The Homestead Harvest 1994

Traction engine

Content Tools

RR3 Shawville, Quebec, JOX 2Y0

My good friend Tom Quinell from Hungtingdon, Quebec, phoned me before 6 a.m. on August 20th to find out if I was going to thresh that day at the show. It was raining 'cats and dogs' at the time. We were on the phone and Tom asked, 'Are you going ahead today?' I said, 'Yes if it stops raining.' We had loaded all the grain the week before and had it in the shed to dry. Anyway, from my place to Tom's is 3 hour drive. We hung up the phone and by 9 a.m. it stopped raining and the boys here had the three engines all fired up. We belted up to the mills and were ready to thresh by 10 a.m., when in came Tom. He sure didn't waste any time! Well, we had all three steam threshing outfits going. The show crowd kept coming and with three mills and three engines going at the same time, it was sure quite a sight!

David Strong, from Perth, firing Sawyer Massey portable engine. I think he has enough wood to do the winter there. That's Henry Behm from Cobden, Ontario, looking on. Henry likes threshing very much he comes here every year.

My good wife Evelyn and my daughter Vera Lynn Campbell were getting the dinner ready. The noon whistle blew. We had put through quite a bit of grain by this time, and we all headed for the house for dinner. They had roast beef, roast pork, and pumpkin pie with the wife's special ty whipped cream from the cows, all five gallons of it. She just 'buried' the pumpkin pie in it. Sure went down real well! Lots of ladies were helping Evelyn with the meals and people were bringing food in. We sure had lots to eat!

Keith Miller firing a Sawyer Massey traction engine. Look how easy Sawyer Massey engines are to fire just see how relaxed Keith is!

I think we could have stayed and had Christmas dinner! After we had dinner we started to thresh again and then along came the fiddle players and we had music all afternoon and evening until 12 p.m. We had supper at 6 p.m. and had another snack at 12 p.m. We really did eat a lot and it was fun. Evelyn said we served 300 meals that day! For all the help from the ladies who came and brought food, we say, Thank You!

Arnold Feibig from Dacre had to take his engine that day and thresh in Ontario. It was a steam threshing too, so Ken Barber from Renfrew, Ontario, came and fired the Case 45 that day. Ken is a guy who likes long strokes and heavy flywheels. I generally call Ken 'Old Flywheel,' 'cause if there is no flywheel on the engine, Ken wants to put one on anyway.

This picture is of my father-in-law, Grant Beattie, 92 years old. He says the only thing better than my marrying his daughter was an American Able engine. He had one of them, years ago, sawing lumber. He thinks they were better than Sawyer Massey. We don't agree on this!

My good friend from Perth, David Strong, comes to fire the Sawyer-Massey portable engine. He likes steam trains and horse carriages. Perth, Ontario, is 2 hours from here and he is always here to fire the engine in the morning, too. I don't think these boys sleep at all! Keith Miller comes from Eagenville, Ontario. He comes the day before and helps get things ready for the next day. Sure is a great help. This year Stanley Wiedmark from Ottawa, Ontario, came with the Sawyer-Massey model engine. This made three Sawyer-Massey engines and one Case. This is now known as Sawyer-Massey country up here in Pontiac County, Quebec. Stanley and his dad, Gordie Wiedmark, also have a Case Model engine, but this being Sawyer-Massey country, they choose to leave it at home. Anyhow, is there anyone of you steam men out there who know where there are shows that have three steam threshing outfits going all at the same time? Please let us know about them in IMA.

Sawyer Massey engine threshing. Look fellows, not even an engineer in sight! Look at the smoke rolling out of that baby let's see the Case do this.

Our magazine is sure getting small again, so all you guys get to writing and maybe it will get like the old Sears catalog! Maybe we have to write something that someone won't like to get them to write a story, but maybe that might help!

Say fellows, right now I am redoing an 18 HP Waterloo engine that was at the ploughing match at Pembroke, Ontario, this past fall. The gear was broken on it and I am fixing it. This engine is an 18-20 with low wheels, 54' x 16'. I never saw an engine with wheels this low. This has the same wheels as my Sawyer-Massey traction engine but it has a 20 HP boiler. The boiler is a ?' plate all-welded boiler built at Boiler Smith at Seaforth, Ontario, 175 pounds per square inch pressure. This boiler was built about 10 years ago.

When I get this engine finished I will let you know how it all turned out. We are doing a complete overhaul on it now. Yours in hot water, Eric Campbell.

Three complete steam threshing outfits running at the same time. This equipment all belongs to Eric and Evelyn Campbell of Shawville, Quebec.