Letters and Miscellanies

Stumbling Upon a Mystery


Content Tools

I had the pleasure of meeting some of the newcomers to the Lake Gaston area (Virginia/North Carolina border), which is noted for its retirement attractions. During our initial visit I learned they purchased a large old two-story country store. Also next door was a beautiful old house.

With much interest I was invited to tour these great attractions. At this time I learned the store was closed about 1932. The wall shelves, counters and the roll glass display cases were still in place and in good condition. The outside of the building was maintained with white wood siding in great condition.

After climbing the steps to the second floor I saw a variety of items such as an old windmill, glass display cases, tools, balance scales and over in the corner of the room, a hit-and-miss engine. This engine was permanently mounted and we assumed it was belted to some kind of woodworking tool. There were coffins in the room, so we guess this engine powered woodworking tools to make them.

I made a deal to purchase this engine, and with three friends, we unbolted it, mounted it on 2-by-6-inch skids and moved it down a narrow stairway consisting of 22 steps.

The engine has no identification and I cannot find any numbers anywhere. It is in very good condition except for the piston ring. The piston has four ring grooves - three above the wrist pin and one below. It has a 4-inch bore and 5-1/4-inch stroke with buzz coil ignition. The main bearing is lubricated via a small oil trough as opposed to grease cups. New rings have been ordered and hope to have the headless air-cooled engine running soon. The original color appears to be red. I would appreciate any help in identifying this engine.

N.E. Vandeveer
247 Pineview Drive
Henrico, NC 27842
(252) 537-8853