PUMP HOUSE STEAM MUSEUM

By Staff
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A large room in the back of the museum is devoted to steam railroad memorabilia and models.
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What a delightful sight for anyone with the least bit of appreciation of fine workmanship and fine machinery!

As all readers of the House Organ know, the editorial staff
delights in traveling to all sorts of neat places, and then writing
stories about what we’ve seen as means of encouraging you to go
there too. Not the least of these visits was one to the Steam
Museum in Kingston, Ontario, this past summer.

Kingston is on Lake Ontario, roughly directly north of
Watertown, New York. 80 to 100 years ago a pumping station was
developed on the lake shore to handle the distribution of water
throughout the city’s water mains, and it eventually acquired a
big Corliss engine to do the job. Some years back the use of this
engine and its related equipment was discontinued, and it and the
building fell into disrepair.

When you visit the Pump House Steam Museum, tell the
receptionist that you read about it in ‘The Vestal Press House
Organ.’ You’ll probably get a blank stare, as they have
probably never heard of us.

This engine is not a model, but an original from a Cretors
Popcorn Wagon. Vestal Press reprint #A-69 shows this very type of
engine in use on old Cretors machines, where they performed yeoman
service in turning the poppers and operating the little clown, on
some models, who turned the peanut roaster.

As visitors approach the grounds of the Pump House Museum, they
are greeted by this ‘Amazing Pollution-Free Engine.’ It
actually operates, turning over very slowly all day long.

On a sunny August day, the historic town of Kingston is a
delightful place to visit. While you’re there, be sure to take
in the Maritime Museum which has many artifacts of steamship life
on the great lakes.

Now if there’s one thing that steam fans can’t stand,
it’s an idle steam engine, and one might well assume that this
equipment was predestined to run again … and indeed it did, with
a lot of hard work by a lot of volunteers who got busy and put
everything back in shape and made the whole place whir and hum
again.

Today these volunteers have succeeded in putting on the map a
place where all of us who like to see such machinery can really get
a big thrill, because it’s an operating establishment, not in
the sense of pumping water, but enough steam is generated so that
most of the engines and now there’s a great collection of them
actually operate. We were especially intrigued by the one on the
front lawn, labelled ‘Amazing New Pollution-Free
Engine!’

Bits and Bytes and Integrated Circuits are the wave of the
future, we suppose, but there’s nothing quite like being able
to stand right next to a fine old steam engine as it goes through
its paces, as all steam buffs know. Go to Kingston and see a piece
of the action there!

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment