233 County House Road Clarksboro, NJ 08020
All you folks who attended the 42nd Rough and Tumble reunion,
‘Did you enjoy the show?’
Yes, well the expressions on your faces give you away. Many of
you there for the first time were amazed that machinery so old
could still be operative. I had people ask me to open my fire-door
so they could photograph the burning coals.
The weather could not have been better-4 days of glorious
sunshine, a little hot, but then it’s August! The directors
must be very glad about this, for we had experienced two rainy
years in a row, which means you can’t very well run an outdoor
program and still get cars out of the mud.
I met so many old acquaintances this year. ‘Naffy’ and
‘Big Ed’ and…well, I could go on. They start the
conversation with, ‘Remember when…’ or ‘You still got
that old10-20 you dragged out of the weeds?’ ‘Yeah, still
got it.’ You know, if you wish to put water in your boiler and
you turn on the injector when you start talking, I will guarantee
that the water will be in the top nut before you remember what year
it was that Mr. Estleman’s old Frick stopped in the middle of
Cliff Foster’s /2 size Case working hard. Left center is
Paul Stoltzfus, on engine is Scott Young. Right, I think, is
president Otis Astle and Dale Young.
One evening I came up to the Baptist refreshment stand for
something a little more nourishing than sweet water. I got myself a
large coffee and was offered a seat beside two more old friends,
Charlie and Mike Teaman. Charlie, if some of you remember, was
grounds man for a number of years and lived in the little
farmhouse. Mike was always a big part of R & T and used to keep
a motel across the street. We talked of many of the older men who
have passed on and it was amazing how many we thought of. They
didn’t leave their names carved on the walls but they might
just as well have, for part of them is still here at R & T.
Massey Harris was in the center ring as the ‘main event’
and to me there was a very nice display. Most of what I saw was
from the deck of the roller, as I don’t have much time to walk
around and inspect the various models and years. For one thing,
I’m not acquainted with them.
There was quite a lot of activity over at the sawmill, and then
Scot Young came and informed me of double heading. Apparently two
engines were belted; the Goodison engine was inside the shed in
place of Ray Herr’s portable, and the big Case was outside
belted to an outrigger pulley. Whether this was because they were
trying to saw two logs at once, whether no one sharpened the saw,
or whether it was just for fun, I don’t know, but I rather
think the latter. Both these engines belong to Cliff Foster, who
also has a half-size model Case and a nice three wheel Case roller.
The roller is new to R & T this year.
A couple more fresh engines this year include an 8 x 10 Frick
owned by Tom Ackerman. It was equipped with a new kerosene
headlight which really shines in the dark. See, Ray Herr got fed up
firing a portable and not going anywhere, so he acquired an engine
with wheels and a transmission so he could become more mobile! This
is an 8 x 10 Frick which looks very nice, with oak varnished
bunkers and platform. Another engine I also must mention is Dan
Geman’s Keck Gonnerman which is 20 HP, built in 1922. This
engine has a nice voice on the Baker fan.
The little roller which is still of unknown manufacture was not
run too much, for the young fellow I have been breaking in had to
work. Saturday morning our old friend Roy Hen-came along and said
he would like to try his hand. Well, Roy has a big three wheel
Buffalo roller, so I knew he could manage this little toy. Roy kept
up behind me going through the parade and I wish I had a picture of
this, for it would look like a foal following its mother. (Before
you readers become confused, we have a Roy Herr and a Ray
Can’t carry on this article without mentioning the large
gasoline tractors we are getting. Now, when I say big, I mean BIG,
folks. The largest monster is an Avery 45-65 built in 1921
belonging to Leroy Walker. The drive wheels are 7’4′ in
diameter-I know, because I measured them.
I think Paul Stoltzfus got fed up shovelling coal and raising
steam, for he also has a collection of biggies. His large one is a
1912 Rumely 30-60 E with 6’8′ drive wheels. Coming down in
size, the next is a Rumely 25-45 B from 1911, and another Rumely, a
1916 15-30F. Also in the line of these biggies is Mr.
Marshall’s 30-60 Rumely, but I don’t know the year. A.D.
Mast too has another Rumely, a 20-40.
Several pieces of machinery have been refurbished this winter;
one is the Arthur Young pick-up baler. Its appearance is like new
and many of our patrons showed interest. According to our June
Whistle Blast, Nevin Myers, Otis Astle and John Railing were
responsible for this restoration, and there’s no doubt many
more bodies either wielded a hammer or a paint brush.
