I WAS SURE Interested in the picture of that old J. C. Hoadley
Portable engine in the January-February, 1958 issue of the
My, how that brings up memories of 1892, for it was with an old
Hoadley in central Oregon that I had my first contact with a steam
engine and the privilege of firing, starting and stopping one.
That was a great thrill for a boy not yet 12 years old. Here
started an interest in machinery that still exists.
My father, a pioneer to Oregon in 1853, who had operated up and
down saw mills as well as those more modern, traded a Ranch in
Klickitat County, Washington, for a saw mill and timber near Lone
After a week of travel (now day by truck) with wagon, buggy and
buckboard we arrived at the mill site to begin repairs. The first
of which was to remove the fallen mill shed.
The old portable Hoadley had been worked over for the engine had
been taken from its boiler mounting and built up on a cast
The cylinder was bolted to the base saddle like it had been on
the boiler. As I remember, two cross-head guide brackets were used
instead of the one bracket when boiler mounted for the cylinder
head served as one.
Two bolted-on pillow block brackets were used for the center
crank shaft. Said shaft had been lengthened for the drive
The wagon seat spring type automatic governor controlled the
speed. This was supposed to have been a 10 hp. engine with a 7×10
cylinder. It powered a double mill. This saw was the only one I
ever saw with many holes in it and for what purpose I never
A made-up dame was attached to the boiler where the cylinder had
been. The steam pipe from this dome was attached to the top of the
cylinder where the safety valve had been when the cylinder was
boiler mounted. A built in throttle valve was part of the cylinder
and valve make up and let steam in from the space around the
cylinder which space also served as a steam dome when on the
boiler. This portable had iron wheels. Not that I know from visual
memory but by reasoning. One night when I was engineer in 1895 I
was awakened to find the mill in flames. Wooden wheels
would have burned up. After it cooled off I put the engine in
operation with the only apparent damage, a bent crank shaft.
This old engine may still be in existence, for it was moved
further into the mountains and powered a saw mill for many