FIFTY-THREE FIFTY-THREE YEARS OF PROGRESS or FIFTY-THREE YEARS TOO LATE


| July/August 1968



Gates Road

This was taken along a level part of Gates Road. We were puffing along.

R.D. 2, Brooklyn, Michigan

We were up at 4:00 in the morning of Saturday, the month of June, the third day, ready, we thought to head for Jonesville, Michigan to start the moving of Sherwood Fox's 40 horse Case engine. The serial no. 29917 of 1914 vintage was previously owned by Orin Hughs of Jonesville. Mr. Fox, my employer, bought it off of Mr. Hughs' widow. It included a 500 gallon water tank with a front platform and a pump that made it very convenient for our journey.

Now, back to our epitaph. We did not get there until about 8:30 A.M. I laid the fire at 8:45 and Sherwood and his nephew, Waller Fox. took the tank a mile down the road to fill it at a lake. When they returned, 1 had 20 lbs up and the blower on. At 10:25 we hooked the tank onto the engine, then made a final check and were underway at 10:30 A.M.

We had no idea what 33 miles was going to be at 2 miles an hour with an old steam engine. I have operated steamers before and can handle them as good as most engineers, and better than a lot of them. But none of us had ever made a trip this far.

To start things off, about a quarter mile east we had to pull a fairly steep hill. The road was a hard surfaced one. Upon starting to pull the hill, the packing lands were blowing bad ... and we had no packing with us. We did not pack them the whole trip as we were not going to take anything apart unless we had to because it may have meant a layover to do it.

About three miles east we turned onto Pope Road off from Hastings Lake Road. It was about here that the one injector would not work. Sherwood was ready to turn around and park it. We changed the siphon hose over to the other injector and turned it on, but the bottom drain plug was gone... Luck was with us however, as we found it in the tool box. That injector worked for us the rest of the trip, and never failed as long as we had over 60 lbs of steam. The pop would go at 110 lbs. We pulled some good sleep hills on 45 lbs of steam. The reason for this was we traveled back roads most of the time, and about hall of them were gravel. The engine did have bolted-on rubber treads though. We were not out to gain a lot of publicity.