Western Steam Fiends Association

The Western region used to be rather left out of the steam game

| May/June 1952

  • IMA_V7_I3_May_1952_05-3.jpg
    Mr. L.K. Wood taking a drink of spring water and Chris Busch with the scale model Case.
  • 65 Model Case.
    Mr. John J. Van creation. A 65 Model Case. It is 5 feet, 3 inches long and weighs 450 pounds. It was shown at the Mt. Pleasant Reunion for the first time. John has a full set of patterns for this engine and is now building another. In a letter to the secretary he says, "I have a lot of enjoyment working with my models and just love to have people come and see them."
    courtesy John J. Van
  • Bill Johnson
    Bill Johnson, of Burford, Ontario, Canada, and his first engine, a Sawyer and Massey. He says he was proud of it. He was 19 years old when the picture was taken in 1946.

  • IMA_V7_I3_May_1952_05-3.jpg
  • 65 Model Case.
  • Bill Johnson

On Jan. 12, 1952, the Western Steam Fiends Association was officially introduced at the organizational meeting in Yakima, Wash.

It has long been the contention of the loyal brothers of steam that such a regional group was long overdue. The result of a canvass made of perspective members was very heartening and showed that such a group will meet with success in the Western states and provinces.

A good share of the credit must go to Chris Busch, of Colton, Wash., for spark plugging the new association, as he noted the extreme enthusiasm and interest shown at his annual Threshing Bee which he conducts each fall.

He was, therefore, elected president of the new association by unanimous vote. A.W. Barley of Des Moines, Wash., was elected vice president, and Ted Middleton of Aberdeen, Wash, was elected secretary-treasurer.

Directors for each state and province were appointed as follows: Dave Schwarz Miller, Washington; Ray Burnett, Oregon; James W. Alexander, California; U K. Wood, Utah; Bud Osterman, Idaho; E.L. Stinson, Montana.

Directors for the westernmost provinces are Cliff Blackstaffe, British Columbia; W.A. Spreeman, Alberta; and E. R. Potter, Saskachewan.



Anyone interested in steam power, whether traction, locomotive, steam automobile or stationary, etc., may belong. The owning of an engine is not necessary, and makers of live steam models, or collectors of literature on the subject will be welcome.

It is the idea of the Western Steam Fiends to form an association featuring the maximum of fellowship among members, and while the association is still in the diaper stage as far as the time element is concerned, it is hoped to have many interesting meetings and to put on some engine demonstrations at a later date. A small newsletter is also planned, and it might well be that the Busch Reunion in the fall will be the club’s Grand Finale. The preservation of old engines will definitely not be neglected.