Our Peerless Engine

| July/August 1984

Rt. 1, Box 459-A Sugar Grove, North Carolina

In late June, 1981, my brother, our two children, and I went to the Estate sale of the late Col. D.E. Price, Creston, North Carolina. Among various pieces of antique machinery, stood the Peerless 'D'. The little steamer was billed to be in excellent condition. The auctioneer's opinion of excellent and mine differ greatly.

The ravages of time had taken its toll on the smoke box. You could stick your head through what used to be the bottom. The flues looked fairly new. Inside the firebox things looked good until I saw where the fusible plug center had been replaced with a bolt and gasket; some never live to tell about such mistakes. There were no grates, only one grate bar; ash pan holders were broken and door was broken. The exterior of the boiler looked extra good, no welds or repaired stay bolts.

The engine was free, but some parts were badly worn. The Pickering governor was completely worn out., Somewhere along the way the front axle had slipped several inches off center, and the rear axle was shifted to one side. The entire brake system and front truss rods were missing.

Many thoughts were going through my mind, all of those long hard hours to restore it back to original condition, but the enjoyment of hearing that first chug always outweighs the hard work.

By now the sale had begun. There were a number of our collector friends in attendance, all were curious to see who would get the little steamer. During the course of the day, I talked to Mrs. Ruth Price. She called the Peerless 'The Little Steamer'; it had been used throughout the Rock Creek Community for powering a small thresher.