In 1944, Bess Clearwater donated her 8 HP 1880 Case to a World War II scrap drive. But when Bob Smith's Boy Scout troop showed up to start pulling the Case apart, Bess, the engine's second owner, just couldn't stand to see the Case turned into scrap. Instead, she gave the troop some money and the Case stayed on her Oregon farm, quietly settled under an old cedar tree.
Bob never forgot the engine, and in 1955 he bought Case serial no. 711 for the princely sum of $50 (he still has the cancelled check!). Over the course of five years, Bob and his dad replaced the badly corroded front flue sheet and all the tubes, and put the Case in working order.
Originally a horse-steered traction engine (Bob says Clinton Clearwater, now deceased, remembered the engine rumbling by his school the day it was delivered), in 1909 it was converted using a Case conversion kit to self-steering.
The Case still has its original, 150 psi-rated boiler, although Bob only operates it at about 50 psi. The engine is now on permanent display at Antique Powerland Museum in Brooks, Ore.
Contact steam enthusiast Bob Smith at: 1491 Martingale, Eugene, OR 97401.