712 Chaps Road, S.E., Rio Rancho, NM 87124. 505-892-8925.
Joe Richardson, Orofino, Idaho and his Case 80 HP steamer at his lumber mill. He has three smaller and one larger engines among many other antiques, all beautifully restored.
In 1975, my wife and I made a trip from Twin Falls, Idaho up to northern Idaho and back through eastern Wasington.
We visited Joe and Marie Richardson at Orofino, Idaho. Joe has a large collection of antique equipment including several late model Case traction engines; 110, 80, 65, 50 and 6 HP portable. Joe has done a super job in restoring his engines. He puts on his own steam engine show each year. The last time I attended his show, Joe hosted a dinner dance party at the luxurious Konkolville Steakhouse & Lounge with a 21-piece band. Joe paid the entire bill for his 172 evening guests. The next evening he hosted and paid for another dinner party at the same place. One of Joe's friends, Clarence Young of Great Falls, Montana, bought my 1915 Case 65 3-piece steam outfit in 1974.
Next stop was the mining town of Wallace, Idaho. We spent several days in Wallace with Everett Rohrer who lives in Englewood, Colorado. Everett was using his steam train of 10 cars in filming the MGM movie 'Heaven's Gate' starring Kris Kristofferson.
Everett Rohrer and Mel Kestler with Everett's #75. The appearance of the loco is changed for movies. The smoke stack is put on right over the regular one. The pilot is installed over the original.
Collection of old steam traction engines on the Chris Busch farm at Colton, Washington. These engines are parked all over his farm some even out in the field. The engines are not for sale, and have not been restored.
Everett's 308,-450 lb. 2-8-0 engine was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1907. Everett also owns a nicely restored 25-85 Nichols & Shepard traction steamer which he keeps at the Antique Engine and Threshers Association, Bird City, Kansas.
The movie depicts Wyoming's famed Johnson County 'War' of 1891. The parking meters and electric lights were removed from main street to make Wallace look more like turn-of-the-century Casper, Wyoming. Gas lamps and false building fronts were installed. Even the pavement was covered up with authentic dirt hauled in from Wyoming. Beautiful stairways were built and then hammered and beaten to look old and worn. Even the false store fronts were caulked in place. The false store fronts and windows were loaded with plastic butchered beef and hog carcasses and old merchandise antiques of every description. The interior of one of Everett's RR passenger coaches was gutted. It was replaced by the interior and seats from some other RR car. The movie cost over 40 million dollars. It was shown once to movie critics who thought it was too elaborate and its running time too long. The director was criticized for the amount spent.
On our way home, we stopped at Spokane and Colton, Washington as indicated by the pictures. Visited with the local tavern owner in Colton who had over 700 scale model locomotives and cars. This makes my model railroad look puny.