All fired up
(Page 2 of 8)
Wayne bought it in May 2001 and hauled it straight from the museum to a boiler shop in Auburn, Ontario. There, it was fitted with a new firebox, flue sheets and 62 flues, all to original specifications. At a Fillmore, Saskatchewan, foundry, Wayne also had a 'like-original' water tank fashioned of riveted sheet metal and two new steel steps copied from the one remaining step, and he had a solid oak toolbox made, also just like the original.
'This one's been a bit of a challenge,' he says. 'The boiler work is done and the worn parts replaced, but I still need parts for the crosshead pump.' Nevertheless, he managed to get the Nichols & Shepard to four shows last summer.
Next in size in Wayne's barn is his Canadian-made 1913 76-hp Sawyer-Massey. Manufactured in Hamilton, Ontario, this machine spent its working life in Saskatchewan. The Derring family near Saskatoon bought the Sawyer-Massey in 1913, to use for plowing, along with a new 17-hp Sawyer-Massey, to run their threshing machine. When their son, Euwart Derring, retired in 1962, he put the big engine up for sale.
It was purchased by a partnership consisting of Gordon Smith, who became a provincial member of the Ontario Parliament, and Allan Byers, who was a John Deere dealer near Orillia, Ontario; in the winter of 1962, Sherwood Hume, who was in the trucking business at the time, hauled the engine back to Ontario. Early in the partnership, Smith sold his interest in the engine to Byers - on the condition that the engine would never be sold out of Canada.
In 1978, John McKay, then living in Mississauga, Ontario, purchased the engine on the same condition and displayed it at various antique equipment shows in southern Ontario until Wayne purchased it in July 2002.
And then there's that Case. It's a 1912 75-hp steam traction engine that also spent its working life near Saskatoon -two farms away from the farm on which the big Sawyer-Massey was located. Wayne says both the Case and the big Sawyer-Massey engines are capable of pulling eight-furrow plows with 14-inch-wide furrows, and plowing 35 to 40 acres a day.
In the early 1950s, a sawmill operator in northern Ontario bought the Case and had it shipped by the Canadian Pacific Railway to a remote, roadless location along the French River, south of Sudbury. A railway crane was sent with the flatcar carrying the Case, and the engine was lowered off the railway bridge down to the edge of the river, where the sawmill was. The Case ran the sawmill until the area was logged out and then sat in the bush until the mid-1960s.
The engine then was traded to Byers as a down payment on a Caterpillar bulldozer. However, the deal was 'as is, where is,' which meant Byers had to retrieve the engine from the bush, where no road had been built in the interim. The railway was not interested in dealing with the engine again, so Byers rented a small barge and towed it 10 miles up the river from Highway 11 to the sawmill site. When he and his helpers drove the Case onto the barge, the 15-ton engine almost tipped the boat into the river.
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