Somewhat Bulky, Steam Engine Is Unique Hobby

| May/June 1971

Times-News Feature Editor

When you have a hobby that weighs 33,740 lbs., it isn't easy to find housing for it or to exhibit in shows in various parts of the country.

Melvin Kestler, 1339 Evergreen Drive, says he does have a few problems with his hobby, a restored Case steam traction engine of 1915 vintage, and a complete threshing outfit.

The, equipment arrived last week in Twin Falls from northwest Kansas by rail, consisting of three units, the Case 1915 model 65 horse power steam-tractor, the case threshing machine, size 40' and a water wagon. It cost approximately $1,300 to ship it to Twin Falls, which may explain why it travels only occasionally.

Mr. Kestler who Is a local agent for Prudential Life Insurance Co., moved to Twin Falls in 1985. He first visited this area in 1937 to audit books for grain elevators and flour mills and liked this part of the country. He said he and Mrs. Kestler promised themselves they would someday make this their home, and nearly 30 years later made good the promise.

Not until this fall, however, did he move the steam engine and threshing machine from Bird City, Kans., where it has been on display by the Antique Engine and Threshers Assn.