Steam Hauler

Waiting for its Second Chance, a Scale Minneapolis Makes the Rounds on the Back of a Restored IHC

Joe Steinhagen's scale Minneapolis

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Joe Steinhagen's scale Minneapolis on parade, riding on the back of his immaculate 1952 IHC L150. The Minneapolis, modeled on a 20 HP simple, is set to be restored soon.

Joe Steinhagen's scale Minneapolis on parade, riding on the back of his immaculate 1952 IHC L150. The Minneapolis, modeled on a 20 HP simple, is set to be restored soon.

Stanley Skatberg of Alexandria, Minn., built this little -scale Minneapolis in the early 1960s. It was featured in an issue of Iron-Men Album around the same time, and I saw it run at his shop in the mid-1970s. That was before the steam bug bit me, and all I thought when I saw it was, 'now that's cute,' never dreaming I would own it one day.

After Stanley died in the early 1990s I heard his family was selling the little steamer, but they wanted quite a sum for it. Some are worth top dollar, but this one, with a boiler that had already been condemned by the state of Minnesota, was not.

I lost track of it for many years, and then I found it setting in a junk pile in Nelson, Minn. For the next few years, every time I was in Nelson I visited the engine. Finally, when I noticed it wouldn't turn over anymore, I decided it was time to do something with it.

After a nation-wide search I found Stanley's son living in Colorado, and I purchased the engine from him for considerably less than the original asking price.

Although the boiler was bad the engine was complete, and I was able to free the engine up and get everything working. Stanly had mounted a full-size Marsh steam pump to put water in the little steamer's boiler. It didn't fit the engine's scale, and I mentioned to Jim Briden in Fargo, N.D., that I would be willing to sell it if he knew anybody who needed one. As it was, Jim knew a fellow from Austria who was restoring a Case engine and was looking for just such a pump.

Contacts were made, and two fellows from Austria flew over here on a Labor Day weekend, took in a steam show in Wisconsin, then went to Rollag, Minn., and following Rollag swung through Alexandria and picked up the pump. While they were here I showed them around the area, including a visit to our little threshing show at Rose City, Minn. After showing them around we were driving out the long driveway of the show grounds as the neighbor's horses were running in the pasture right along side. One fellow said to the other, 'Hmm, good sausage.' And they were serious!

After thoroughly cleaning the engine, followed by a new coat of paint, I mounted it on the back of my restored 1952 International Harvester L150 flatbed truck for parades and such. It is a lot easier than taking a full-size engine, water wagon and wood wagon to a parade.

This little engine is going to be a future restoration project. I'll have to buy a different boiler for it and go from there.

Contact steam enthusiast Joe C. Steinhagen at: 11980 Kluver Addition Road S.E., Alexandria, MN 56308.