Miss Stover And I

10 HP Stover

The 10 HP Stover in the shop.

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P.O. Box 703, Delta, Colorado 81416. 

My love of old engines began as a child. Growing up on my father's farm, I learned to love the sound of them.

Down through the years, I had gotten myself a couple of these engines to add to my pile. I was always on the lookout for more, and one day in 1978 I found my engine as I was going up the river to my boyhood home. I saw this big old Stover engine just sitting on the hillside. I ran my boat to shore and ran up the hill for a better look, I could hardly believe my eyes. With a few minor repairs, I could get her running again. But the people who owned the cattle ranch on which she sat were impossible to reach by phone or in person. I even offered a finder's fee of $100.00.

The years went by and I still was no closer in getting my Stover than before. In 1984, I got myself a new wife and she was telling me she had been to see Mrs. L. Smith. I began to talk like a crazy man. But then she told me how the men who owned the ranch didn't like to come to town. We would have to wait to see them.

Finally, they said they would talk to me at a favorite grandchild's piano recital. God, what next! I had never been to a piano recital in my life, but there is a first time for everything.  

The deal was made, but to get this engine off the hillside would take lots of planning. The range cows would have to be moved. A cantankerous caretaker and his dogs that looked like big bears would have to come and let us in the gate. A river would have to be crossed (I didn't have a boat any more). The railroad would have to be tied up. Would I even be able to get this engine down?

All that winter I planned on how to get Miss Stover home. First I built a bobsled to bring its body out, and then a raft to float it across the river. I knew this would take two trips to bring her down and across the river.

In late August, I said everything was ready. The cows were gone for the summer, the caretaker said okay, and the railroad wasn't going to be running a train that day. My son and daughter said they would help, so off we went.

Taking her apart was easy. We put our tow ropes in place and tied them to our three-wheelers, put the body on the bobsled and down we came. But to transfer the body to the raft was something else. Into the river we went. My raft went this way and that way. My family thought for sure they would meet their maker, but we pulled it across the river.

To my horror, while loading the body, I discovered my bobsled and raft were a total loss. Now there sat the flywheels, just sitting there. So up the hill we went again and rolled them into a brush pile until I could think of my next move.

For two weeks, I thought and thought of my only plan: to roll the flywheels across the river bed in 4' deep water, and work it did.

Home we went. I spent so much time with my engine that my family began to ask, 'Dad's with Miss Stover again?'

That's how she got her name. Miss Stover is a delight to all who see and hear her engine run.

The Stover is a 10 HP upright, no serial number on the engine anywhere. I think it is an S Series but I'm not sure.