The Underwater Huber Engine

A Huber engine is recovered after being underwater for several decades

| May/June 2001

2910 Maple Road Manistee, Michigan 49660-9628

I will try and tell the story about the abandoned Huber engine the best I can. Being about the oldest boy, I was always helping my dad to do things. So I was able to hear things told about the Huber. A fellow who lived about three miles from us would stop and visit every so often. He would mention the Huber engine and tell about it when it was being used.

He told us about the Tippy Dam that was built across the river downstream where the Huber was being used. He said people were told to get their stuff out of the area, as it was going to be flooded. This was in 1918. He said the Huber was being driven out, and when it got over the steep part, it broke down where it sat. This was in the 1930s, when I heard him telling about it. I was about eight years old at the time.

Later on, in the 1930s, the fellow stopped by to visit and told my dad he took a drive up to the flooded area, the "pond," as he called it. He said the Huber smokestack was still sticking out of the water, and that he and my dad should go get it out. That was about it from that fellow. He passed on before anything came of it.

In the 1950s I was out on a drive when I went by a fellow's house and saw old iron sitting around. I stopped to talk to the man and found out he knew my parents. As we talked, we got on the subject of steam engines. He told me the story about the Huber being underwater and how and why it was there. His story was the same as I heard from the other fellow, only he told me a little more. He said when he was a boy he saw the Huber being used and later on he visited the area just before it was flooded.

He said the last time he saw it on dry ground is where it broke down. If I recall, he also said they tried to pull it with horses, but could not. So that is where it sat until it was removed in 1959, when the dam was lowered for repair.