SLEEPING GIANT AWAKENED AFTER FIFTY YEARS


| January/February 1974



Snow and wooden

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.

Margaret Lovely

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 Iowa.

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.