Recovery and Restoration of a 25-Ton Bucyrus Steam Shovel

The Ohio Valley Antique Machinery group shares the story of their efforts to restore a Bucyrus steam shovel in time for their annual show.

| July/August 1976

  • Bucyrus Shovel before restoration
    This is what it looked like when we found it.
    Photos courtesy of the Ohio Valley Antique Machinery group
  • Charlie Myers
    Boom being assembled to turntable by (left to right) Charlie Myers and Earl Pringle, president, and Jim Gifford, Sr., David Dunn and Herb Limming.
  • Herb Limming
    Tracks and turntable being cleaned by (left to right) Jim Gifford, Jr.; Mr. Glen Hill, 90 years old and Herb Limming.
  • Bucyrus Shovel after restoration
    Preparing to load the shovel for removal to Georgetown to be restored. Don Conley, crane operator; Earl Pringle on the shovel; Stan Mack and Joe Martin on the ground.
  • Boom and Water Tank
    Boom and water tank and boiler assembly to turntable. Edwin Fiscus, past president, sitting on it.
  • Tom Katine
    90% complete (left to right) Tom Katine, Glen Hill, Lou Brown, Earl Pringle, Stanley Mack and Richard Carmell.
  • Bucyrus shovel
    Moving the shovel to the Brown County Fairgrounds (Brown County Court House in the background.) David Dunn and Edwin Fiscus on the engine; Paul Zimmerer and Lannie Redman walking.
  • Bucyrus steam shovel
    1920 Bucyrus steam shovel, 3/4-yard. — 100% complete. Courtesy of Ohio Valley Antique Machinery, Inc., Georgetown, Ohio.
    Ohio Valley Antique Machinery, Inc.

  • Bucyrus Shovel before restoration
  • Charlie Myers
  • Herb Limming
  • Bucyrus Shovel after restoration
  • Boom and Water Tank
  • Tom Katine
  • Bucyrus shovel
  • Bucyrus steam shovel

Editor's note: This story was submitted by the Ohio Valley Antique Machinery, Inc. group of Georgetown, Ohio. 

It was a nice brisk January day in 1974 when Joe Martin and I decided to check on the condition of a steam shovel that was located in Remington, Ohio. I had seen the steam shovel some fifteen years earlier. It may not be there now, for a lot can happen in that period of time.

As we drove up in the driveway of an old 2-story red brick house, we could see off in the distance some 500 feet what appeared to be some rusty angle iron and structural steel. The dead weeds and green honeysuckle were so thick you couldn't be sure what it was you were looking at.

We immediately parked the car in the drive and proceeded to investigate. Finding no one home at the house, we walked in the direction of the rusty iron. When we got within 100 feet of it, our pace quickened, for sure enough it was still there, but much more deteriorated than fifteen years earlier.



The roof was gone. Some of the piping had been removed and weeds, briars and honeysuckle had grown up all around the shovel. After climbing up on it and looking it over for about half an hour, we wondered where the owner was, if it was for sale and what he would want for it.

We walked back to the old red brick house to seek information. When the lady answered the door, she told us to go up the road five more houses to see a widow by the name of Mrs. Charles Link. We drove up there, but nobody was home, so we headed back home, planning to contact Mrs. Link at a later date.