P.O. Box 1808, Minden, Nevada 89423.
I thought your readers might be interested in this huge old steamer that we came across in northern California this past summer on our way to the Case Heritage Exposition in Brooks, Oregon.
My wife and I had pulled off the highway at the small sawmill town of McCloud, California, for a rest stop and lunch when I spotted this old beauty on one of the town's main streets.
I knew I had to find out more about this old engine, and after walking around it several times, I saw a small sign stating that the town museum had more complete information on it. So off to the museum we went.
The owners of the McCloud Lumber Mill decided in 1902 to increase the size of the mill and placed an order for this engine with the Allis Chalmers Mfg. Co., at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for an A.C. Corliss design engine. The specifications were as follows:
Ser. #173 - 800 to 1,100 HP - Top Speed 87 r.p.m.
Bore 26' - Stroke 48'
Flywheel diameter 18 ft. - width 42'
Flywheel shaft diameter - 13'
Piston rod - 4' diameter
Flywheel weight - 25,000 lbs.
Engine Weight - 60,000 lbs.
Steam supply lines - 2-12' N.P.S.
The engine drove a line shaft the length of the mill through a 42' x 50' leather belt, and from this shaft smaller belts ran the two band saws and other mill machinery.
The records show that old #173 ran for seventy-six years with only two minor repairs-one in 1949 and the other in 1951.
The engine was shut down in 1979 for the last time and gathered dirt and rust until 1986 when a group of volunteers from the P&M Lumber Co. restored it and placed the engine where it is today.
If anyone traveling in Northern California is interested in old steamers, a side trip to McCloud is well worth the time.
The brass name plate reads: Allis-Chalmers Co., Chicago U.S.A., Edward P. Allis Works, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.