SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Well here it is a wet rainy damp soggy day in the fifth month of
the year and I’m trying to write the July-August column – and
by July and August we’ll probably be so hot and dry we’ll
be wishing for a day like this but right now I’d just as soon
see the sun. Isn’t it funny that’s how it is with the
magazines and the deadlines – we work so far ahead in the future we
can’t seem to enjoy the present dates as we should. Oh well, so
be it! Every job has its little oddities that must exist to make
the final production worth while.

I know we are all looking forward to the ending of school terms
and enjoying the hot summer days with our families – swimming,
traveling, sports and of course to attend the Steam and Gas
Reunions. You know when the 1st of the year appears it always seems
-‘Well, here we are just beginning a new year – twelve whole
months ahead of us and it seems like a pretty good amount of
time’ – but before you seem to get much done – and you check
the calendar and there it is -like now – the fifth month – nearly
half of that long year is almost here. I declare, they make time
shorter now in this jet age! The years didn’t seem to go nearly
as fast when I was a youngster.

I have a short letter from Clyde M. Rees of 608 W. Locust St.,
Bloomfield, Iowa, 52537 and in it he says, ‘In the March-April,
1967 issue of IMA, page 13 you have a picture of an engine that the
information says is a Huber or Case, which I don’t think is
correct. I think it is a Geiser as it is the same as the model on
the cover of magazine. I saw this model at the 1966 Mt. Pleasant
Show and it sure was a beauty.’ Any one care to comment on
Clyde’s statement. I looked at the two pictures and they do
look similar, but then if you’re not an expert on steam (like
me) many of them look similar although they are of different
makes.

Another letter from John A. Mc-Kenzie, Peck, Michigan 48466 and
he states, ‘In the May-June issue of IMA, there’s a picture
sent in by Leonard James, Napoleon, Michigan and asking (‘Has
anyone ever seen a three cylinder locomotive?’) Yes! I saw a
three cylinder locomotive in the summer of 1923, same as in the
picture owned by and being used as a switch engine in the yard of
Morgan and Wright Manufacturers of United States Tires (now U.S.
Rubber) on East Jefferson Ave. in Detroit.’

Want to wish the best of luck to the touring group of the Elwood
Historical Club of Elwood, Indiana who will be leaving the latter
part of June for a trip to Scotland and England, where they will
get to view the steam reunions over there known as Traction Engine
Rallies. We’ll hear from them latter on their excursion.

In this issue you’ll notice S. Arthur Roxy of 279 Prospect
Ave., East Aurora, N.Y. has pictures in of his steam popcorn
machine – and it is a beauty! It’s a rare one and some of you
people will get to see it at different fairs and reunions as Mr.
Roxy books these type of events to sell popcorn and peanuts. He
states in his article that Walt Disney had wanted to buy the wagon
for his Disneyland, but the Roxy’s wouldn’t sell – it is
believed to be the only one of its kind left which would make it a
unique possession.

The article, ‘The Fireman Was A Lady’ is quite different
as the fireman really is a lady, not that we don’t have some of
the fairer sex interested in the running of the engines at the
reunions, for there are quite a few women who can handle the
engines as well as men. This story is about a steam boat though and
is interesting and proves again – secretaries get themselves into
some odd jobs sometimes that you would never think come under the
category of office workers.

A letter from Henry J. McMillan, Galva, Illinois gives us a few
news items as he writes, ‘Mr. Roy Miller and son are in the
process of starting a regular Ozark old-time village. They have
recently installed a 15 inch Crown Live Steam Train. It will be
called Sassafras Park and is located on Route 60 just west of Van
Buren, Mo., and will operate on weekends until Decoration day and
then from then until Labor day it will operate daily. Visitors
welcome.

Rudy Rudbeck has recently added a Diesel type steam train to his
steam town railroad at Brainerd, Minn, and will be operating daily
with the two trains, steam and diesel from Decoration Day until
Labor day. Stop in and ride a real steam train.

