Steam Engine's Talk' Music to Their Ears

Pioneer Engineer Club Holds Reunion

| January/February 1969

(The following write up was sent to us by an unnamed member of the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana -I wrote the Newspaper The Muncie Star and they very generously gave us their permission to use this article in our magazine. Thank you, Larry Shorbe, City Editor for your answer and permission.)


RUSHVILLE (AP) The sign said, 'All Boilers Safety Inspected.' It was reassuring.

Treading the ground of the hollow were hissing, creaking, well-worn steam engines, the machines which did America's heavy farm work until a quarter century ago.

The occasion was the 20th annual reunion of the Pioneer Engineer Club of Indiana. Each summer the club stages an old-time threshing exhibition typical of dozens throughout the nation.

WISPS OF SMOKE and the soft 'chuff-chuff-chuff-chuff' of the engines drifted up from the hollow. The air was filled with the hot smell of wood and coal smoke, lubricating oil and boiler compound.

In the middle of the hollow, the scent of fresh sawdust mingled with the smell of machinery. One of the old engines was driving an old portable sawmill. The men heaved logs and cut lumber as they did several decades ago, but this was for fun.