STEAM DOINGS!

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A little 15 gauge track engine owned by Elmer Sandly and son of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. They have two miles of track and this engine pulled 17 cars with eight people in a car. They have a turn-table at each end of the track. The engine and tender weig
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This is Ethel, a 22-65 Advance Rumely. A very nice engine and I have fired this engine in a sawmill and it worked real good. It is owned by Ulrich Schiess of Hollandale, Wisconsin.

1121 Hilltop Lane, Modesto, Calif.

It is once again time to send in my annual report on steam
doings and events as I took part in them here on the west coast
during 1967. We had a lot of fun and I did something I haven’t
done in 11 years namely, fired a steam locomotive with oil! But,
I’m getting ahead of myself and will get to the heart of the
situation.

About the first steaming up or taking part in anything like
steam after a long, wet spring which was unusual out in this part
of the country, was a ride on the McCloud River railroad, which
operates from McCloud, Calif., east to Hambone, with a connection
on both Western Pacific and Great Northern and west to a Southern
Pacific connection at Mt. Shasta, about ten miles north of Dunsmuir
on the main line. The McCloud River railroad winds around the foot
of beautiful Mt. Shasta and last June, with snow way down below the
timberline, on a warm June 23rd, it was ideal for the trip,
sponsored jointly by two railroad hobby clubs in San Francisco; the
trees were nice and green and there was water running everywhere.
The town of McCloud was one of the last sawmill company owned towns
in the country and it’s quaint wooden houses, wooden sidewalks
and quiet atmosphere are hard to find in today’s world of
hurry. The no. 25, a 2-6-2 locomotive is the last of McCloud’s
former steam fleet and is used several times a year for special
trips like this, and housed in a tight building during bad weather.
Of course, main line logging and freight hauling operations have
long since been dieselized. At 10:00 AM, the 2-6-2 eased down from
the shop, locked couplers, made the air test and we were off! It
made the blood run cold to hear the deep, sharp heavy exhausts, as
the train left the station, the echoes of the sharp whistle blasts
as they echoed back from the timber and mountain sides, then the
quickening, short softer sounds of the exhaust as the engineer
hooked up his reverse lever. A couple of photo stops and runbys
were made everyone got plenty of slides, movies and taped all the
sound. Water was taken on the east bound trip. At Barrol, the
engine was turned and water taken again, the train arriving back in
McCloud at noon. After dinner, the train headed up the 4 per cent
grade for Mt. Shasta, climbing the side of the mountain, and
requiring a switch back to negotiate the grade. We passed along a
turntable, right on the mountainside, with long, skinny timbers
supporting it on the low side, which was once used for turning
helper engines in steam days. I sanded out the engine good. When
the fireman let me fire it for half an hour-it didn’t take long
for the knack to come back to me and I imagined I was back firing a
4400 class 4-8-4 on the SP’s mainline! I kept ‘er hot and
showed some of the riders in the cab how it was done in the good
days. The rest of the day was uneventful, but happy for all of us.
This engine is maintained in beautiful condition and has square
valves and the McCloud River boys know how to operate a steam
locomotive in the mountains.

The middle of June, Richard and I went up to G. A. Humann’s
to help haul and stack wheat for the threshing bee Labor Day
weekend. We got up early on both Saturday and Sunday morning to
haul bundles while dew was still on-grain then became very dry and
shattered easily. When we got through, 6 big stacks waited for the
threshing machines in September. I didn’t make it to Oregon for
the first time in ten years, due to pressure of work and the
lateness of the season. The annual meeting of the Western Steam
Fiends was held at Orofino, Idaho, with Joe Richardson, the
sponsoring host and holding a steam threshing bee in conjunction
with it. Rodney Pitts was elected President, and Wally Getman was
elected vice-president, and all other officers and directors
re-elected for another year. Annual meeting for 1968 is planned for
Winlock, Washington sometime in August as far as I know at this
time. This meeting and steam threshing took place Labor Day
week-end.

