Route 1, Mead, Washington 99021
When we left last May first, we didn't know what to expect in weather. Boy, did we get it.
Our first stop was at St. Regis, Montana, to see our steam friend, Charles Bennett. We were hoping to see his new boat but he had taken it to the lake.
In Missoula I found one of the best and some of the oldest engines I ever saw. They belong to Bud King. He wasn't there so I took a couple of nice pictures. He has an old Garr Scott no. 3529, a N&S no. 2940, an old Case portable no. 396, a Rumely, a 20 hp Case, a Tandem Advance, a 30 cat and an old Hart Parr.
I also got to meet Mr. Charles Parr but didn't get to see his collection. Did you know he is related (son I think) to the Parr who started the Hart Parr works?
We left Missoula with 3' of hard packed snow and ice on our car and it stayed there for 3 days. We left no. 10 and headed south at Silver Star, Montana. I took a picture of Lloyd Harkin's collection. He wasn't home and a large sign read, 'These engines not for sale. Keep Out', so we went on.
At Elder Gulch near Virginia City, we stopped to see the old steam train there. We got some cards at Virginia City, but it was snowing like mad, so we went on to Ennis. Everybody for 50 miles knows Slim Rennewanz so we had no trouble finding his place. That evening Slim and Ella took us for a ride around his place and I bet we saw 200 deer and 2 bunches of antelope. What a beautiful wild place he has. We had a grand visit and the next morning I took a picture of his lodge home with 1' of new snow on it. Did you know that we have 3 old-time aviators in our W.S.F.A.? Slim of Ennis, Cecil Pounder of Spokane and Ed Volge of Buhl. We left Slim's in a snow storm.
At Ennis I took 2 pictures of a beautiful portable Garr Scott at the El Western Motel and across the highway of a Case, an N&S and a street roller all sitting out in the weather, used only as a crowd stopper.
We went back to no. 10 and through snow drifts 8 and 10' high. We camped in our V.W. bus near Sheridan, Wyoming at 17 above. Say, did you know that antelope can't jump over a fence? They can go through a fence and run like the wind, but a fence that will hold goats will hold antelope. So says Slim Rennewanz.
In the Block Hills of South Dakota we stopped at Hill City to see the steam train there with snow all over it. At Rapid City, South Dakota, we visited the W. A. Kelly's of 2011 Twin Elms. He has 3 beautiful small locomotives and in his back yard a 6' track about 250 ft. long. His garage looks like a machine shop. Two lathes, drill press shaper and milling machine. That evening he asked a friend to come over and see my pictures. He was Mr. Frank Ewing of Route 1, Box 188. Mr. Kelly is a finished organ player and has a concert organ and did he play it for us that night and in the A.M., too.
After a fine breakfast we went over to see Mr. Ewing's collection. He said he wasn't a collector but what he has a lot of museums are still looking for. He has an old N & S 8 hp, 1889, in A-l condition, a 1909 Int. Harvester truck, a Stanley Steam and a spare engine, 6 saddles, wagon, 3 large bells and lots of small ones. All under cover. In a shed a 10 hp boiler connected to 3 engines, a 30 hp Horz. Ideal, 8 hp verticle, 4 hp Cushman, and gas engines, too.
When we got to Columbus, Nebraska, we had a day to spare so we went south to York, Nebraska, and visited A. J. Woodban. He took me to his machine shop and I saw a swell 9 hp A. W. Stevens engine. He thinks it's the only one in the U.S., no. 1774. I could have sent it home but I didn't have the $2000. He also has a small 2/3 size of a 16 hp Stevens (not for sale) carries 125 lbs. steam. He has showed this engine at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. It weighs 1020 lbs. loaded.
We went to Henderson, Nebraska to see Mr. John J. Thieszen, but he has sold his collection but kept two engines. They are moving the Museum to Grand Island, Nebraska, I heard. I had a long talk with him and he gave me a picture of his engine.
We went to Harvard, Nebraska, and to the farm of Forest Pence. Here is the daddy of collections. He wasn't home but Boo and I took a look and what I saw made me sad. He must have 40 or more engines all sitting out in the weather. I saw an old Jumbo, two Minnies no. 6325 and no. 855 with return flues. A Woods Bros. no. 444 - Avery, 3 old Hubers, a Peerless no. 9409 and a Townsend 25-50 gas. There was one engine in shed getting painted. This was the biggest disappointment of my trip. He could make 30 men happy and have just one engine to take care of. I left there with a heavy heart.
We went to Minden, Nebraska, and stayed all night in the parking lot of The Pioneer Village. Next morning we paid $1.35 to see the finest museum I have ever seen. We took 5 hours to see it but could have spent 2 days there. If The Pioneer Village hasn't got it, it hasn't been made yet.
We went north to the freeway, then east on 34 to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I went down to the park where they hold their bees; saw train and grounds. I met Mr. Bill Sater but he was so busy he couldn't show me around.