RD 2, Box 399 Charleroi, Pennsylvania 15022
This Model B-2 Eric Steam Shovel can be seen on the grounds of the National Pike Steam, Horse and Gas Engine Show near Brownsville, PA. See Dean Redds story in this issue. Photo by Dorothy Yagodich.
The day started out as a cold chilly November 26,1984 as we proceeded with our arrangements to go to Grampion, Pennsylvania, 125 miles, to Clearfield County.
The location of the precious Erie Steam Shovel Model B-2.
We found this jewel about two years prior and finally talked the owner into parting with it. The Erie had not been operated for about 38 years and was in an old strip mine operation, about one quarter mile off the main road, on top of a mountain. Trees had almost engulfed the Model B-2 and it had sunk into the earth up to the axles.
It involved two long days of cutting brush, trees, etc. to get back to it, as well as filling in many large water holes for passage with the lowboy.
Things weren't going too well as we spent an entire day with an air compressor to get the engine freed up so we could move it. Finally we were able to get about one fourth of its power for moving. Digging, pulling with a 955 High lift, cutting of tree roots and colder weather coming up by mid-afternoon. After all this with no luck as to this stubborn refusal to move onto the lowboy, we rigged up a four-part line and finally it just slid onto the lowboy. Frantically our crew anchored the Erie, tied the entire framework securely with ropes so it would hold solid in transit, and we proceeded homeward. It started to snow heavily, the roads were quickly covered with about three inches and many icy spots, and of course trucks were directed to go the route of many hills to climb. Cars as well as trucks were all over the highway. We had traveled only about 25 miles and crawling when we made the decision to park the rig. Police communications stated salt trucks would be out in about an hour. We waited three hours and no salt trucks. We piled into our escort vehicles and headed home.
The next morning we started out early. The sun came out, the roadways cleared and one would have thought the night prior was imaginary and unknown forces wanted the Erie to stay. Strange as it seems, forces compromised and the Erie came home safely. We restored her to her original beauty and now at show time she proudly demonstrates steam power for everyone to gaze at.
Earl Hamilton of Lisbon, Ohio, is 82 years young and has operated the Erie for the last two years, as well as Jim Rowland from Long Island, New York. His wife, Karen, fired the boiler.
We are also pleased to state that we got a 1928 Bucyrus Erie B-2 out of Brooklyn, New York under similar conditions in November, 1985.
The picture was taken at the 1987 National Pike Steam, Horse, Gas Association Show, where it has taken permanent residence. In the picture is a 1921 Atebury truck, owned by Lou McMasters of Hickory, Pennsylvania, and a 1918 five-ton White dump truck, owned by Dean Redd.