NELSON COUNTY, Ky. (WDKY)– Bloomfield sits just off the Bluegrass Parkway, a town with about a thousand residents. But unlike many small towns, this one still has a vibrant business district. There’s “Nettie Jarvis Antiques,” a well-known shop that’s like a museum, along with a general store and tea room, and the “Olde Bloomfield Meeting Hall,” which houses an ice cream shop, bowling alley and tavern.
All of these old structures have new life thanks to one woman– Linda Bruckheimer, wife of famed Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer. While he made blockbuster movies over the years, she restored buildings.
“It’s hard to close your eyes to something you see and want to do,” she said . “Eventually, there will be more things.”
Mrs. Bruckheimer, who grew up in Louisville, discovered Bloomfield on a drive. As an author and photographer, she likes to take the back roads and seeks out unusual things. Her love of roadside attractions led to her latest creation just a couple miles from downtown.
Drivers who enter Bloomfield from the west pass the couple’s farm and many do a double-take when they see the green scene beyond the white-planked fences.
“It’s one more thing to make Bloomfield unique.”
The field looks like a graveyard for John Deere tractors, ten of them in a row, half-buried with noses pointed in the air. Mrs. Bruckheimer says she was inspired by a quirky attraction she loves in Texas, the Cadillac ranch. It prompted her to design her so-called “Deere John Project,” a tribute to the region’s farming history.
“A lot of people are going in a car. They don’t want to be just on the freeway. They want to see the things that make Kentucky ‘Kentucky’ and you never know what that is,” she said. “It’s just something unexpected.”
The tractors were planted in the summer of 2020 without fanfare. They just showed up and are lined up in order from the oldest to the newest. Mrs. Bruckheimer says it’s art, so the key is to get people to notice it, even if they don’t understand it.
“I think it gives people a lift and puts a smile on their face and that’s the most important thing to me.”
Even when she’s away at her primary home in Los Angeles, Linda Bruckheimer is always looking for ways to promote Bloomfield and she believes retired tractors can still have a lot of pull.