Leaky Flues Weekend


| July/August 1990



25 HP Baker

5710 Monroe Concord Road West Milton, Ohio 45383

Kim Besecker's 25 HP Baker, Dale Smith's 22 HP Keck Gonnerman, Bill Scheiding's 16 HP Keck Gonnerman, and John Holp's 20 HP Advance firing up in the early morning October sun.

The sometimes annual Leaky Flues Weekend was held the weekend of October 27, 1989 at the home of Sam Myers near West Milton, Ohio. What is the Leaky Flues Weekend, you ask? Well, this all came about last summer in the late afternoon action of a Central Ohio steam engine reunion. A certain group of active steam engine owners were indulging in a 25 HP Baker under fairly heavy load, on John McDowell's Power Eater. We jokingly asked John to flip a few more switches on the generator so that we could hear the Baker talk a little more. Someone in the background said something about John having a secret switch hidden somewhere on the generator with the label of 'leaky flues' on it. John laughed and said that if we didn't watch out, he just might use it. As the day went on, we talked about getting a few steam engines together in the fall and having some fun. I think that's when John Holp, Jr. said it could be called 'The Leaky Flues Weekend.'

The location was set here at my residence, some 30 acres, near West Milton, Ohio. We already have two engines here: a 16 HP Keck Gonnerman #1227 owned by Bill Scheiding of Arcanum, Ohio and a 22 HP Keck Gonnerman #1845 belonging to Dale Smith. John Holp, Jr. hauled his 20 HP Advance #13439 here a few weeks prior to the big day. Kim Besecker ran his 25 HP Baker some 12 miles from Arcanum, the week before. Paul Cole brought his 1/3-scale model Baker over the Friday evening before. Howard Miller brought his 6 HP Russell Saturday, the day the Leaky Flues fired up. Howard unloaded his Russell, then set out for John Holp Jr.'s to pick up Bill Nash's newly acquired 10 HP Russell. So in all we had 7 running steam engines and two unrestored engines of my own; an 18 HP Keck Gonnerman #1260 and a 20 HP Keck Gonnerman #1568. John McDowell and Dan Ruffner rolled in with the Power Eater ready for action. Dan Gregor brought his Baker fan. Another added attraction was a nice steep hill, so we could all try our hand at the famed Case incline stunt.

Things started to happen at about 1:00 in the afternoon. The Power Eater, the Baker fan and the incline were busy all afternoon. Each engine was busy trying out all three positions. We kept up the pace until about dark. John Holp backed his 20 HP Advance into the belt on the Power Eater and put on a real nice spark show that lasted 45 minutes. After everyone had shut their engines down for the evening, we headed for the shop to watch some slides from the past 20 years of area shows.

We got started at 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Bill Nash put a ham in John Holp's Advance smoke box, which was still belted to the Power Eater from the night before. Bill cranked up the Advance and gave her a nice workout, while smoking his ham. The ham was snugly wrapped in aluminum foil. After 40 minutes or so, he pulled the ham out and unwrapped it. Boy, it turned out great! The women prepared the rest of the meal, and what a great meal it was!