Farm Collector


R. D. 1, Box 466, Oregon City, Oregon

The man who made ‘Steam Up Day’ famous throughout the
entire west and lured thousands of steam engine enthusiasts to his
Canby (Oregon) farm each year on Labor Day is in critical condition
in Providence Hospital, Portland, following a tragic accident.

Rodney Pitts, well-known and well liked in the Canby area and an
active member of the Western Steam Fiends Association was seriously
injured on Saturday, when a circular saw mount shattered and sent
the cruel teeth of the vicious saw slashing across his face,
shoulder and chest.

In preparation for ‘Steam Up Day’ Pitts and friends were
preparing to ‘buzz’ wood on a saw powered by a steam
engine. Witnesses said the mandrel of the spinning saw flew off the
frame work. Pitts was struck by the circular saw.

Although Pitt’s wide circle of friends were stunned by the
tragedy they finished preparations for the ‘Steam Up Day’
held Monday and broke all former attendance records. An amazing
crowd estimated at nearly 10,000 spectators visited the Pitt’s
farm to watch the old steam tractors pit their mighty strength
against each other in tugs-of-war, and field chores. A big
collection pot was situated on the grounds for volunteer donations
toward what will be huge hospital bills. Three concessions turned
over their entire proceeds to help pay bills. The concessions were
operated by the Evangelical United Brethren Church, of which Pitts
is a member, the Canby Lions Club and the Bus-ness and Professional
Womens Club.

  • Published on Jan 1, 1958
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