend on a favorite hobby, get away for a weekend, or just plain relax. Choose from the new 8- and 10-horsepower models with variable-speed drive, or the new 12-horsepower model with hydrostatic drive. See us today. Convenient credit. Have a nice weekend!”

Burch also had a selection of Hawn Eclipse mowers and asked folks to consider buying any of the lawnmowers on display. “Why not make one of these nationally famous mowers the newest member of your family and enjoy the pleasure of having a beautiful lawn – stop in today!”

With one of those mowers, when it comes to our lawns, it won’t be long now, so with all of the time we’ve saved, let’s drive over to the Hillsboro Elks golf course.

Well, we won’t be able to hit the links because the SCOL golf championship is being held with Hillsboro, Washington C.H., Wilmington, Circleville and McClain competing. If you’re curious, Wilmington won the title, Washington came in second, and Hillsboro tied Circleville for third.

For Hillsboro, Jon Penn carded an 89 (44-45), Mike Cole shot a 90 (42-48), John Hern fired a 93 (48-45), and Jim Rooney rounded out the scoring with a 96 (48-48) for a team score of 368. The McClain team of Hixson, Judkins, Mitchell and McLaughlin shot a 418 to come in fifth.

On that note, let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at

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