Collectors items don’t grow on trees, but such items
occasionally found with trees growed in. Such was a shingle mill
located in a jack pine timber some 40 miles northeast of here. That
birch tree could boast a 12 or 15 year grip on the framework of the
mill as evidenced in the photo. Fortunately the saw blades had been
removed to a distant shed. Some axe work, a jack, some planks and
the winch on my truck soon had the hibernator back to civilization.
This mill is so constructed to accommodate the carriage from either
end, can’t recall seeing another like it.
‘HAPPY JOHNSON’ is a retired milk plant operator but
still very active. His hobby is working in his wood lot, and with
his Case tractor loves to buzz up stove wood. Getting so’s if
he sees a pole-wood pile he stops in to ask if he can saw it up,
for the fun of it.
My father, J. F. McGukin of Vinemont, Alabama, and I have been
subscribers to your magazine since we learned of its existence in
1960. Before we heard of it we thought we were the only people left
who liked steam. We were glad to hear that we had company. At
present we have one portable, two stationary boilers, and two
stationary engines. We also have one borrowed portable and are
negotiating with hopes of buying a Baker traction engine of 23 hp.
Here is a picture of our 9? 10 Frick Portable, Engine No. 24464. At
present it is being used to pull a Corley sawmill with edger. We
carry a modest 115 lbs. on this butt strap boiler. It is in
excellent condition, as good as any I have seen, with absolutely no
corrosion damage to the flue sheet. We believe it was built in
We had the pleasure of having the JAMES SYLLINGS from Spring
Grove, Minn., visit us one week-end. Old tractors and steam was the
topic of the day.
Got word from NYLE KURTH, Eau Claire, about some steam power
units in said town. The next day I was on my way and he had quite a
list of steamer still intact. Several high speed Brownell double
cylinder units were going strong at Sterling Pulp & Paper Co.
Of most concern to us was a double Cly. 16 x 36 A. C. Corliss No.
889 hooked tandem to an air compressor at the U.S. Rubber Co. where
Nyle is employed. This engine, though it has performed around the
clock for 3 decades, is still in near new condition but doomed for
scrap. Three smaller electric powered compressors are being set up.
Tragic such reliable trouble free steam power has to terminate its
usefulness so prematurely. To me its a modernizing mood of some
top-brass. The Railroads have gone ‘modernistic’ and are
now struggling hard to stay intact.
A long time pre-meditated trip was realized on Feb. 6th’.
Possibly two years prior to this date ART MEISNER from Stillwater,
Minn., informed me of the 3 magnificent steam power units still
going strong at St. Paul City Water Works. Sensing as how every
year numerous stationary steam units of this type are being
replaced or discontinued, I dared not spend this trip any longer.
Turning us loose in a Water Purification plant nucleus’s by
such steam power was beyond my comprehension. Three A. C. Cross
Compound Corliss Engines hooked tandem to huge water pumps have
practically worked around the clock since their installation in
1922. My guess is they are good for another 40 years. In the old
adjacent water pumping station still sat two E. P. Allis vertical
triple expansion pump engines, amazing units indeed. Here too was
an Ingersoll Rand Cross Comp. Horizontal Corliss, with tandem hook
up to the air compressor. These three units were still used, as
standbys up through the late 1950’s.
Teacher: ‘Frankie, what is the shape of the earth?’
Frankie: ‘It’s round.’
Teacher: ‘And can you prove that it’s round.
‘ Frankie: ‘OK, so it’s square. My Pop says never
argue with a woman.’