The G. A. Humann show was held Sept. 2nd-3rd and on Thursday
before, I loaded up a 3 HP Z C Fairbanks-Morse gas engine, 6-inch
IHC burr grinder, tools, belts, etc in the pickup and with Richard,
arrived a little early to help get things ready. Godfrey had
brought in 4 gas engines from the coast and after looking them
over, decided a 7 Fair banks-Morse type B offered the most
immediate prospects of starting after all of them had set for 2 or
three years without running. After putting gas in tank, greasing
and oiling around, cleaning spark plug, a couple of heaves on the
flywheel and with a bang, she took right off. It ran most of the
next 3 days and a man bought it for $50.00. The plowing lands were
laid off and Saturday morning, after Wilbur Skaar, Leonard Miller
and more of the regulars showed up, steam threshing took place. The
Oil-Pull was pulling the 22 x 38 Red River Machine, and Wilbur and
Richard were giving people rides on the 2-foot gauge steam
railroad. Steam threshing was done by the Case machine, belted to
the Advance, Russell engine and Gaar-Scott, alternately morning and
afternoon both days. Baling straw with mules followed, then
shelling corn with a Marseille two-hole spring sheller, pulled by a
stationary steam engine; then the corn was ground with the 6-inch
IHC burr mill belted to Oliver Wilson’s 6-7 Z Fairbanks-Morse
gas engine. Wheat was ground in the 6-inch IHC Hammer mill, pulled
by the 1929 GP John Deere tractor. Plowing came after, the
Gaar-Scott engine pulling 5 bottoms, followed by the 22-36
McCormick-Deering pulling 3 bottoms and the 2-Ton Holt pulling 2
bottoms. They really laid over a strip of land! The noon whistle
then sounded. After noon, the one o’clock whistle sounded and
all equipment went by in the parade. This was followed by steam and
gas threshing, plowing and pretty much the morning program and this
was done both days. 1 plowed with the 22-36 both days, and operated
the Russell engine, threshing the last steak of wheat Sunday
afternoon and then pulling the machine out of the set. Gasoline
alley was well represented with over a dozen engines running; R. A.
Squires brought up his rare Aeromotor pump jack engine, and a two
cylinder opposed Maytag; Cliff Hardy, of Woodland, had his 4 HP
upright Cushman belted to an old washing machine, Jack Lucas of
Durham had his 20 HP Fairbanks-Morse type Y Style H hot engine
present and running together with his rare Yuba City ball-tread
crawler tractor, Oliver Wilson had a nicely-restored 6 HP Z
Fairbanks-Morse engine, together with his Z C 6-7 HP F-M job and
then we got Godfrey’s 1 Ward’s Sattley engine running. Dick
Squires and some of the other fellows got a 1 HP Bulldog engine
running quite well and this was a busy corner both days. Godfrey
added a nice 22-36 McCormick-Deering tractor to his collection last
year it is beautifully restored and I drove it both days my
favorite gas tractor. He also purchased both a nice 2-Ton Holt and
a Sixty BEST crawler tractor and by now both have probably been
through the shop and fully restored. A man from Lebanon, Oregon
played the part of the old, itinerant harvest hand, with his fork
and bundle in his pickup he had a Root & VanDevroot engine and
Stover wooden hoppered burr grinder on display. A large crowd was
present both days and all equipment worked well the whole show was
a great success.

My wife and I left by train, Sept. 26th for my old home in
Nebraska, going east on San Francisco Streamliner (102) and met my
mother at Columbus. The weekend of Sept. 20-Oct. 1st, 1 took part
in the Wm. J. Mayberry steam threshing east of Niobrara, Nebraska,
helping out on a nice 20 HP Aultman-Taylor butt-strap boilered
engine both days. This show started up in 1955 with one steam
engine, a 20 Minneapolis and 32 x 56 steel Advance-Rumely separator
with a crowd of about 500 people present because Mr. Mayberry, who
started threshing in 1913 with gas power, then went to steam for
power, had some friends who wanted to see an old steam threshing
rig in action once more. He threshed continuously until about 1959,
which was his last year at custom threshing. He used Avery, Reeves
and Case steamers, Oil-Pull, Avery and other makes of tractors in
gas power. He is 74 years of age at present time and still is very
active he stacks his own grain each year and has a large farming
operation besides. His show has grown to the following equipment;
20 Advance-Rumely, late style, butt-strap boiler, 65 Case, fully
restored, 16 and 18 Aultman-Taylor engines, 20 and 28 Minneapolis
engines, butt-strap boilers, and a scale model of an undermounted
Avery engine. A neighbor, Mr. Carl Reichert, brought over his fine
20 Aultman-Taylor and 22-45 cross-motor Aultman-Taylor gas tractor
for the show. In the gas tractor line, Mr. May berry has the 15-30
and 30-60 Oil-Pulls, type F & G, a late style 30-60 and 20-35
Oil Pulls, a 45-65 Avery, 30-60 cross-motor Aultman-Taylor gas
tractor, a nice Ten Holt H of about 1923 date, just before
Holt-Best merger in 1925; in the smaller tractor types he has an
early 15-30 McCormick-Deering, Regular Farmall, Moline Universal,
4-wheel drive Massey-Harris, Model D and standard tread John Deere
to mention a few. He has at least a dozen gas engines of various
sizes and makes Fairbanks-Morse, International Mogul, Witte drag
saw John Deere and others I didn’t have time to identify. Two
men brought in a nice 5 HP Fuller and Johnson and 6 Hp Galloway,
both with Webster magneto-make and break ignition mounted on
4-wheel trucks and both running like a fine watch. In the old
horse-drawn machinery line, he has single and double-row horse
drawn cultivators, sulky and 2-bottom gang plows, corn planter,
Walking plow, horse-powered sweep grinder like my father had on the
farm years ago and a one-horse drill like was used to drill wheat
between the corn rows years ago. This does not mention all of the
machinery I saw only the more rare pieces. In addition, he has a
sawmill, which was in operation both days of the show, a 40 x 62
Case separator, 32 x 56 Advance-Rumely steel and a wooden A-R,
about same size, a Red River Special 31 x 48 horse-powered
hand-feed, straw slat carrier fully restored and it’s companion
horse power, a Baker fan that really flattened the weeds when
belted up to a steam engine, a large gang plow and a Marion and
Nordyke stone burr mill mounted on an old truck chassis, and
powered by a steam engine and upright boiler it ground corn into
corn meal during show. There was also a large collection of
antiques of many kinds on exhibit a lot of old brass lamps and
lanterns, old hand-powered washing machines, butter churns; a lot
of fine, old dishes, and other pioneer articles that I have
forgotten the name of and a lot of old and modern telephones.

