GRANDAD'S STEAM ENGINE OFFERS FASCINATING HOBBY

Jackie Farner

Jackie Farner of Mechanicsburg R. D. 1, is a 'dyed-in-the-wool' steam engine hobbyist.

Content Tools

We have taken the following from the Harrisburg, Pa., Evening News of Aug. 2nd, 1960, without permission but we know you will enjoy it. --Elmer.

When Jacqueline Hart was a child, she claimed 'the most exciting thing in the world' was a steam engine her grandfather used on his Mechanicsburg R. D. 1 farm.

Today, the same girl, who has been Mrs. Paul Farner since 1946, still plays with the steam engine on the farm of her grandfather, Frank R. Bare.

She has developed her hobby until she not only is able to fire the boiler and operate the engine, but is equally adept at making all but the most major repairs to the iron horse.

Her daughter, Cathy, 8, is following her mother's footsteps as a steam engine buff. Her son, Michael, 11, has only a luke-warm interest.

Mrs. Farner lives along Trindle Road only a stone's throw from 'grandpa's' farm and its intriguing steam engine.

Mrs. Parner was reared by her grandparents after her mother and father died when she was young.

Grandpa Bare was a farmer, so her talent with the steam engine was to prove increasingly valuable as the years passed. She was able to help with the farming, especially threshing and other chores that utilized steam power.

'I used to run down the lane to meet grandpa when I'd hear the engine's whistle blowing to signify the end of the day's work,' she reminisced.

'Then he would let me guide the iron monster to the barn, until one day I was able to pull the throttle all by myself.

'When I was a teen-ager, I was able to do most of the engine work, without a worry to grandpa, because he knew I had learned early never to let the fire go out or the water get low.'

She added, to illustrate her familiarity with traction engines: 'I know more about a steam engine than about an automobile, especially the process of backing up.'

Now that grandpa is in semi retirement, Mrs. Parner has turned to a growing group of steam engine enthusiasts in order to continue her hobby.

She was the first woman member of the Williams Grove Steam Engine Association, a group of hobbyists that meets each year at Williams Grove Park for an entire week preceding Labor Day to parade their steam engines and swap shop talk about the monsters.

At present she is painting the engine which she and grandpa will exhibit for a week at Williams Grove and drive in the daily parade there.

She and grandpa usually are found at any of the steam engine meets, in Kinzer, Hampstead, Md., or anywhere else the buffs gather regularly.

And on the long winter evenings when 'Sally' is silent and cold in the barn, we paste clippings and photographs of the glorious summer activities in our albums,' she concluded.