Three threshers were used for the large threshing exhibit. One
was a Peerless wood thresher and baler that belonged to the late
Mr. Harvey Hoffman and was donated to R & T by his family. I
would imagine both to be WWI era. The next machine was a Yellow
Fellow which had been given a coat of linseed oil. The third was
unique, having been built by a Mr. J.C. Weaver of Strasburg (which
is not far from Kinzers). The machine is all wood, built in 1915,
in perfect shape with all its original striping. This too has been
given a coat of linseed oil which enhances its appearance. Maybe
one day I will look over these threshers we have at R & T and
get some additional information on them, for it would make a good
I did get a short look in the large stationary gas engine
building where there seemed to be about a hundred engines running.
The latest one is a two cylinder, double crank, single flywheel,
beautifully put together. This was its first running after
reassembly. Mr. A.D. Mast told me it was acquired by John Wilcox of
Cleveland, Ohio, and was the power source for a gasket factory. The
engine is a Miller 125 HP built in Columbus, Ohio. Nate Lillibridge
is now the owner, I’m told. One weekend before the show I saw
quite a gang at work preparing for the reunion. The whole front of
this building is now covered with nice garage doors, fitted so that
at some future date the whole building can be made bird-proof.
Speaking of birds, I don’t know what species of bird it is
that inhabits the rafters above my equipment through the winter. I
think by what they leave behind they must be flying elephants! My
small Farmall caught a dose and so did the big roller. Once or
twice is okay, but do they have to use the same rafter all the
time? It’s terrible to get off and the best way I’ve found
is to use a hand brush, pour some dishwashing liquid into the
bristles, squirt water on the area, then scrub with the brush. I
find it works on paintwork that’s just smeared with a little
oil or grease, but it won’t take off caked-on grime.
Jim Conte seems to have the boiler treatment under control, and
let’s hope that after a few more steamings our boilers will be
as clean as anybody’s. I used a chemical this year and had no
priming trouble at all. Now in the future I’ll be tempted to
use a little more as I think my previous trouble was oil.
Saturday morning, Bill Getz arrived with the calliope; after a
warm up, it was used to play the national anthem. Chaplain Dan
Ebersol gave us the blessing and prayer, president Otis Astle
welcomed everyone to the show, and Bill St. John spoke of the
show’s preparation, etc. Carl Simpson then took over the mike
and did the announcing. Carl gave us a history lesson regarding the
anthem and the flag to fill in the time before the program started.
Keeping a mike going all day is not easy.
I’ve saved the real highlight of the show ’til last, and
this was the welcoming back into service of R & T’s
founder’s engine, the Avery. It was taken out of service a few
years ago for both boiler and mechanical problems. Since that time,
a drive was run to collect some cash for its repair. From what I
can gather, a new boiler would have been very expensive, so a good
used one was acquired. New parts were made, new fittings added and
a new cab and now it’s almost a new engine.
I’m sure Mr. Arthur Young would approve and so would some of
the old operators like BillKnotts. More so, I’m sure Everett
Young is happy to see his father’s engine back in service and
to see his son Dale operating it. I don’t know all the persons
involved in this refit but Roland Woodward did give me some, which
included Everett and son Dale, Otis Astle, and no doubt John
Railing was among the pieces somewhere. I agree a whole article
could be written on this restoration.
Went up to R & T on the Saturday after the show to put the
tractors and the roller away. I got into a delightful conversation
with A.D. Mast and he showed me around his engine-house
‘den.’ What a collection he has-he must have a model of
every commercial engine ever built. There are Ottos, New Hollands,
Mietz & Weiss and names I never heard of. I think his pride and
joy is a Reeves 2 cylinder propane fueled with a bore of 9 inches
and an 11 inch stroke. It develops 35 HP at 390 r.p.m. and starts
as a two cycle on No. 1 cylinder, then over to four cycles as speed
This is coupled to a D.C. generator made by Hawthornes, putting
out 25 K.W. at 115 volts. The whole unit was built in Mt. Vernon,
Ohio, and purchased new by a movie theatre. A.D. is only its second
owner. I expect those old carbon arcs used on the film projectors
drew too much current from the main, and that was the reason for
providing their own power source. Next time we hold a meet, folks,
make sure you visit ‘A.D.’s Den.’
Right now I’m sitting here wondering what I will do to make
room to hang my plaque. I have them all in a line across the wall
back to 1963. The first was like a card with a little metal
traction engine behind cellophane. 1964 was not a plaque, but an 8
inch square of masonite with a white background, a red circle with
R & T wording and a black Reeves engine in the center. 1965 was
a desk ornament which I’ve somehow lost. 1966 started the
plaques which are the same size today, changing only in colors. I
have 26 of them and as I sit here in my basement shop, I’m
wondering what the 27th will look like!