Walking Beam Engine At Colorado Springs

| January/February 1989

  • Beam steam engine

  • Beam steam engine

35 Pueblitos Road Belen, New Mexico 87002

The Western Museum of Mining and Industry, north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, has in its permanent collection a magnificent 25 foot tall walking beam steam engine.

The 120 HP engine, built in the early 1890's in England, first saw duty at the Vaucluse Gold Mine near Fredricksburg, Virginia. The engine powered the ore crushing stamps as well as the water pumps that drained the mine, fed the boiler, and pumped the water for the ore separators.

The 1864 Civil War 'Battle of the Wilderness' shut down and destroyed the mine and leveled the surrounding forest. But, somehow, the engine managed to remain erect until 1931 when it was removed to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The Ford Museum donated it to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in December of 1983 where it now stands.

The museum has dozens of other interesting exhibits including a size medium-large, double expansion Corliss engine. The museum is just east of 1-25 at the exit for the Air Force Academy's North Gate.

Stop in and tell the folks you read about the walking beam in Iron Men Album.