The Little Mill

1 / 7
The grinder solo.
2 / 7
Complete unit.
3 / 7
Restoration in progress.
4 / 7
1927 F-M Z before restoration.
5 / 7
1927 Z after restoration.
6 / 7
Restoration complete.
7 / 7
My 1910 F & J farm pump.

5801 E. 5th St. Tucscon, Arizona 85711

I found and bought this corn sheller in Julian, California, in
September 1991, while attending the town’s annual Apple Harvest
Festival.

And by the way, during this event, the town’s various shops
are squeezing apple cider and some have bakeries where the most
scrumptious of apple pies are made and sold. One in particular is
‘Mom’s Apple Pies.’ You can stand outside on the
sidewalk and look through picture windows and watch them inside
preparing pies. Then if you want, you can go inside and order whole
pies or have a slice with or without real French vanilla ice
cream.

This store was also operating an old time hand crank apple
peeler and corer at the time; I mean a peeler that you dump a whole
bushel basket into at a time. And along the road leading into the
town from the west, there were roadside stands by nearly every
countryside house and church that were selling pies. Julian is an
old gold mining town up in the mountains about 60 miles northeast
of San Diego, California. There is an old gold mine guided tour
that is very interesting, as there is an old horizontal, one-lunger
underground, used as a hoist engine. The mine entrance where you
pay to go in there is a five stamp mill. The owner of the mining
property had five engines in his museum stuck off in a dusty, dark
corner, where it was hard to see, and an old storage shed with all
kinds of parts like mags, carbs, parts for old cars, etc. that had
been given to him. In the yard are various old trucks, cars, even
an old cement mixer powered by a one-lunger horizontal, but
wouldn’t you know it, he wouldn’t part with any of those
small parts in the shed or the engines. When I told him I was a fan
of all those old things, then he opened up his storage shed and
showed me all those nifty old parts.

Anyway, getting back to the sheller you would think I had to pay
a whole lot for it if I told you I bought it from an antique shop,
but I did buy it from an antique shop at less than a hundred
dollars. All the wood and metal parts were in good to excellent
condition; just needed restoring.

The sheller was pictured with an inquiry in GEM’s
Reflections section (January 1992 edition, page 2). I received
several responses on it and they were all very helpful toward
restoration. Three in particular helped me the most with making a
stencil for the gold design and the green and red striping. I thank
all those who wrote me and I particularly thank GEM and C. H.
Wendel, because without them I would not have had the help
necessary to restore it. GEM is the greatest magazine in my book!
Keep up the good work, C. H. Wendel!

I’ve had the sheller standing on my covered patio for a year
or so just looking at it often, while working on my various other
restorations, saying to myself, ‘I want it ready for the Pima
County Fair.’ I said that before the 1992 fair, but didn’t
make it, so when December 1992 came along, one day I was looking at
it too much I took it apart, then I couldn’t stop until I
finished it, along with the platform and mounting the feed mill.
Now the only hard job involved in getting the project functioning
is picking and hauling corn to feed it.

I have shown the sheller at the Wellton, Arizona Show and the
1993 Pima County Fair, at Tucson, Arizona, and have had a lot of
good praise for the restoration. I would like to find the pulley
that bolts onto the flywheel so I could use one of my engines to
power it. The old arm gets tired! The grinder mounted next to it I
power with either my Fuller & Johnson model N 2 HP or my
Fairbanks Morse Z throttle governed 2 HP engine.

I’ve had this antique disease ever since I can remember, but
I got sicker when I developed rusty iron disease a few years ago
when I attended the Stanislaus County Fair in my hometown of
Turlock, California. When I arrived home I started looking at and
asking questions about one-lungers. An ol’ flying buddy (I used
to fly ultra-lites) told me of a couple of old engines that sounded
to me to be cheap, so I checked them out.

The Fuller & Johnson Farm Pump was in running condition, but
the Fuller & Johnson NC was rusty and missing a few minor
parts. I thought maybe the price was a little high and the owner
wouldn’t come down even a little, so I let it go a couple of
months. In the meantime I went to South Haven, Michigan with my
good ol’ wife to visit her family and was told of an engine and
tractor show at Kalamazoo. Well, I got so sick I nearly died trying
to satisfy my disease!

When I got home I decided the price wasn’t high for what I
was getting, so I jumped in my pickup, hoping they still were there
and luckily, they were. I bought them for the owner’s price
right then and there. I found out afterwards that two others were
very much interested in them and I bought them just one week before
one of them was going to go buy them. I knew one of the guys and
the other one became a friend after I bought two Cushman scooters
from him that I then restored. So I consider myself very fortunate
for not being too cheap when I see something I want and this
disease makes you want more and more.

The Farm Pump engine is restored to correct colors and connected
to a shallow well hand pump and mounted on a cart; it pumps water
too. I’ve rigged a device to it that turns the crank for an old
White Mountain ice cream freezer, so at some shows it is pumping
water and making ice cream, and the public loves it toothe engine
rig, that is. The ice cream is for me and my engine buddies!

Other engines I have and are restored are a horizontal Nelson
Bros., model 72 Maytag, model WM B&G, and an FH B&G.

I also have an old riding lawn mower that I have restored into a
little tractor and it pulls a miniature spray rig for dust
abatement. The WM B&G is used to power the old sprayer
pump.

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