FROM THE FAR WEST –

Chaplain, Western Steam Fiends Association, Goldendale,
Washington

It’s been some time since anything from the far West has
been in The Album, so I thought I’d report.

My wife and I could attend only one Threshing Bee this year and
it was at the Evan T. Jones and Son’s Ranch near Riverside,
Washington. The Ranch is situated in a most beautiful but very
rugged section which used to be a very favorite hunting ground of
the Indian, the Colville Reservation is now not far away. The
fields in this section aren’t large like those in Whitman
County where Chris. Busch lives, farms and most important, holds
his Threshing Bee. However, these fields of the Jones Ranch are
productive. Cattle is also quite a ‘crop’ with the Evans
Jones’. A large herd was grazing the meadow where the ‘Bee
took place.

We arrived in time on Saturday to see the ‘set’, a most
interesting proceeding. Three engines were ‘hot’. One that
was used to give rides to those who wanted them, one seemed to be
only for inspection, and the other, a well-restored Buffalo Pitts,
was used for power. Mr. Jones and his helpers bustled about getting
everything in order, belting up the separator, some of the belts
were a bit damp and so were hard to get on but with a trick with a
rope Mr. Jones did it. About 3 o’clock George Saur who was
running the engine, gave the whistle to start feeding, slow, for
the grain was damp, it had been raining for several days
previously. It was thrilling indeed to this writer to hear, see,
and smell all that goes with old time steam threshing. The soft
puff, puff of the old engine, which seemed to be proud to be at
work again, if such a thing could be, the roar of the stacker, the
whisper of grain going into the sack, the smell of hot oil, and at
the separator, the smell of the crushed straw. My, oh, my! Pretty
soon the pitchers were down to dry grain and the whistle came to
pour it on – that they did! Then came, now and then, a bark from
the old engine as a tough bundle was tossed in. By evening one
stack was threshed and there was a little pile of sacks filled with
the wheat. Many old-timers, and some new ones, tried their hand at
sewing the sacks.

Mr. George Saur, who (as I’ve said) was operating the
Buffalo Pitts, recently built a 5 foot long working model of a 65
H.P. J.I. Case which is now on display at the museum at Cashmere,
Washington, and attracting just a lot of attention. It is a
honey!

Mr. Evan T. Jones and his family, are most wonderful hosts to
all the folks who attend his ‘Bee’. More power to them.
Steam power, that is.

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