RD 2, Box 399 Charleroi, Pennsylvania 15022
This Model B-2 Eric Steam Shovel can be seen on the grounds of
the National Pike Steam, Horse and Gas Engine Show near
Brownsville, PA. See Dean Redds story in this issue. Photo by
The day started out as a cold chilly November 26,1984 as we
proceeded with our arrangements to go to Grampion, Pennsylvania,
125 miles, to Clearfield County.
The location of the precious Erie Steam Shovel Model B-2.
We found this jewel about two years prior and finally talked the
owner into parting with it. The Erie had not been operated for
about 38 years and was in an old strip mine operation, about one
quarter mile off the main road, on top of a mountain. Trees had
almost engulfed the Model B-2 and it had sunk into the earth up to
It involved two long days of cutting brush, trees, etc. to get
back to it, as well as filling in many large water holes for
passage with the lowboy.
Things weren’t going too well as we spent an entire day with
an air compressor to get the engine freed up so we could move it.
Finally we were able to get about one fourth of its power for
moving. Digging, pulling with a 955 High lift, cutting of tree
roots and colder weather coming up by mid-afternoon. After all this
with no luck as to this stubborn refusal to move onto the lowboy,
we rigged up a four-part line and finally it just slid onto the
lowboy. Frantically our crew anchored the Erie, tied the entire
framework securely with ropes so it would hold solid in transit,
and we proceeded homeward. It started to snow heavily, the roads
were quickly covered with about three inches and many icy spots,
and of course trucks were directed to go the route of many hills to
climb. Cars as well as trucks were all over the highway. We had
traveled only about 25 miles and crawling when we made the decision
to park the rig. Police communications stated salt trucks would be
out in about an hour. We waited three hours and no salt trucks. We
piled into our escort vehicles and headed home.
The next morning we started out early. The sun came out, the
roadways cleared and one would have thought the night prior was
imaginary and unknown forces wanted the Erie to stay. Strange as it
seems, forces compromised and the Erie came home safely. We
restored her to her original beauty and now at show time she
proudly demonstrates steam power for everyone to gaze at.
Earl Hamilton of Lisbon, Ohio, is 82 years young and has
operated the Erie for the last two years, as well as Jim Rowland
from Long Island, New York. His wife, Karen, fired the boiler.
We are also pleased to state that we got a 1928 Bucyrus Erie B-2
out of Brooklyn, New York under similar conditions in November,
The picture was taken at the 1987 National Pike Steam, Horse,
Gas Association Show, where it has taken permanent residence. In
the picture is a 1921 Atebury truck, owned by Lou McMasters of
Hickory, Pennsylvania, and a 1918 five-ton White dump truck, owned
by Dean Redd.