723 Ryan Road Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
Hi! My name is R. H. Stover. I was born on March 7,1916 in Freeport, Illinois. I was painted red and a shiny brass plate was attached to my water hopper. On this plate was stamped my serial number 'RH75266 and size 12 HP RPM 325'. Then on April 16, 1916 I was shipped from the factory to Brackett, Shaw and Lunt Company of Somersworth, New Hampshire. I'm lucky I also have another brass plate on me that says 'Manufactured for Brackett, Shaw Company, Somersworth, New Hampshire, and Montpelier, Vermont, Power, Water, Heat, Light'. My new and present owner does not know my early history. He first saw me lying on my side at an antique shop in Wiscasset, Maine. He didn't pay much attention to me then, because lots of my necessary parts were missing. Several years after he first saw me, he found I had been moved to a field a few miles away along with several other rusty engines. By now my remaining parts were rusted tight or broken and I was in sad shape. However, I could tell that this fellow (who by now had caught the 'Engine Bug') wanted to see me painted bright red and hear me chug along once again. I knew a satisfactory price had been negotiated when this same fellow appeared with some of his family members to take me for a long ride to Northampton, Massachusetts. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 1987, after a snow storm, and I knew getting me to my new home in western Massachusetts wasn't going to be an easy task. My new owners, Don and June, had with them their son Bob and grandson Stephen in two pickup trucks along with planks, chains, rollers, pry-bars, and miscellaneous tools. You name it, they probably brought it. Wearing insulated coveralls, gloves and hats, they set to work. As I watched and listened to this group I thought just maybe I would have a chance to chug again one day.
I was lying on one of my 42 inch flywheels and frozen in the ground. It was a big job to get me loose. Once I was loose they took me apart further put my crankshaft and flywheels and large clutch pulley on one pickup and my block on the other pickup. I must say that taking me apart went quite well and after two hours of tugging and pulling we were on our way down the road to my new home.
The next day I was unloaded and set on some timbers so I could be worked on. The first step was to loosen my head so it could be removed. That in itself was a big chore. Because my 7' piston was rusted so tight it took many weeks of soaking, then finally with a large block of wood and many blows with a heavy sledge hammer my piston came free. My owner was happy to see that my cylinder was in relatively good condition. I was ready to be re-assembled.
After many, many hours of hard work, sweat and toil by my owner, his sons and grandsons, and friends too, I now look spiffy. I have a new set of rings, a new cam gear, a Webster mag, a new fuel pump and a volume governing mixer and new fuel tank. I've had lots of tender loving care. I'm proud of my new red paint that makes me look like new. I've been mounted on a nice heavy truck and run very smooth.
It was in November, 1991, that I heard myself chug, chug once again. Needless to say, that was a happy and exciting day.
I'm happy here in my new home with other smaller engines. Once in a while I get moved around the yard by a 1939 John Deere 'H' tractor.
Twice this past summer I was loaded onto a trailer and taken for a short ride to what I hear people call an 'Engine Show.' These are kind of nice. People come around and listen to me and other engines as we play out our chug, chug sounds. I've kind of gotten hooked (like my owner) on these shows and will be ready when the 1993 season is here.
P. S. My owner, Don Upham, gives a hearty 'Thank You' to all who helped him restore me.