1121, Hilltop Lane, Modesto, California

Well, time again to report on the goings on in steam up in the
northwest that I had a hand in once again, as I expect to do about
every year, time and opportunity permitting. I took part in Harvey
Mikkelson’s 5th annual Steam Festival, and ran his 20hp. Case,
along with W. E. (Jeff) Richardson, of nearby Scott’s Mills.
Oregon. Scott does all of Harvey’s machine work on his engine
restoration, and has 4 engines of his own, including an 18-54
Aultman-Taylor, 6hp Russell portable, 6hp. Case portable, serial
number in the 500’s, and an old American LaFrance steam fire
pump that we had steamed up while up in Oregon. The Case has to be
rebuilt but all the parts are at hand, and since Jeff is a top
machinist and mechanic, it won’t be too hard for him.

We arrived at Salem, Oregon on August 22, 1958, we got our motel
and then headed for Silverton and Harvey’s farm. He has a
collection of 19 engines, of which 16 are in running order, and we
had 12 of the traction engines steamed up I believe a record number
of engines owned by one man and under steam all the same time.
There are others who have more engines, but do not operate as many
at once. He also has a 30-60 Rumely Oil-Pull, single cylinder 15-30
oil-pull, 2 other smaller ones, a 12-20 and 20-35 sizes of oil
pulls, and an old 8-16 International tractor and an All-Work
tractor. The 30-60 is in the shop at the present time, undergoing
overhaul and restoration. Every winter, Harvey puts one or 2
engines through the shop, repairing, cleaning and painting to
original appearance. He is a fine fellow to know and visit with. On
the 23rd, we worked on the engines, and since there was a harvest
festival in Silverton, Harvey had two of his engines and his
separator in the parade. Glenn Nice, of LaGrande, Oregon, operated
a 12-36 Russell pulling the water tank, Harvey on his recently
acquired and restored 12-36 Case pulling the 22×38
McCormick-Deering threshing machine a fine outfit that started off
the threshing the next day. Grant Chandler, a Union Pacific
Railroad machinist from the LaGrande shops also was around to help
out with the engines and he set the valve on one 16 Advance engine
Glenn is an engineer on the Union Pacific out of LaGrande. He was
assisted by his oldest son, as was Grant Chandler by his boy.
Sunday, Harvey belted up the 12-36 Case to the machine, and the
threshing started off. A parade was also held, the large fan was
used to make the engines bark and the teeter-totter was something
to really try balancing on (I didn’t have very good luck!).
Also had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Kay Campbell of
Fairfield, Calif., publisher of Steam Engines Magazine. I believe
you also met him earlier in the summer. I am glad that all three
publishers of the hobby magazines have finally gotten acquainted
face to face. A little 6hp. Russell was also brought in. Harvey
also has a Russell of this size, but still in overhaul. We threshed
oats with nearly all the engines. Rodney Pitts was there, operating
Harvey’s Nichols & Shepard engine. Rodney is badly
disfigured and has lost his right lung, is still under a
doctor’s care. But he’s full of funny sayings, wisecracks
and in fine spirits. He handled his own engine and did a bang-up
job of it. He has a fine sense of humor, and had all of us in
stitches most of the time. He had his own threshing bee again on
Labor Day, and I imagine it was very successful. After threshing
and everything was finished up about 5 o’clock, all the engines
were put back in their own large, exclusive shed under their own
power; no engine sets out side all are under cover. Then we sat
around and had a bull session for a while. Clarence Kruse was also
there, running the big 22 Advance engine. My wife helped
Harvey’s wife in the large hamburger stand all day, feeding the
5,000 plus visitors and my 6-year-old twin boy helped me fire the

I hope some day you can come on out this way and take in some of
the steam on the Coast. Loren Wade, who lives about 30 miles from
here, and who has a fine 50hp. Case with con tractor’s tank and
bunkers, is now trying to locate a threshing machine and perhaps
have his own threshing bee in a year or two it would be the only
one in California, I’m sure. I run this engine occasionally,
and it is in fine condition boiler refueled last year, and the
tanks rebuilt. Needs painting and some other minor work, and just
like new. Mr. Pierce A. Miller of 9 miles east of here, was back in
your part of the country in August, and took in the Rough &
Tumble threshing bee, also told me he visited with you. He has a
nice 16-48 Aultman-Taylor engine that I’m going to steam up
next year, and a large collection of buggies, wagons, bicycles and
old automobiles, to mention a few. You should see it! Also am
enclosing 2 snaps of Norman H. Griswold’s large 36-120 Rumely
ploy engine, double, simple cylinders, with Stephenson valve gear,
7-‘xl4” stroke. He also has a large collection of old
automobiles and tractors, and a 12-inch gauge live steam railroad
I’ve run the engine a time or two.

Well, guess that’s about all I have that’s news for now,
but will send this along with snapshots and I only wish the
magazine came out every month. It gets better all the time and each
of the 3 magazines does something different very little duplication
or overlapping. I wish you success in your recent retirement, and
it appears you have a time-filling hobby already cut out for

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