| March/April 1964

18 W. Wash. St., Newnan, Ga.

My earliest memories of steam go back to where a Watertown Portable blew up about 1882. The fireman was getting a drink of water on the other side of the Ginn house so no one was injured. He had just said the day before, 'I'll fire her or burst her'.

Some of the next ones I guess the first time I ever saw a real hot fire was when an old loco engineer would let the town kids ride with him while he was switching out cars.

The bark of steam engines could be heard all over the place pulling sawmills, running plainers, cotton ginns and the smoke from the large plants boiled out of the high stacks and only the machinery could be heard as most places used large Corliss engines.

This was a country of lumber, cotton, and cotton mills, and it is said we used 14 cars of coal a day in our little of 6000 before the electricity came.

My old friend Lew Steadman told me that he and his fireman decided to keep up steam one night when it would always go down, 4 boilers, 1 Corliss engine with a 75 psi back pressure so as to run the paper mill with exhaust. he had learned to dust the shovel off while firing from a railroad friend fireman, Lew took 2 boilers and his fireman took 2 and they began to throw the coal and each time hit the door with a loaded shovel causing the coal to form a dust and burn before it came down to the grates. Things looked good for a while as they had her popping off most of the time so they looked at each other and decided this was the way to fire until the town chief tapped him on the shoulder and invited him to look at the 130 ft. steel smoke stack outside. She was red hot half way up and people from everywhere were waiting to see the show of it falling down.