Sloan Wisconsin Steam Days Club have recently purchased a 19
inch Cagney and will build their own cars for it. They will operate
at the steam meet as well as a park in Sloan, Wis. from Decoration
Day until Labor Day, daily and also during the steam engine
days.

A letter from Donald D. Beckner, 291 Mill St. South Lancaster,
Mass. 01561 – he tells us, ‘I was very pleased to see pictures
of my Steam Village Loco, on page 8 and 25 of Jan.-Feb. issue, but
a little more caption and correction is needed I think, as I
didn’t move these locomotives there until 1964 (picture stated
1961).

Steam Village is a life long dream of myself and long time
friend, Vincent Callahan. Our village is next to the Laconia
Airport on forty acres. The 2-0-40 we brought over from Germany. We
built the car and station. We have steam engines of all sizes and a
steam tractor and many other old things. Any of your readers that
will make themselves known will be most welcome.’ I see
Donald’s address is Massachusetts, but the Steam Village is at
Gilford, N. H., Lake Region, Route 11 – next to Laconia
Airport.

And if you are out around Murdo, South Dakota, don’t forget
to stop at the Pioneer Auto Museum located at the junction of U. S.
Highways 16 and 83. A visit there will take you back to those
wonderful days of yesteryear with their fabulous display of over 90
pioneer and classic cars. Also they have hundreds of antique items
including buggies, antique musical instruments, old store items,
items for ladies, antique farm equipment, toys and dolls. A hugh
emblem display is another of the eye catching exhibits. A livery
barn will be of interest to many and an old prairie school house
with furnishings and a Homesteader’s Claim Shack, one of the
few left intact, will prove interesting. (Sounds real nice and we
must give a lot of credit and thanks to these folks who are trying
to keep the past preserved for the younger generation to learn from
and enjoy.)

There are several pictures in IMA from Helen Ward Rennie of
Montezuma, Kansas 67867 and when she sent them in, she had a little
note that I thought worth mentioning -she says, ‘Papa and I
went to the Annual Rattlesnake Hunt yesterday. They brought in 2800
rattlesnakes and ate 500 pounds of them! Not us, we dined on fried
chicken.’ (How about that? – first place I can’t imagine
and hope I never see 2800 snakes-ugh! They do say rattlesnake
eating is a delicacy, but I’ll just take their word)

Here’s a letter written just as I received it: ‘Dear
Mrs. Soot in the Flues! I see in this Iron Men Album of May-June on
page 33 a Mr. Cline makes dose stories an insinuates day I chits
mite stretch a fact a little. I wood half him know my mother used
to call me Little George. I won’t say vat she said when she
yelled at me. Some brack (brag) on about dose snakes, dye must be
small on his site of dat river. Why, if one of mine snakes bites
his sawdust, I will haff 6 cords of kindling an a bushel of
shavings left over an vot’s moor, I would not brack like dat,
specially if people find it out. Signed Gotlub the Blacksmit. Sehr
Goot. and a P.S. Tell Mr. Cline if he can find another fork, we
could start a lumber yard.’ (Now this may be allot of nonsense
to some of you folks, but in view of Mr. Cline’s stories, I
thought it was cute and deserved space. It was postmarked Easton,
Pa. and at the top of the page it was Bambas Gnoll, Pa. -Maybe you
know him?)

And one more short note from H. E. Clark, 2317
Upland Drive, Concord, California, 94520 – ‘I enjoy IMA as it
brings back old memories of the days when I lived on the farm in
Michigan. I enjoyed the articles and pictures of the old rail
fences. I have helped to build and repair lots of rail fences but I
have to disagree with Soot in the Flues in the March-April issue
about fence rails not having any connection with steam. If you had
chopped as many fence rails to fire a steam threshing engine as I
have, you would say that they had allot to do with steam at times.
The rails were oak and hard and the ax was dull but they made a hot
fire.’ (I stand corrected Mr. Clark, I guess the fences did
have allot to do with firing steam engines, but what I wonder – was
this right to take the fence posts and burn them? – or was the
accepted thing? – Anna Mae)

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