The Rare Canary


| May/June 1985


1022 North Elm Luverne, Minnesota 56156

Upton, Down ton, Port Huron or whatever who cares for there are probably a dozen or more drifting around the country even if you never heard the name Upton before. Those were my thoughts when I took my first look at one of the developed rolls of film I received which contained a snapshot of the Upton steamer. I wrote an article for another magazines and referred to that engine as an Upton.

Later I received a letter from Carlton Johnson, Clio, Michigan asking if I would send a picture of the steam engine for the sole surviving Upton he knew of was the one that is or at least was in Henry Ford's museum at Dearborn, Michigan. Carlton owns a 19 HP Port Huron Longfellow along with a 16 HP Buffalo-Pitts and a 6 HP portable Russell. He is well grounded in the history of the Port Huron Company.

When I took the picture at the Cedar Valley Show, 7 miles west of Charles City, Iowa, I noticed the smoke box had the Port-Huron Engine & Thresher Company name cast on its door. Being a bit hazy as to just where I saw the Upton name on that engine I sent a note to Bill Neal, Charles City, Iowa. Bill is my reliable source of information should I need to know something about The Cedar Valley Show or The Hart-Parr Tractor Company. Incidentally, The White Motor Company has donated whatever Hart-Parr blue prints and history they had to the museum in Charles City. Bill sent two neat snap shots one of the engine itself and the other showing The Upton Manufacturing Company name on the engine frame casting. I sent both pictures to Carlton and am enclosing, with his permission, his very interesting answer for I believe you will enjoy reading what he wrote and also a few photos.

Whatever name or names is correct for that steamer, The Cedar Valley Engine Club men have in their midst it's definitely a 'rare canary.' Should you want to see Dave Hut-chin's engine attend their show which also has a large number of other exhibits, a comfortable shaded location, friendly people and reasonable prices. So why not check your calendar today and look forward to spending an enjoyable day or maybe the whole Labor Day weekend with them.

Dear Melvin,






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