1339 Evergreen Drive, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301.
Mr. Joe Richardson of Orofino, Idaho telephoned me as the result of a story in the 1971 May-June issue of The Iron-Men Album Magazine about the shipping of my Case 65 outfit to Twin Falls, Idaho. This is how I made the acquaintance of Mr. Joe Richardson and his son, Dale. Our friendship developed as the result of a common interest our love of work in connection with the restoration and maintenance of Case steam traction engines and related equipment. I have certainly made some real friends and met many nice people in this steam engine business.
Joe invited my wife, Jean, and I to be his week-end guests last July. Upon our arrival at Orofino, Joe had his 110 Case steamed up and ready to go. He invited me to be guest engineer. What a thrill! This was one of the nicest week ends that I have ever enjoyed. The only other 110 Case I had ever seen was the partial remains of one in the storage yard at the Saskatoon show several years ago. I had practically given up of ever seeing a 110 Case in operating condition, let alone the privilege of being able to run one for two days. The week-end weather was perfect in the beautiful Clearwater River Valley where Joe's Riverside Lumber Co. is located near Orofino, Idaho. The really beautiful 110 Case had recently been completely rebuilt and restored at considerable cost. It was a real treat to be able to operate- such a large engine. One of the days, Joe pulled his equally well-restored Case 80 from its building and had it under steam also. Talk about feeding the threshing crews in the old days, you can hardly imagine the wonderful noon basket lunch Mrs. Richardson, Helen, fixed and brought to the hungry engineers. And in the evening Helen prepared a delicious steak dinner that was out of this world. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Richardson were certainly wonderful hosts under ideal circumstances.
Joe Richardson and his son, Dale, have five completely restored and rebuilt Case steamers. Other than the 1909 Case 6 HP portable, all of their steamers are late models with butt-strap boilers. This is a list of their Case traction engines: 110 No. 28661, 80 No. 34387, 65 No. 33379 and 50 No. 35108. They have a 32' Case separator and some sawmills, etc. Joe also has a 2' scale model 1915 Case 65 traction engine from Tiny Power built by Charles Arnold which is a real 145 lb. working jewel. The 110 Case is from Canada. Joe also has almost enough parts to build two more 110 Case engines including two good high pressure butt-strap traction engine boilers.
The Richardson's work shops are completely equipped with the best of tools and equipment. It's hard to imagine the perfect workmanship that has been done in rebuilding their Case engines. Some of the engine boilers were sent to a boiler works in Spokane, Washington for rebuilding. No original detail is overlooked. It is doubtful if the engines were as mechanically perfect when they left the Case factory. Even the new contractors' bunkers are hand riveted just like the originals.
Joe is a real steam buff. He has a fine reference library stocked with books, catalogs, magazines, etc. Wish it were possible to spend a month in his library.
Joe and Dale Richardson put on their own steam engine show each year which is a wonderful story in itself. Their last threshing bee was held Sunday, September 5, 1971. My wife and I certainly enjoyed it. The activities included threshing, making whole wheat flour and bread, sawing lumber with both small and large outfits, an operating scale model steam railroad, old automobiles, a scale model wagon exhibit by Dan Nichols that was excellent, model steamers and threshers of various sizes, etc., etc., staged in a beautiful area on the Clearwater River near Orofino, Idaho. Saturday evening, September 4, 1971, the Richardsons hosted a lovely dinner dance party at the luxurious Konkolville Steakhouse and Lounge. Music for the evening was provided by the Latah County Old Time Fiddlers with 21 musicians from Moscow, Idaho. Everyone had a wonderful time. Joe Richardson paid the entire bill for his 172 Saturday evening guests and hosted another dinner at his expense Sunday evening at the same place for his guests.