My Moments with My Port Huron


| September/October 1958



Addison, Michigan

I HAVE ALWAYS LIKED steam power, for I grew up in an environment of steam mixed with cylinder oil and green sawdust. My father and his father before him operated a sawmill powered by the steam engine.

The first traction engines I saw operating under their own power were at the National Thresher's Reunion at Montpelier, Ohio, in 1956. After seeing the engines operate I became fascinated by them and wanted to buy one that I could restore.

About a year later, I was talking with a junk-man who told me where there was a steam traction engine near Moscow, Michigan that a former thresherman wanted to sell. He said that he had tried to buy it but the thresherman would not sell it to him because he wanted to scrap it. The junk-man and I went to look at the traction engine which is a Port Huron.

I learned later that it is a Port Huron 24 with a short boiler. Mr. Mitchell said he would sell it to me providing I would not junk it or disassemble it and use just the boiler. I told him that this stipulation was satisfactory to me because I wanted to restore the engine and take it to steam threshing reunions.

I told Mr. Mitchell that before I bought the engine I wanted to talk to a friend, Mr. Pawson, who powers his sawmill with a Baker engine. I had operated stationary steam engines in nay father's sawmill, but I never had operated a steam traction engine and did not know what to look for in purchasing a steam traction engine.