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
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’.
Mr. Ferree, with the help of his son, Donald, and several
volunteers, used a fleet of three tractors and trailers to move the
patterns and drawings over two weekends in October, 1973. The
distance between Williams Grove and Climax is 400 miles. The
patterns are stored in and fill a large barn loft.
During this period the Frick Engine Club had become dormant.
James S. Ferree, Jr. is President of The Old Time Historical
Association, Inc., and also a Frick engine owner. Mr. Ferree took
on the task, along with his many other duties, of reviving the
Frick Engine Club. Under Mr. Ferree’s leadership, the Frick
Engine Club continues today as an affiliate of The Old Time
Historical Association, Inc.
The club maintains a list of known Frick engines by serial
number and their owner. This list is updated and published once
each year for the membership. A bulletin is published quarterly in
which members can list ‘free’ items for sale or wanted.
Reprints are made of old Frick catalogs, parts books and drawings
which are sold to help support the club activities. The patterns
will again be used to make parts for Frick engines in the
Mr. John Parmer of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, also employed by
the Frick Company, was able to preserve the Frick engine and boiler
records. These records show the size and type of engine, major
components, when manufactured and where shipped. The boiler records
show si2e, type, specifications, code number and test data.
The Old Time Historical Association, Inc. acquired these records
from Mr. Partner’s estate in October, 1980. Frick engine owners
can get copies of the records for their respective engines. A fee
will be charged to cover the cost of searching and copying the
The Old Time Historical Association, Inc. and Frick Engine Club
now have the Frick steam engine records, drawings, and foundry
patterns back together after many years of separation. It is
believed that Frick is the only make of the old time steam engines
that has such a set of records, drawings, and patterns still in
Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Frick Engine Club
may write to: Frick Engine Club, P.O. Box 70, Climax, North