Thomas/Mashburn Memorial Steam Engine Parade

| November/December 2001

I just wanted to write in and let everyone know what goes on in my hometown of Cumming, Ga. Every 4th of July we have a steam engine parade that goes through downtown Cumming. It all started in 1958, when A.G. 'Glen' Thomas decided that he would drive his 1912 45 HP Case steam engine around the courthouse square. His grandson, Joel 'Chigger' Webb, told me that they drove the engine around the square with four or five kids following on their bicycles. That was our first parade.

The next year a couple of other engines joined him for the ride around the square. This went on for a couple of more years until Dr. Jim Mashburn purchased a Peerless steam engine and really organized it into a parade. The parade would then go around the square and end up at his house, just outside of town, where they would have wheat threshing, run the Baker fan and just have a great time with the steam engines. As a young boy 1 always looked forward to the parade every year. I never missed the parade.

Of course there was always the occasional politician, or a local ball team, or a company that could put a float in the parade. But, all I cared about was the steam engines. Finally, after waiting all of my 28 years, my family purchased a 1902 20 HP Case steam engine. My brother, Shane, and I were finally able to operate a steam engine in our parade like we have always wanted to.

When we purchased the engine it was in running condition. Shane and I redid the plumbing and also repainted the engine. We did some work on the bearings and the gears to try to quiet it down. All of this was done under the supervision of Bud Thomas, our hometown steam engine expert. We were also required by the City of Cumming to put rubber on our wheels so that we would not tear up the roads. We are now in the process of restoring a preheater to go on our engine because ours did not have one on it when we got it. Also I would like to let you know, as well as everyone else, that our engines are inspected every year and are certified to 150 psi. I know some people are probably concerned in the wake of the Ohio tradgedy.

The Bagwell family's portable Peerless engine, s/n 2712. Can anyone provide more information on this engine?

I am now 29 years old and my brother is 40 years old. All of the engines that were in our parade this year were operated by people under 50 years of age.