'STEAMIN' ALONG FOR FIFTY MILES


| May/June 1963



Ryndas account of the trip

We give you this picture pretty largely because of its beautiful setting. It is Joe's outfit on the way to Elysian, Minnesota. See Ryndas account of the trip.

Montgomery, Minnesota

STEAM ENGINE TRIP FROM MONTGOMERY TO ELYSIAN, Minnesota is a distance of 20 miles on winding gravel roads with hills and hollows and passing by 6 beautiful lakes.

Oct. 5, 1962-Morning-light fire in A. D. Baker 21-75 Uniflow No. 17,676. Coupled to 32' Cyl. 46' rear Case Agitator No. 8920, built in 1885. Got stuck-so much rain. Dave Willis from Elysian furnished M. M. Tractor to pull the 8 bottom John-Deere platform plow and the tank water wagon was chained to the John-Deere platform plow eye hitch for the cedar or drag as was the custom in Montana,

Tom Zahratka, with Model T Ford, hauled wood and coal. We started to burn wood, but it was so wet, we could not hold steam, so we added coal, then we had plenty of steam. First day we made 5 miles. Towards evening, we stopped at large farmyard and asked if we could park the threshing and plow rig on their yard. Mrs. Tuma said yes, that her Hubby wouldn't care as his Daddy was a thresherman.

October 6, 1962-Morning-brought sack of dry corn cobs and wood to start the fire. They had filled our water tank full of water and did not want anything for leaving the rig on the yard, or for the water. 9:00- We pulled out, winding around the lakes, passing through the village of Cordovia. There, they took pictures and gave us free refreshments. Towards evening stopped to fire up and oil up and had sent the water tank wagon with the tractor for water. Mr. Sheehy, farmer along the road, came out with pick-up truck., 'What is your trouble?' I said, 'We will be out of water soon 'He replied, 'Pull in the yard.' I replied, 'My tanker will be here soon.' Mr. Sheehy went home, put on an empty barrel, filled it with water and came to the engine with barrel full of water. He would not even take a Souvenir Button for it, but bought one instead. Another farmer borrowed us 5 gallons of gas for the tractor. His name was Herman. Then, as we approached John Hermel's, uncle of the one we got gas from an old thresherman and sawmill man, he had his 28 hp Minneapolis all steamed up to welcome us with a special R. R. whistle. Also a big sign along the road 'Welcome to stay overnight to Steam Engine Joe' and Mrs. Hermel had a nice big thresherman's supper for us. Then it rained Sunday and Monday.

October 9, we pulled out of the yard and water was still standing in puddles on the road. Reached Elysian 15:00 when every boy and girl in Elysian was on their bicycle along the engine, also the engine platform was full of young engineers. Pulled in the field and the drivets started to spin on the Baker, uncoupled the agitator and traveled till we come to a knoll where the ater came out of the hill. The Baker went down to the fire-box, so Dave Willis brought down the big Cockshutt Diesel, hitched on and broke the chain. Then we put on heavy chain and dug down. Then we uncoupled the Cockshutt in the lead and went around the hill to reduce the grade and we made it. You should of seen the tracks or trenches we made. Mr. Dave Willis, also brought us lunch while on the road that afternoon.