The Search for the 15 HP Acadia


| October/November 1996

  • 15 hp acadia
    The 15 HP Acadia as found in Newfoundland in 1994. The old bus has the saw bench inside.
  • School bus and engine shed
    School bus and engine shed in Newfoundland.
  • 15 HP Acadia in the shop
    15 HP Acadia in the shop after clear coat.
  • 15 HP Acadia engine

  • Fairbanks Morse R
    15, 10 and 5 Acadias at the Milton Steam Era Show in 1995. Mark Kinzie's 50 HP Fairbanks Morse R is in the background.
  • 15 HP Acadia engine

  • 15 HP Acadia engine
    Three views of the 15 HP Acadia at Niagara Antique Power Show. This was the first show for this engine.

  • 15 hp acadia
  • School bus and engine shed
  • 15 HP Acadia in the shop
  • 15 HP Acadia engine
  • Fairbanks Morse R
  • 15 HP Acadia engine
  • 15 HP Acadia engine

I would like to thank Mark Kinzie for the inspiration to put pen to paper and write this story.

I have been collecting engines for around sixteen years. My early years of collecting were highlighted by yearly trips to the maritime provinces to visit family and friends. This trip would happen every year, and would usually find me looking for engines in my spare time. In the early years I would buy almost any engine, but this soon changed. I thought that I would like an engine made on the East Coast. This certainly narrowed the field of choices, because there weren't many manufacturers on the Coast outside of marine engines. I then decided to find an Acadia engine or two.

I had seen an ad in GEM from a man in Nova Scotia, so I wrote him a letter. It wasn't long till I got a reply. Many letters traveled east and west. By the next summer I was on my way down with an engine to trade on a 10 HP Acadia.

The Acadia Gas Engine Company was formed in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, around 1908. There was a large demand for marine engines to power the inshore fishing fleet. This was their main line for the first year or two of operation, but their customers needed stationary engines, too. Some people would take the engine out of the boat for the winter and set it up for stationary power until it was needed again. In order to fill the demand for stationary engines they started to sell United engines. After a short time they stopped buying completed engines and started buying the engines unassembled. This venture was short lived. With the marine engine market growing rapidly, they started to make their own castings for stationary engines. It is unclear if there was an agreement between Acadia and United. The Acadia differs only slightly from United. Some parts will interchange.



Getting back to my trip for the 10 HP. By the time all the dealing was done, I had a 10, 4, 3 Acadia and a 3 HP John Deere. The 3 and 4 HP look to be the same size, just a little larger bore and stroke on the 4 HP. Both of these engines were in a lot less than mint condition.

The 10 HP was in excellent condition and had 85% of the original paint. This engine did not get repainted, but was cleaned and clear coated. That really makes the old paint look nice and is easy to keep clean.



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