Readers’ Letters Touch on Engines From 18 HP Gaar-Scott to 50 HP Case

Past & Present: Postcards, news of steam events and schools reach our mailroom

| Summer 2007

Firing a Case
Louis Mittelman, Gordonsville, Va. (e-mail:, shares a photo. Louis writes:
Please accept for publication a photo of old-time Gaar-Scott man Bill Roberts, Somerset, Va., firing a 50 HP Case at the Somerset 31st Annual Steam and Gas Pasture Party, Aug. 24-26, 2006. The Pasture Party is held annually on Bill’s farm.

Star Engine Update

Paul Weber, Winchester, Ky. (e-mail:, fills us in with some useful information on the 1885 5 HP Star vertical steam engine from the article “Steam Engines, Mules and a Canal Boat” in the Steam Traction Spring issue. Paul writes:

This is a very nice article with outstanding photography. The reason for this note is to address the information about the 5-by-5 Star engine. I acquired this engine from the late Charles “Icky” Barker of Lexington, Ky., in about 1980. The best recall by those who have information from this era is that the engine came from Indiana.

Around 1990 John Neagley, who had a position at the Ludwig Mill, expressed interest in the engine for mill use. John came to Winchester driving a Metro Parks pickup truck. I agreed to donate the engine and was assured by John that a placard naming the donor would be displayed.

For a quick reference: While Icky still owned the Star engine he wanted to mount the 30-inch belt pulley. Having no way to bore the pulley hub, he had a friend with a small lathe turn the pulley end of the crankshaft to fit this small bore, which can be seen easily. By the way, the shaft was not bent when it left here.