By Staff
article image
C. B. Arnott
Courtesy of C. B. Arnott, Rt. 2, Bulls Gap, Tennessee 37711 Many thanks to the Kingsport News for the article following and to Shirley Price of Times-News Rogersville Bureau.

ROGERSVILLE James Watt couldn’t have been more pleased when
he first invented it than two ‘old-timers’ from over
Pleasant Hill way are with their steam engine.

The two are Gene Goan, who actually owns the 1886 model ,and C.
B. Arnott ‘he’s a life-long steam engine man.’

GETTIN’ UP STEAM-C. B. Arnott, standing, and Gene Goan,
Hawkins County farmers, brought their 1886 model steam engine to
the Pleasant Hill Fair Saturday. Arnott is the engineer, Goan the
fireman, when they run their antique for curious onlookers.

Arnott has been operating steam engines for 45 years on
thrashers, saw milling, silo filling, shredding.

This particular engine has belonged to Goan for 40 years and he
used it in pasteurizing milk in his plant which he ran for years,
bottling milk and selling it from Persia to Morristown and Bulls

The two were running their steam engine full blast at the
Pleasant Hill Community Fair Saturday, and all the youngsters were
crowding around, watching them feed the monster with wood and
building up steam, running it a little while. When they blew those
whistles, fingers went into ears in a hurry. ‘He’s the
engineer, I’m the fireman,’ quipped Goan as he threw
another slab of wood into the engine.

There were two whistles, the little one with its high, piercing
scream that you could hear for miles, and the other one that had a
throaty who-o-o that sounded like the Wabash Cannonball comin’
round the bend.

But this engine is a little bitty fellow compared to ones that
were used out West. This is a six-horse . . . out there they go to
140 horsepower,’ said Goan. The Goan engine is supposed to get
up to about 100 pounds of pressure.

This old engine  (‘we just set it up as an
antique’) was standing idle for 35 years ’til Goan
assembled it again. It was a trip to the Ford Museum where Goan
took his grandson that gave him the idea to put it back together

‘They had every kind of a steam engine from the first ones
made …. and they had one just like this,’ Goan said.

‘This is about as old a type as they had it runs
vertical,’ he continued.

And Arnott added a historical fact ‘1843 is as far back as
steam engines go.

Arnott is 69, Goan is in his 70s, and they act like ‘spring
chickens’ when they talk about their hobby.

‘Why I wouldn’t be afraid to climb on the biggest steam
engine made and run it all day,’ Arnott said.

And Goan summed it all up ‘I’d rather fool with one of
these steam engines than eat when I’m hungry!’

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment