On Top of Old Kentucky


| July/August 1991



Engine

P.O. Box 83 Center, Missouri 63436

This 10 x 12 portable Frick, engine #26591, boiler #15997, is a double butt strapped boiler, made in April, 1925. It has 62 boiler tubes, two inches in diameter and 96 inches long. The firebox is 29 inches wide by 62 inches long by 54 inches in height. The smoke stack is 10 feet long.

The engine was shipped to North River Electric Company of Bridge-water, Virginia on September 11, 1925. There it was used to power an electric generator for the power company.

The engine was sold in 1937 to Floyd Wells of Wooten, Kentucky. He used the engine to power a sawmill, which helped him raise twenty-one children! Mr. Wells liked running his sawmill with the engine separated from the boiler, but he shut the engine down in 1969.

The engine and boiler were purchased by Victor Shepardson in 1985. The steam engine was way on top of a mountain in Kentucky. The picture at bottom right shows how the boiler looked when purchased, with the engine separated from it.

Victor Shepardson spent approximately 2 years restoring the engine. Before restoration began, he was told by many steam engine experts to call the junk man to cut it up for scrap.