There was a parade each morning about 10:00 AM, followed by
Baker fan activity and lunch at noon on Sunday was buffalo burgers
and plates, from a buffalo butchered and barbecued for the
occasion. This was a sell-out. A model FA Rock-Island tractor came
in and two half-size model steam traction engines were present, as
was a -scale and a 1/12-scale engine. A Mr. Garret Havalaar,
Hudson, S. Dakota brought in a -scale Avery steel threshing machine
that also had same scale bundle rack and grain wagon with it and it
was belted to a Vi size Case engine and threshed a lot of grain
Sunday one could hardly get up to it to see it work, so great was
the crowd. In the afternoon, after another parade, threshing was
done with the 30-60 Aultman-Taylor gas tractor belted to the 40 x
62 Case machine and a lady

engineer started off the whole rig as nice as any man I ever
saw! She had a nice hand on the throttle and clutch. Saturday, the
20 Advance-Rumely was belted to the 32 x 56 A-R separator and
threshed; Sunday, the same machine was pulled by the 20
Aultman-Taylor steamer and the highlight of the entire show to me
was the horse-powered Red River Special machine, powered by 12 big
Belgian draft horses. It threshed both days and the machine really
turned out a lot of oats and a huge pile of straw. So far as I
know, only one other horse-powered machine was in operation last
season. The crowd was so thick around the rig that it was hard to
get good pictures. First day, the horses had trouble getting used
to machine but by Sunday they started hitting their stride. This
rig has operated this manner for 3 years now and 6 of the horses
came from 20 miles away, the balance from over a hundred miles
away.

There were about 18 old automobiles of various makes including a
Rolls Royce, Model T Ford and a rare old truck, name of which I
don’t recall at the moment. The horse-powered machine was found
sunk to the axles in a shed in South Dakota several years ago and
after being moved home and restored, it now looks like new, with
decals and all. The crowd was estimated at between 10-11,000 and to
me, it seemed if more help could have been in charge of the gas
engine end, a show almost could have taken place right in that end
of the grounds. There was plenty of parking room on spacious
grounds and the weather was hot and just right for threshing. 1
hope to see this show again someday. The Mayberry’s are
friendly people and have lived in this area for well over 40 years.
Mr. Mayberry threshed for my uncle who lives in this area in years
past. Anyone passing this way ought to drop in and see these fine
people and their huge lot of fine equipment.

After coming home on the California Zephyr, I helped Loren M.
Wade, of Tracy, get ready for his steam threshing. Hauled over some
baled straw and oats, got the roller and Case 50 ready and oiled
around and belted up the 28 x 46 Case separator, and on Oct. 29, we
had another steam threshing. Glenn Weagent was present, Wilbur
Skaar ran the roller and made a road through the orchard. We held
some belting-up contests and with one man it took about 5 minutes
with 2 men on the engine, it took about half as long. When we were
finished, the wood pile was low, some sacks full of oats and a nice
straw pile reminded us of the good time we all had. And, on this
note, the steam doings of 1967 are now history.

Loren tells me that the Shell Oil Pipelines division shut down
their pipeline and steam pumping plants about the 1st of February
from Fresno to Martinez. This will take some fine Corliss steam
cross-compound rod engines out of service, together with
well-maintained boilers and allied steam equipment. But, this is
progress, I’m told. What do you think? This report is a little
late, but I had a lot of fun last year and am looking forward to a
busy steam season this coming year.

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