The Porter's Place and All Its Hidden Treasures

| May/June 2001

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3745 Fowler Lane Longmont, Colorado 80503

One fine Monday last July while twiddling my fingers in Oxford, Ohio, where my smart and beautiful wife, Charly, was teaching a week's class in quilting, I consulted my Show Directory to see what adventure awaited. Alas, nothing near enough (although Darke County et al Were beckoning). So I decided to head west to see what might be cooking around Rushville, Indiana, being aware of an earlier steam school, etc.

The Pioneer engine site east of town was quiet as a stuck Hercules, so when I got to town I strolled into the beautiful old county courthouse to see what a feller could stir up. One question about steam delivered me immediately to the surveyor's office where the Asst. Surveyor, whose name I've lost (darn it!), sold me a county map for $1 and circled a tree lot belonging to the Porter family, a few miles northwest of Rushville.

In Colorado you can see right through what goes for tree lots out here, and it's almost impossible to hide anything therein. In Indiana, however, you could hide the Russian army in one farmer's lot, and thus I found the Porters' place with all its well-hidden treasures. Not a soul was around, but they had just been in the field binding and shocking some barley with an old 10-20 (no paint) and nice IH PTO-driven binder. (Our binder is ground-driven.)

About the first thing you see, however, is this robin's egg blue A. D. Baker 21-75 Uniflow, with its engine at dead center. It's clear that the machine is in service, and just in suspended animation. (Our 1924 24-75 Front-Tank Minneapolis #8691 has also suspended animation for the winter.)

So here is the first picture I took of this wonderfully colored machine, thinking that Hoosiers had strange but beautiful taste in coloring old iron. THEN I SAW IT!! This machine hadn't been decorated by some weirdo, but by the robins of spring a perfect match for the eggs planted firmly in the nest of the ring gear!


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