Letters and Miscellanies

8 HP Ohio Restoration

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Back in September 1996, GEM published a story about engine adventures in Nova Scotia, which I recovered two Ohio sideshafts: a 6 HP from a beach on an island and an 8 HP from a derelict farm. The 8 HP belonged to Marion Tuttle, an elderly woman who lived alone on the farm with dozens of cats, and it was buried in the ground nearly up to its crankshaft. After a year's worth of negotiations I was able to buy the Ohio from Miss Tuttle and bring it back to the U.S. I traded it to John Rex, the well-known collector and authority on early engines.

My part of the story resumes at the 2004 Dublin, N.H., engine show. I was walking along a row with a friend when a voice called out, "Hey Dan, come and say hello to an old friend." I turned to see Bob Upham leaning on the side of a pickup in which a gorgeous Ohio engine was smoothly coasting along. I stared at the engine and Bob for a couple of moments before the light came on. "Is that … my eight horse?" I asked. "Yup." he said, grinning. I stepped up to the truck. "Holy ****!" was my response.

I studied the engine which had been flawlessly - and tastefully - restored, including a newly-cast subbase. I learned from Bob that he and his son Steve had done the work for John Rex. "Wouldn't Miss Tuttle be pleased," I said. She died only a couple of years after I bought the engine. If she could see it now, she'd be proud as a peacock!

Dan West
167 Cushing Road
Friendship, ME 04547 (207) 832-5318
dkwest@midcoast.com