GILSON FIND


| July/August 2000



Old marine engines

Harbour Prince Edward Island, Canada C0A 1V0

This story starts at the Montague Antique Car Show in early July of 1998, where some of the members of the P.E.I. Antique Engine, Tractor and Machinery Association go to show engines.

While talking to many interested onlookers, a man asked if I was interested in old marine engines. I said yes, and that I had a couple at home. He said he knew of a single cylinder Fairbanks-Morse and gave me a name and a phone number. I phoned the man about a week later and found out the engine was not for sale.

While on a trip to eastern Nova Scotia later, I decided to go and have a look at the Fairbanks-Morse and see if he might have changed his mind. As we talked, I found out he hadn't changed his mind, but he told me about a sawmill that might still be there and the name of the man who lived next to it. We went to see Roy Warner and he took me over in the woods where the old mill was. There sat three Gilson engines, one about 4 HP, one 10 HP, and one 15 HP.

When I saw that big 15 HP, I told Roy I was going to have that. Roy said, 'What would you want that for.?!' I told Roy I would take it home, get it going and paint it. Roy said 'Get it going? It has been lying there for 30 years or more!' I told him all three engines had a lot of potential and asked Roy for some information on finding the owner, as I would be back.

Starting with the name of who owned and operated the mill, I tracked down Wilfred Carter in Amherst, Nova Scotia, who inherited the property and was told the engines were going to a museum and they were coming to get them. I asked him to find out for sure, because I didn't think a museum would cut the trees, etc., etc., to get them out of there.