Spring Comes Early, To Kentucky This Year

40 HP J. I. Case

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1508 Kentucky 1080 Calhoun, Kentucky 42327

Chady Atteberry and Rick Apple pulling the hill with a 40 HP J. I. Case at Old Hickory Farms, McLean County, Kentucky. See 'Spring Comes Early to Kentucky This Year,' by Thomas G. Lee, for the full story.

Sunday, March 19, 1995, was a beautiful, very warm day. With good steam friends wanting to fire up an engine and the temperature in the 70s. we couldn't wait any longer. The following were on hand at Old Hickory Farms: Chady Atteberry of Black well. Oklahoma; David Fultz, Greensboro, North Carolina; Rick Apple, Castalian Springs, Tennessee; and Walter Cook. Livermore, Kentucky.

With water already in the boiler and wood in the firebox, the 40 HP Case was pulled out of the shop. David Fultz lit the fire and raised steam while Chady Atteberry and Walter Cook made adjustments on the engine. Before long there was enough steam to blow the first whistle. During the remainder of the day around 30 different whistles were blown. Many of the whistles were from steam locomotives, including single chime, 3 chime, 5 chime and 6 chime. Steamboat and factory whistles were also blown, including an 8' diameter 3 chime Buckeye and 10' diameter 3 chime Lunkenheimer.

By early afternoon many friends and neighbors, upon hearing the whistles, dropped by to see the engine and enjoy the whistles. Other afternoon guests were Eddie James and Joe Wirth, both of Owensboro, Kentucky, and Mr. and Mrs. Brad Albright of Webster, Kentucky.

Due to the unusually dry weather and summer-like temperatures, the ground was dry enough to run the engine around the farm. Everyone got a turn at the throttle and blowing as many whistles as they wanted.

After a beautiful day of fun, the 40 Case was parked for the night. Everyone then pulled up a chair in the shop for a good 'bull session' of talking steam traction engines, steam locomotives and steam whistles until around 10:00 p.m.

March 19, 1995 at Old Hickory Farms, with the J.I. Case 40 HP engine, Tommy Lee, David Fultz, Chady Atteberry, Rick Apple and Walter Cook.

With perfect weather, what better way to welcome spring than to have good, true steam friends come to visit, to fire up a good J.I. Case steam engine and pull up the hill to hear the old gal talk, to smell the sweet fragrance of hot steam cylinder oil and smoke, and to hear the melodious sound of many good steam whistles. All agreed that spring couldn't have been welcomed in any better way. All of us had a good time and hope to do this again in the near future.

Monday morning David Fultz, Chady Atteberry and I headed out to Lexington, Kentucky, to visit with Fred Stanton and see his nice collection of steam engines. Fred is a good steam friend and has an outstanding collection of steam engines.

Tuesday morning David, Chady and I went to the General Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Kentucky. We then went to the Kentucky Railroad Museum at New Haven. The day ended with a visit with Lawson Zearing at Shelbyville, Kentucky. Lawson's vast knowledge of Case steam engines makes a visit with him a joyful learning experience.

Wednesday David, Chady and I drove up to B&B Boiler Repair Shop at Greensburg, Indiana. It is good to see the fine job these young men are doing, rebuilding old steam engines.

Thursday morning David headed out for North Carolina real early. Chady and I cleaned up the 40 Case and pulled it back in the shop, then he had to head back to Oklahoma.

We all had a wonderful time, and the Lord blessed us with beautiful weather so we could fire up a Case engine. Like they say in the commercial on TV, 'It doesn't get any better than this!'