60 Peach Hill Road, Berlin, Massachusetts 01503
My son Bob and I have been interested in old engines for the past four years, and during those years GEM has helped us to answer questions, solve problems, locate parts and to communicate with fellow collectors. Every month we look forward to reading about the adventures and finds of other 'old iron addicts'. It's these experiences that we all hope will happen to us. On June 25, 1988 it was our turn to strike gold.
After attending the Central Massachusetts Gas & Steam Show in Orange, MA, we packed up the family and headed for a weekend vacation in Tuftenboro, New Hampshire. Upon arrival at the cottage, my wife Nancy unpacked our things and suggested that I take our German shepherd for a walk as the dog seemed restless. She suggested that I take the wood path across the street where her mother walks her dog.
While walking the dog up this path I noticed what appeared to be an old stove covered with an old canvas. Curiosity drove me closer and I thought I could see a flywheel! Upon closer inspection I discovered a 'one-lunger' in remarkably good condition. Imagine my surprise when my hand moved the flywheel.
I knew that this land belonged to Tom and Polly Murray. The Murrays live next to my in-laws Fred and Shirley Fiske. The dog and I beat a hasty retreat to our cottage.
I immediately went next door to see Tom to inquire if the engine might be for sale. Tom told me that a fellow that used to rent the cottage across the street had brought the engine there over thirty years ago. Tom said that he put the canvas over the engine a 'few' years ago (when I touched the canvas it disintegrated upon contact). Tom said that he was glad he found someone who could use the old engine. I offered to pay him a fair value for the engine, but Tom said that he knew a thousand dollars would be too much and that a dollar was too little and that he thought that I should just take the engine if I could use it. Tom wanted to know if we wanted to have him help us load it up now!
After expressing my thanks I said that we would load it up on Sunday afternoon. At this point I informed Bob, Jr. and another hasty trip was made across the street. We removed the blocks and canvas and made a closer inspection of our new treasure.
It was unlike any engine we had ever seen. The water hopper was three feet tall! It appeared that a walking beam pivoted off the side of the hopper. Even the bull gear was free. We must have spent ten minutes looking for some type of manufacturers indentification before Bob noticed a nameplate affixed to the top of the water hopper stating that it was a 2 HP Foos Jr. We were thrilled! It was amazing that the Foos still had the original mixer, muffler and gas tank.
On Sunday, three of us removed the waterhopper and muscled the engine into the rear of our Jimmy for the ride home to Berlin, Massachusetts.
Once we arrived home parts were removed, cleaned, oiled and replaced in preparation for cranking it up.
On July 10th we brought the Foos, Jr. to the Pepperell, Massachusetts Engine Show in hopes of getting it to run. After the usual cursing and sweating the engine fired to life. Once a little governor adjustment was made it ran like a top.
One photo shows Bob, Jr., Sean Pendergast and Arthur Lamy with the Foos, Jr. running for the first time in many years with the help of a Model T coil box.
Now the restoration procedures could begin. Countless hours were spent out in our garage bringing the Foos, Jr. back to show condition. Another photo shows the Foos Jr. back to show condition. And one photo shows the Foos Jr. with Bob, Jr. and Norman Wheeler at the Strawhollow Annual Crank-up on August 13th in Boylstown, Massachusetts.
We have yet to meet a person who has seen another Foos like ours and we would appreciate hearing from you readers on information regarding any Foos, Jr. with this walking-beam option.
For all the years we have visited New Hampshire, this engine has been within 200 feet of where we have been staying! It just goes to show that you should think twice about complaining when your wife asks you to walk the dog!