Reprinted with permission from The Macon County journal
The Macon County Flywheel and Collectible Club recently began moving two stationary steam engines from Kirksville to the old tennis courts at the Macon County Fairgrounds Park.
The engines are to be set in concrete and reassembled, and then the club hopes to begin construction of a pole-type structure which will house not only the engines, but other items transforming the structure into a museum, Willard Main, president of the club said.
The engines were donated to the club by the Baldwin family in Kirksville in 1984. They were used to generate electricity in the old shoe factory in Kirksville.
Since 1984, members of the club have been dismantling the engines for transportation to Macon.
One of the engines was patented on Sept. 15, 1885 and was manufactured by Dynamo Engine Co. of Ridge way, PA. The 'ridge way Engine' has a 22-inch bore, a 22-inch stroke, and generated 300 HP at 200 rpm.
The other machine was built before 1900 by the Bates Machine Co. in Joliet, Ill. The 14-foot flywheel weighs approximately 11 tons.
Main said the club probably wouldn't be able to get the engines reassembled in time for this year's annual show to be held at the fairgrounds the last weekend in July. However, they hope to complete the work by the end of this year.
Work on the building for the museum might begin this fall, but is more likely to begin next summer, Main said.
The building is being funded from proceeds of the shows, which drew approximately 5,000 people and hundreds of exhibitors last year, he said.
The building will measure 60ft. x 120 ft. Other items to be displayed in the museum will include everything from blankets and primitive tools to blacksmithing items.
Main said the museum will be open by appointment, during the shows each year, and possibly on weekends, once it is completed.