Model Advance-Rumely

A Model Advance-Rumely built by Henry Poll and Son. We do not have their address. Photo by Lewis H. Cline

Lewis H. Cline

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Reprint from Kalamazoo Gazette July 19, 1953


Mr. Lewis H. Cline of Union City, Michigan, sends us this interesting: account of a Reunion we had not heard of. So we say thanks Lewis. It is called the Live Steam Club of Michigan. The Reunion was held at Richland which is near Kalamazoo, Mich. Well here is the story. (Ed.)

When it comes to getting all steamed up over a hobby, it's tough to beat the members of the Live Steam Club of Michigan.

There's never any question about whether or not the club is in session. The huffing and puffing and billowing clouds of steam and smoke that accompany every meeting would do justice to a railroad roundhouse.

The Live Steam Club is an organization of guys who are just plain nuts about steam engines. It doesn't make any difference what sort of a contraption it is, just so it runs on steam. They have steam-powered tractors, saw mills, automobiles, pop corn poppers, sewing machines and a variety of stationary engines.

Some, like the 10 horse power 1898 tractor engine owned by Glenn Fredericks of Battle Creek, are relics of pre-gas and diesel days. Others, such as the miniature saw mill owned by Bert Stenger of Doster, or the one-half size scale model of a traction engine owned by Henry Poll of Holland, are the results of months of skilled and loving craftsmanship by the owners.

The organization isn't very old. As a matter of fact, it began right here in Kalamazoo last January. Robert Walters, 6164 Copelan, Comstock, a machinist by trade, has been a steam fan for years. His big engines parked by his garage along King Highway are a familiar sight to motorists.

For several years Walters has been an official host for all steam fans and his home a gathering place for informal meeting. In January the casual meetings became a regular thing and the club was formed with Walters as its first president.

The Live Steam Club meets in Walter's shop on the first Friday evening of each month. Already 60 steam-happy members have been signed up from Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids and Holland.