Farm Collector


Reprint from Kalamazoo Gazette July 19, 1953


Mr. Lewis H. Cline of Union City, Michigan, sends us this
interesting: account of a Reunion we had not heard of. So we say
thanks Lewis. It is called the Live Steam Club of Michigan. The
Reunion was held at Richland which is near Kalamazoo, Mich. Well
here is the story. (Ed.)

When it comes to getting all steamed up over a hobby, it’s
tough to beat the members of the Live Steam Club of Michigan.

There’s never any question about whether or not the club is
in session. The huffing and puffing and billowing clouds of steam
and smoke that accompany every meeting would do justice to a
railroad roundhouse.

The Live Steam Club is an organization of guys who are just
plain nuts about steam engines. It doesn’t make any difference
what sort of a contraption it is, just so it runs on steam. They
have steam-powered tractors, saw mills, automobiles, pop corn
poppers, sewing machines and a variety of stationary engines.

Some, like the 10 horse power 1898 tractor engine owned by Glenn
Fredericks of Battle Creek, are relics of pre-gas and diesel days.
Others, such as the miniature saw mill owned by Bert Stenger of
Doster, or the one-half size scale model of a traction engine owned
by Henry Poll of Holland, are the results of months of skilled and
loving craftsmanship by the owners.

The organization isn’t very old. As a matter of fact, it
began right here in Kalamazoo last January. Robert Walters, 6164
Copelan, Comstock, a machinist by trade, has been a steam fan for
years. His big engines parked by his garage along King Highway are
a familiar sight to motorists.

For several years Walters has been an official host for all
steam fans and his home a gathering place for informal meeting. In
January the casual meetings became a regular thing and the club was
formed with Walters as its first president.

The Live Steam Club meets in Walter’s shop on the first
Friday evening of each month. Already 60 steam-happy members have
been signed up from Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids and


  • Published on Jan 1, 1954
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