Restoration Of The U-1-2 Peerless 2 - Cylinder Traction Steam Engine

| July/August 1988

Maryland Submitted by George E. Neal 230 North Aurora Easton, Maryland 21601

Pictured are those who restored the engine. Left to right Wilbur Engle, Arthur Greene, Howard Engle, Melvin Engle, Mrs. Robert Dean (the Senator's wife, who donated the engine to Tuckahoe), Richard Harvey, Eric Harvey, & Ross Rhodes.

The engine #16660 was built in 1913. It was bought by Mr. Channing Delaplane of Delaplane, Virginia. He was the owner of a large fruit orchard operation. The Peerless was used mainly to run the large generator which furnished power for the packing house lights and machinery. It was sometimes used to pull stumps, pull a large road scraper and move wagons from orchard to packing house. The Peerless was used until about 1928, when the Depression affected even the fruit packing business.

The Peerless stayed at Delaplane's until around 1940, when it was purchased by Mr. Clifford C. Thompson. Its new home was about 20 miles away. Mr. Thompson used the engine in his saw mill operation. It was used by him during the World War II era. He stopped using it in 1945 when he discontinued his business. The mighty iron horse was run out into the meadow to rest with soot in her flues and scale in her boiler.

During her long rest, Mother Nature started to take over the Faithful Machine.

Three decades later, Mr. Robert Dean of Centreville, Maryland, began hearing stories of an old steam engine in the meadow. He began to trace her down. His first trip to Virginia proved unsuccessful. On his second trip, he asked the people in the area about the engine. With their bits of information, he was able to find the resting Peerless, but she was not for sale!


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