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

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.