Steam doings on swift run

Sam Osbourne's place

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213 DuPont Avenue, Seaside Heights, New Jersey 08751

Here is another story of our doings in my area. It all began about three years ago, as several of us were gathered around the fire at Sam Osbourne's place 'Loss and Gain,' on Swift Run near New Oxford, Pennsylvania.

It was decided to have an old time threshing run for one more time. With the cooperation of a neighbor farmer. It was arranged that we would have several acres of wheat reserved. I might say, before I go any further, that about 15 or more engines are stored here, about half way between New Oxford and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The last weekend in June the wheat was cut and shocked. I was just discharged from the hospital after a five week's stay and could not attend the event. The following weekend was scheduled for the threshing, and despite doctor's orders, I was there, even if I did arrive late. Much to my surprise, they had the 20 HP A & TI formerly owned, on the thresher; the first time it had pulled a thresher in forty years. It is now owned by Mr. Tom Ackerman of Waretown, New Jersey and it still knew what to do with that drive belt. The thresher was owned by Mr. Earl Rohrer of Hagerstown, Maryland. The threshing was done at a leisurely pace, and no publicity in advance to keep the crowd down. A good lunch was provided by the wives and girls of the crew, and the thresher seemed to stop with each wagon load, while the picnic table was raided. I don't know how much wheat we threshed, but we ate plenty of good food. The day was closed out about 10:30 that night with three watermelons, which had been cooling all day in the waters of Swift Run. Most of us camped out for the night and made plans for more activities during the summer.

Plans were laid for the annual show at Berryville, Virginia, along with a couple of more activities. Upon returning from Berryville, the 20 HP A & T was sent to volunteer firemen's carnival at Hiedlersburg, Pennsylvania for a few days. There it was used to pull the wagon for the hay rides every night. It was in the hands of Joe Newton, Randallstown, Maryland, most of the time. We certainly wish to thank the volunteer fire company for their help and generosity. It made this trip a delight.

After the return from Hiedlersburg on Sunday, the engine was equipped with temporary rubber treads, along with three other engines. This was done virtually every night. Since my little 8 HP A & T bevel gear was already on rubber, I spent the time on maintenance and repair.

On Monday the two Geisers, a 'T' owned by Sam Osbourne and a 'S' owned by Grant Laughman, both of New Oxford, moved out. They were run down U.S. Rt. 30, a major highway heavy with truck traffic 3 miles into town.

Since the town only wanted four engines, one of our A & T's had to stay home. It was decided to leave Joe Newton's 16 HP as he was having some minor injector troubles. Joe, was at the age of 14 an excellent engineer and rapidly earning respect from some of the old timers. He had just become the owner of his own engine, and hoped to get it to one event yet that year. He was placed in charge of the 20 HP A & T of Tom Ackerman's, which Joe had handled for two years.

On Tuesday, he and I left for the uneventful run to New Oxford. We were helped by Tom, firing for Joe, and Fred Starner, who fired for me, while Grant Laughman and Art Clapper hauled water. Mrs. Starner drove her husband's truck behind us with flashers for safety. I have only one complaint, Tom, I sold you the engine, but not my best engineer.

The four engines were on display for five days on the four corners of the town square, along with a threshing machine and a blacksmith at work. After the parade on Saturday, which lasted about two hours, the two Geiser's and the big A & T took off for the run back, despite the heavy Saturday evening traffic. Later in the evening, my little A & T was loaded on Tom's trailer for the trip to my home in Maryland for additional repairs and restoration. Since I only got this engine four weeks before it was taken to its first show, it was not quite the way I wanted it.

The town of New Oxford treated us well, providing two meals a day for two men per engine and also provided us with coal. The local merchants provided us with garden hoses and water, and we all say Thanks.