1 / 5
Authoress sitting on the Avery after it had been dug out of six feet of snow and wooden frame placed beneath the engine so it could be placed on a stone boat built for the purpose of bringing the engine out.
2 / 5
''She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes.'' - On the narrow trail cut by two cats to bring the Avery out. Courtesy of Margaret Lovely, Route # 2 Bear Canyon, Bozeman, Montana 59715
3 / 5
4 / 5
Removing the ''small'' front wheels prior to bringing the Avery out of the mountains. The front and huge rear wheels were removed to lighten the load the two cats had to pull down the mountain. One cat pulled and the other held the massive load back from
5 / 5

Some men only dream dreams. Others, such as Don Bradley of
Forsyth, Montana, make dreams become reality.

Don has realized his dream of eleven years of resurrecting the
old 18 ton giant Avery thirty horsepower steam engine from its
resting place at the 7000 foot level in the quiet forest at the
foot of majestic Mt. Ellis. The steam engine has slept for fifty
years surrounded by winter’s deep snows and summer’s meadow
of bluebells.

Bradley has been an engine lover since he was a small boy on the
home ranch in the Lee community near Ashland, Montana where he
first fired up an Avery steam engine one size smaller than this one
at age 11.

Since 1961, Don has dreamed of bringing the old Avery, built in
the early 1900’s, out of the mountains above Bear Canyon near
Bozeman. It is one of only three large undermounted Avery engines
left in the United States, after he gets this one built with his
boiler on it. The other stands in a museum in Michigan and one in

After years of checking records, getting permission from Forest
Service officials, and purchasing parts from all over the U.S. and
Canada, and many trips into New World Gulch above Bear Canyon to
look the engine over, Don Bradley was ready, along with fifteen
friends and relatives who came along to help him; to take on the
perilous task of getting the engine out to civilization again.

Bradley, and two buddies, LeRoy Mickell and George Bradley, had
built a stone boat in Bradley’s shop to bring the engine out
on. On March 2, all was in readiness and Bradley and his volunteers
arrived in Bozeman. On March 3, an HD7 with back hoe was rented to
prepare a pathway thru the steep, narrow, rocky gorge leading to
the meadow in Park Camp where the old Avery rested. The first cat
clipped off the embankment and a second cat was brought from
Maudlow to pull it out and also to follow it up the mountain
preparing the trail. March 4, the engine was reached at the foot of
Mt. Ellis, and on March 5 the men began the arduous task of digging
the engine out of the deep snow and soil where it had rested for
fifty years since being used by Ike and Phil Aldritt at their
sawmill and lumber camp.

The engine was buried nearly to the tops of its seven foot tall
wheels. Parts were found buried in the hillside, and timbers from
the old shed that once housed the giant had disintegrated and were
found in the soil around the engine leaving it standing alone and
unsheltered, exposed to the elements through the years.

The two huge 2000 pound rear wheels were removed to lighten the
load and placed aside to be brought out separately. Meanwhile the
massive bulk of the engine was jacked onto huge wooden planks to
hold it off the ground so the stone boat could be placed under its
massive frame. This procedure was a very delicate one where a
single mistake could have been disastrous.

The crew who brought the old Avery down the mountain to Bear
Canyon to be shipped to Forsyth, Montana where it will be restored
after being in the mountains South of Bozeman, Montana for over
fifty years all smiles just after reaching the canyon L. to
R.: Front row
– Chuck Hodge, Jr., Chris Biery, Walt Tadsen
and Mike Bradley. Back row – l. to r.: Parks
Moore, Jr., Al Falcon, George Bradley, The Boss-Don Bradley, Jack
Ferguson, Bob Bradley and Doug Lovely. Courtesy of Margaret Lovely,
Route 2 Bear Canyon, Bozeman, Montana 59715

Monday morning, March 6, one of the Cats was hitched onto the
front of the engine and another onto the rear of the giant to serve
as a brake holding its 18 tons back in steep areas coming down the
narrow gulch to civilization.

Several stops were made to hitch and unhitch the Cats from the
engine in order to clear and fill the trail down the mountain. It
was a most awe inspiring sight to see the huge giant returning to
the valley again down the same narrow path it trod fifty years
before. This time with the use of modern equipment and many
volunteers taking only four hours to complete the task that had
taken ten days to accomplish in 1922 when it was laborously pulled
up the mountain hitched to a team of horses on the front end to
keep the engine from rearing up and rolling backwards down the
steep incline. At that time huge logs were laid for a short
distance, then pulled up and laid in sections ahead of the engine
again all the way up the steep inclines until park Camp was reached
with John Carlous who took on the rigorous task of driving the
horses pulling the massive engine up to the camp for a sum of one
hundred dollars.

Monday afternoon, March 6, the massive long sleeping giant
reached Bear Canyon and shortly afterwards its wheels were brought
out on the same sled it had traveled on during its journey out to

The engine as she looked at the foot of New World Gulch in Bear
Canyon near Bozeman after her rear wheels had been attached to her
body again so she could be loaded onto a waiting lowboy to take her
to Forsyth, Montana to be restored as a forty horse engine.
Courtesy of Margaret Lovely, Route §2 Bear Canyon, Bozeman, Montana

Tuesday morning, March 7, the wheels were mounted on the Avery
engine, and it was lovingly inched up onto heavy planking by the
two Cats who brought if off the mountain. One Cat at the front of
the engine and one at the side to balance the load placed it on a
lowboy waiting to take it to its new home in Forsyth where it will
be completely restored to its original beauty by Don Bradley. He
also plans on placing a 40 horse boiler in it. Don’s dreams
will then be completely realized, but only because he was unafraid
to dream of such a feat, and having dreamed, even when things
seemed unsurmountable, he went on dreaming of a beautiful shining
giant of an Avery engine that someday would stand before him, a
finished product of his own hands. All because he dared to make his
, dreams a reality.

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