The Belden Engine Collection

| May/June 1996

  • Steam engine

  • Steam engine

1545 10th Avenue St. Paul Park, Minnesota 55071

My story is about a fellow by the name of Lloyd Belden, who in the 1960s and 70s, collected Case steam engines. I will tell you how I became acquainted with Lloyd and the years and engines he collected them.

In the summer of 1948 my cousin and I rode our bikes over to Swand land berry patch in Cottage Grove to pick strawberries. We lived in South St. Paul and it was quite a ride to get there. Lloyd Belden's farm was on the way and the Beldens were in the field as we rode by. We decided to stop and talk to Frank Belden, a brother to Lloyd, and see if they ever hired any help in the summer. Much to our surprise, Frank said, 'You boys look a little young to do heavy work, but if you come out next summer when we start haying, we will find plenty of work for you.'

Because Lloyd was not only a farmer, he also was a pilot for Northeast Airlines, and when he was flying, Frank ran the farm.

As a young kid, I never envisioned what was going to take place when I went to work on his farm in 1949. It would make an imprint of what I would become as a young man and carry all of the knowledge and work ethic up to this time. In 1949 my cousin and I started helping at the Belden farm. In the Fall, Lloyd asked me if I would work year round on the farm, and you know, when a young kid gets his first full time job he is pretty happy.

Because my father's family was born and raised in the same area of Cottage Grove as the Belden's farm, I am sure it helped me in getting the job.


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