Steam Returns to Eaton

By Staff
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One member of Pioneer Club found this WTM door in a hedge row on his property and brought it up.
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Danny Dale and his 1905 8 HPS. W. Wood steam engine.

By Neighbors for Historic Eaton & ‘Back Street
Mary’
RR 1, Box 124 Eaton, New York 13334

This year the small hamlet of Eaton celebrated its first Old
Hometown Day on July 13th. The day brought back to Eaton something
that has been missing for almost 100 years, a real steam engine and
the shrill sound of a steam whistle.

The Old Hometown Day was put on by the people of Eaton to rally
community spirit, to celebrate Eaton’s rich history and to
commemorate the 50th Anniversary of its small rural fire
department.

The usual on these occasions, the parade, craft show, games,
barbecue and band were fun, but certainly the most memorable part
was the running of Danny Dale’s S. W. Wood steam engine and the
startling sound of its steam whistle at Eaton’s first ever
tractor and engine show.

The show, organized by Mike Curtis and the Neighbors for
Historic Eaton, featured Danny Dale from Camden, New York, who was
joined by the Central New York Chapter of the Pioneer Gas Engine
Association, (TOYS) Tractors of Yesteryear and many others. Also on
hand for the celebration was Stanley Davis who hauled his Economy
hit and miss engine and gristmill all the way from Live Oak,
Florida, to savor the history being made.

The day’s only disappointment was its lack of a traction
steam engine. A traction engine that was planned for the day, a 50
HP Case that belongs to Tommy Curtis, was unable to make it because
of required repair work.

The group is hoping to plan another show in the future and to
attract more actual steam engines, as in the 1800s Eaton was the
home of the world famous Wood, Taber & Morse Steam Engine
Works.

Tours of the Wood House Museum, which was the home of Wood Taber
& Morse’s founder, Allen N. Wood, also attracted a large
enthusiastic turnout. Many visitors were history buffs interested
in seeing a specially prepared exhibit of real artifacts from the
famous company. Among the most notable were a steam gauge, letter
box, a wooden pattern for casting one of the many geared wheels for
the four wheel drive traction engine, many original advertisements
and a number of original lithograph plates used in the printing of
all the company’s fliers and ads. (The bulk of the W, T & M
artifacts were loaned by Morse relative, Ken Morse Sr.)

Also on hand for the celebration was Barbara Ferguson, the great
granddaughter of Mr. Wood and many other Eaton ancestor notables
including Bart Williams another Morse relative, who provided
artifacts brought to Eaton by its founding family of Joseph
Morse’s in 1795.

Eaton historian and Wood House curator M. E. Messere said,
‘This is a great day for Eaton, Mr. Taber’s, Mr.
Morse’s and Mr. Wood’s spirits must be around here
somewhere and I know they’re smiling!’ ‘Perhaps someday
Wood, Taber and Morse engine will return to Eaton,’ she sighed.
‘Or at least we can hope!’

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