The Lakeside Sand & Gravel Open House event features live demonstrations of antique construction equipment at work.
Lakeside Sand & Gravel hosted its 17th Annual Open House and Antique Construction Show on April 28, 2018.
Throughout the year, Lakeside Sand & Gravel sees heavy traffic on a daily basis as trucks from northeast Ohio pull in to load up on washed and crushed gravel, a variety of sand products and landscape and limestone products for use on the region's construction and landscape projects.
Every Spring, however, many of these construction workers are joined by an entirely different crowd who gather at the company's Mantua, Ohio, operation to see the company's extensive collection of antique construction equipment, much of which is put back to work in demonstrations at the event.
The event attracts an average of more than 1000 antique construction equipment enthusiasts from Ohio and surrounding states who gather to take in the more than 200 pieces of equipment on display, which range in age from the late teens to the 1960's.
The collection includes an impressive variety of machines — everything from early model Caterpillar crawlers to rare, one of a kind machines and meticulously restored shovels and cranes. While the majority of the equipment on display and in action is a part of Lakeside Sand and Gravel's private collection, additional machines owned by other collectors were brought in for the show as well.
For the past several years, the International Watch Fob Association annual show has also been held on site in conjunction with the open house event.
The Open House Antique Construction Equipment Show is a free event and open to the public; however, donations in support of Lakeside's neighbors at the Hattie Larlham Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing a number of services for individuals with disabilities, are welcomed.
Lakeside Sand & Gravel is a family-owned company with both second and third generations of the Kotkowski family actively involved in running the business operations. The business was started by Harry and Henry Kotkowski, the father and uncle of the current owners, Larry and Ron Kotkowski.
Both brothers share a passion for antique construction equipment and, with the help of family, employees and friends, have devoted a great deal of time, effort and resources toward locating and restoring these historic machines. Nearly every machine in the collection has sentimental significance or comes with a unique story, which adds special meaning and value to each machine. Many of these machines narrowly escaped the scrapyard to gain a new life at Lakeside Sand & Gravel.
Two examples are a Bucyrus Erie 15-B shovel which was owned and operated from the 1950's until the 1970's by their father, Harry Kotkowski, and a 1926 Northwest Model 105 shovel, dubbed Speedy Rusty in memory of Larry Kotkowski's late granddaughter whose observations about the condition of the machine inspired its name.