Vintage Mining Engine Chugs Anew


| August/September 2001



Fairbanks Morse engine

P.O. Box 36 Spanaway, Washington 98387

Rummaging around old junk yards in Alaska yielded quite a treasure for Warren Lofquist of Eatonville, Washington. While trail riding and exploring old mining trails, he discovered a vintage Fairbanks-Morse engine in the discarded remains of an old mining operation.

'You find many old mills and mining shacks collapsed on themselves up in that country,' he notes. 'In Alaska's back country, you see old mining machinery, dozers, power plants and such, all left there by old time miners.'

He was told miners were required to clean up the old equipment, when their mines closed down, but scrap prices were so low it didn't pay to haul it out, so much of it was just left, or buried, there.

Exhaust pumps from the Fairbanks Morse engine as Lofquist makes an adjustment. Note 'stick' in front of Lofquist, a tree branch used as a clutch lever over 60 years ago.

Somewhere north of Fairbanks, Warren came across an abandoned mine. A little research told him four partners started up this particular mine around 1910.