Engine in the basement.

Engine in the basement.

Content Tools

Antique Power Association, Inc., P. O. Box 4, Boswell, Indiana 47021

This story and engine are something I've dreamed of for years. A friend of mine has always traded me out of my gas engines because I told him years ago I was a tractor man. I decided I would only keep a large engine.

My dream came true. My friend, Marvin Scott, located an H John Deere parts tractor for me, so we made arrangements to go get the tractor. After we bought and loaded it, we talked to the owner about his engines and listened to several run. The more we talked, the more interested I got.

He was telling Marvin about a 3-cylinder 50 HP Reeves that was in the basement of an old flour mill in Chillicothe, Ohio. If it were closer, he said he would buy it. We showed interest so he gave us the name and phone number of the man who owned it. I decided I wanted this Reeves engine if Marvin didn't. The trip home involved much conversation with the end result being I had a shot at it.

About a month later, early on a Saturday, Uncle Ben, my nephews Mel and Steve, Don Hufford, Danny Scott, Marvin and I left for Chillicothe. We took Don's 1-ton truck and trailer and a borrowed truck and trailer. On the way we found a Massey 44 diesel and an Oliver 77 diesel which we bought on the way back home.

We arrived at the mill at 7 a.m. and started removing parts from the engine. The flywheels, plus lots of other parts, had to come off. Uncle Ben, Mel and I started with the flywheels. Don and Marvin went up to the third floor and cut holes to put log chains through. They wrapped the chains around two 10 foot by 4 inch 'I' beams and dropped them to the engine. The chains were hooked around the center cylinder and 2 three-ton chain hoists were attached at the top. The winching began and I was a nervous wreck until it was up through the hole. Once it was on the second floor, we slid 10 inch channel iron under the engine and across the hole. It was then lowered onto machinery rollers and moved away from the hole.

Once we were on good flooring, we had to go about 30 feet, around a corner and then onto Don's trailer. With the help of Don's winch and a snatch block we got the cable around the corner to the engine. It was easy from there on with the engine, but, we had to hoist the flywheels, belt pulley, water pump, extra cylinder and other parts through the hole. This may not sound like much but the flywheels weigh 1500 pounds each and the pulley and carriage stand weigh 1000 pounds!

At 4 p.m. we were loaded and ready to head back 30 miles to get the Massey and Oliver.

This Reeves was built in Mt. Vernon, Ohio and is in reasonably good shape. I'm a member of the Illiana Antique Power Association, Inc. of Boswell, Indiana and I do hope to have it done and running for our show June 30, July 1 and 2.