HISTORY OF THE FRICK ENGINE CLUB


| September/October 1989



P. O. Box 70 Climax, North Carolina 27233

It all began when the Frick Company management realized that a considerable amount of valuable storage space in their plant at Waynesboro, Pennsylvania was being occupied by steam engine foundry patterns of a long gone steam era and the decision was made to dispose of these patterns, as soon as possible, even burning them if necessary.

Mr. W. J. Eshleman of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, then employed by the Frick Company, persuaded management to let him make an effort to save the patterns for posterity. With the encouragement of Mr. Eshleman, four members of the Williams Grove Steam Engine Association formed a partnership and acquired the patterns and drawings. These men were William S. Strayer, John Baish, Willis E. Fisher and Roy Richwine. Under the leadership of Bill Strayer, the patterns were moved and stored in an old mill near Williams Grove, Pennsylvania. The patterns were then used to make parts for Frick steam engines on request.

These four gentlemen also organized the Frick Engine Club as a means of gathering and dispensing information on Frick steam engines. The club brought Frick engine owners closer together and made it easier for them to enjoy their hobby.

Then, in 1970, Mr. John Baish passed away and the other three partners decided to sell the patterns and drawings so Mr. Baish's estate could receive his share.

A museum in Georgia purchased the patterns and drawings, but found it inconvenient to move them. After approximately a year, James S. Ferree, Jr. acquired the patterns and drawings for The Old Time Historical Association, Inc., Climax, North Carolina. The Old Time Historical Association, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to 'preserving our heritage'.