Engines Close to Home and Heart


| May/June 1983


Depot Street Waldoboro, Maine 04572

They say, 'the best things are close to home.' After a ride through the Maine countryside a few weeks ago, I could not agree more.

The adventure began when I heard of a small gas engine being built from scratch by Ernest Hallo-well in Augusta, 25 miles from my home. Though the 'engine grapevine' I had learned that the small wheeled wonder was a model of an I.H.C. Screened Cooled Famous engine and was attracting much attention at area engine shows. I had known Ernest for a number of years and had only to make a telephone call to confirm the rumors that the illustrious little engine was complete and running. I never need an excuse to visit Ernest, so his invitation to view the engine began one of the nicest day trips I have experienced.

Before leaving for Augusta, I decided this was the time to immortalize the little engine on film and record Ernest's account of its construction, so along came my camera and notebook and this story was already in the works. On the way to Ernest's, I reflected on the great contribution he has made to the engine-collecting hobby in the state of Maine. Many of the restored engines in the state at one time have had a part or piece rebuilt by this infamous 'engine doctor.' He also donates many hours of machine work each year in helping to restore and keep the fly-wheels turning at the Owls Head Transportation Museum, located on the coast.



Ernest greeted me warmly at 11 AM at his workshop door. The shop was wall-to-wall engines and machinery. Engines of every size, shape and state of repair were lined up, patiently awaiting Ernest's delicate attention. It took no time at all for Ernest to unveil his pride and joy, and he began a wistfil recollection of the first engine his father owned, some seventy years before.

Ernest still remembers the day his father hauled the engine home in the back of a wagon pulled by the family mare. 'The engine seemed to be ten feet tall,' recalled Ernest with a gleam in his eye. The engine was a 6 horsepower I.H.C. Famous Screened Cooled, 'the best in the neighborhood and the best running engine around.' Young Ernest spent many years with that engine and fed many cords of hardwood to the saw it powered.














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