| March/April 1996

  • Steam engine

  • Steam engine

Reprinted, by permission, from The Messenger (Newspaper), Madisonville, Kentucky

Sent to us by Billy M. Byrd 369 S. Harrig Street Madisonville, Kentucky 42431

Billy Byrd has a new toy to play with. Actually he'll probably just use it to 'cut up' with. Byrd's new toy is a sawmill, which is powered by a belt turned by one of his steam engines, a Case half-scale built in 1984.

Powering this handmade sawmill is the steam engine of Billy Byrd (left) while sawyer Danny Baldwin (back to camera) operates the mill and Tom VanCleve observes the two men at 'play.'

Byrd is a man with a love for steam power, and anything connected with the days 'When Steam Was King.' It says so on the side of the other steam engine sitting in his driveway on Harrig Street. That one is a full-sized Nichols & Shepard. The sawmill Byrd is using actually belongs to Gene Myles; but, it was put in the care of Tom VanCleve, because Myles didn't have anywhere to store it. It had been sitting in storage for about 10 years when someone in Calhoun told Byrd about it. The retired engineer knew immediately that he had to have it. Byrd said he called Myles and offered to buy it, but the owner wouldn't sell it. Myles did the next best thing he let Byrd borrow it.

'We'll loan it to him on a long term basis,' VanCleve said this week.