402 Nicholson Avenue Long Beach, Mississippi
Having lived on a farm in Illinois I have always been interested
in steam. In 1954 I made my first trip to the Pontiac Reunion. It
was my pleasure to meet Mr. Ritzman there last Fall, Tom Smith
introduced us. It is strange that while I have been in Mississippi
since 1939 I found that Tom and I had known each other since 1928.
I met him in Morris, Illinois, while doing service work for a
Caterpillar tractor dealer.
Dr. Wallace P. Sheely, who is a subscriber to the ALBUM, is
quite a steam fan. He owns eleven steam Marine engines and one
steam roller. The largest Marine engine is a 25 hp. triple
expansion. ‘Doc’ is presently constructing a 40 ft. long by
12 ft. beam boat and expects to install a 15 hp. triple expansion
engine with a locomotive type boiler which he bought in
The Doc has the only steam driven Pirogue in the world. The
engine is a triple expansion and develops about one horse power.
Pirogue, pronounced peerogue, is a dugout canoe. They are common to
the Bayous of Louisiana. ‘Doc’ is the only person I ever
saw, outside of an Indian or a Cajan who could stay in one. I have
tried many times but they always upset.
When I returned from Pontiac in 1955 I had decided to buy an
engine. I finally found a man who was interested in such a thing.
Herbert Downs. While he had seen pictures, he had never to his
knowledge seen an engine. We finally located one in Louisiana. It
had been on a rice plantation and had been in a shed for over 30
years. A man in Baton Rouge, La., bought it and in loading it on a
truck, a skid broke and the engine was wrecked. Since we could find
no other near here, and since this is a timber country, we bought
the engine and brought it home. It is a Geiser ‘Peerless’
No. 3055. The only place we could find parts was at the Arthur S.
Young Company, Kinzers, Pa.
After two years the restoration is about complete and as near
original as it is possible with only a dim picture of an 1893 model
to go by. (The Arthur S. Young Co., said that from the serial
numbers they were quite certain it was built in 1892. Mr. Ritzman
told me last fall at Pontiac that quite possibly they gave me the
correct information as they are an authority on the Geiser serial
I wanted a club of some kind. Dr. Sheely and Mr. Downs also
thought we should have one. Eventually we found a few other people
with such an interest. Some are interested in old cars, some in gas
engines. So finally we decided to have an organization to cover all
To date we have the following:21 old cars dating from 1906 to
1929; 1 old Fordson, 2 old gas engines one 1919 American La France
gasoline driven fire engine; 11 steam Marine engines; 1 steam road
roller and two steam traction engines. There are 18 members
presently. Starting the 22nd of March 1958, we expect each Saturday
and Sunday to display some of our equipment in different towns and
cities in an effort to interest other people. Here is our
Organization set up Antique Automobile and Engine Club of
Mississippi: Geo. A. Cretors, President; Floyd J. Martin, Vice
President; Herbert T. Downs, Secretary; E. A. Simmons, Treasurer.
Directors are Dr. Wallace P. Sheely, Jos. F. Gayyo, William
McEviry. Memberships: Luke Melyon, Ronald Capdepow.