Sta-Rite

Sta-Rite hit & miss engine

Content Tools

3080 Chestnut Lane, Millville, Pa. 17846. Phone 570-458-4068.

These are some 'before and after' pictures of my 1911 6 HP, 1300 lb. Sta-Rite hit & miss engine. My neighbor, Dale Young, found it in the woods in Lopez, Pennsylvania.

Dale was driving his old Ford truck around Lopez when a little child ran in front of him. When braking, he slid across the road, then came to a stop, facing a wooded area. When he looked up, he saw an old tractor up on a hill.

When he got his nerves back, he parked his truck and made sure the child was all right.

Then he walked up to see the old tractor, which turned out to be an old Case RC. While looking at the tractor, he noticed farther up the hill was a rusty, old piece of machinery. Being Dale, he had to check it out. Well that rusty, old piece of junk was this 1911, 6 HP Sta-Rite made by the Reliance Co.

He asked the owner if he wanted to sell any of the old junk. The farmer said he would take $100.00 for the tractor and $50.00 for the engine. Dale was planning to buy, but one thing led to another, and about six years passed by. During that time, he moved to a farm which is about mile from where I live. We met and became friends.

I have been a collector of old engines for quite some time. When he told me about the one in the woods, I said it was probably an old air compressor or some other piece of junk. He said, 'I know an old engine when I see one!'

I reminded him that it had been six years, and no old hit and miss would still be in the woods today.

So one hot day, we jumped in my truck and headed to Lopez. I took my camera along, just in case. He found the spot with no problem. We walked up the hill and I could see the tractor. An old pickup sat in the brush, too. A neat bass pond was in the weeds. Sure enough, there was a flywheel. I could not believe my eyes! A whole engine with mag and all, just sitting there . . . waiting for someone to give it a good home.

I started taking pictures and admiring the engine. I had never seen one like this. I took more pictures. Well, I thought we'd better find the owner before we got shot.

Then we went down into the small town of Lopez. And I do mean SMALL. It had one combo store, bar and meeting house.

We stopped to ask questions. We found out the owner had passed away, and the place now belonged to his son.

So we tracked him down. I asked if he would sell the engine. He said, 'Well, I remember something up there. I will have to look.' I told him I would be back in a few weeks.

I could not wait that long! So, in one week I was back. I told him I would give him $50.00 for it. He said he would like to ask around to see what it was worth. So, I gave him another week.

When I went back, he said someone told him that he should get more. I asked him what it was worth. He did not know. I knew I had to work fast, now that he was telling everyone about it.

I said, 'How much ???' He had no answer. I offered $50.00. He said, 'Naaa.' I offered $100.00. He said nothing. So I put $200.00 in his hand and he smiled.

The engine was mine at last!

But what a job getting it out! Across the mud, down the hill to the road. Then we had to drive down Red Rock Mountain. That's one STEEP mountain to come down especially with a 1300 pound load.

I took me about two months to get it freed up and turning again. All the parts were there.

I inquired about the history of the old engine. I learned that it ran an old kindling mill that had burned down many years ago. It must have been in the woods ever since.

Thanks to my wife Audrey for correcting all my spelling and grammar errors.

I started a home page for Sta-Rite with owners' names and pictures. (www.Beitz.net) If you want your engine put on the list, E-mail me at kbeitz@csrlink.net.