HOUSEKNECTS OF PORT HURON HILL

Will Harris

Courtesy of Will Harris, Route 3, Box 154, Lexington, Virginia 24450.

Will Harris

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8340 Weir Road, Hanover, Michigan 49241

In southern Michigan near Jonesville in Hillsdale county, there is a hill that very few people would remember its name of long ago. The hill was knows as Port Huron Hill. It was the home of Wilkes Houseknect and his three sons, George, Avery and William.

They used and sold Port Huron Equipment such as engines, separators, corn shellers, saw mills, etc.

Avery was sent to South America to sell and operate straw burning combines. Then to South Africa to sell road building equipment for Port Huron.

Through them, there was a lot of Port Huron outfits in this part of the country. To this very day, when I see a Port Huron engine or separator, I wonder if the Houseknects of Port Huron Hill sold it when it was new.

The father and sons have long gone to their final resting place. Only the hill is left, and very few know it as Port Huron Hill.

All four of them would easily qualify as the Iron Fireman of the Month. 

My engine drew such interest that it was featured in one local and one state wide newspaper. I am quite a young engineer, being only 15, and have even gotten my girlfriend, Linda Morrison, who is standing beside me, interested in steam. (Picture by Thomas C. Bradshaw, Lexington, Virginia 24450.)

This is a 1923 9 x 10, 65 HP Frick steam traction engine owned by Clyde and Arland Costley of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. It is being operated by Arland and fired by Clyde, sitting on the water tank. It has just finished pulling 19,500 pounds plus a John Deere 450 bulldozer with the blade down back blading. She is right on the pop and carries Pa. State Boiler Inspection of 150 pounds. This is one of the several engines on display at the Tioga County Early Days Reunion at Whitneyville, Pa. the second weekend of July.