Getting A Gas Engine


| August/September 1989

  • The finished engine
    The finished engine.
  • As found in the pit
    As found in the pit.

  • The finished engine
  • As found in the pit

R R #3, Box 397, Nashville, Indiana 47448 as told to her by her father, Ray W. Rodgers.

I obtained my first gas engine in 1966. It is a Novo diaphragm pump and it had lived a rough life after it had been laid aside, but that is another story.

The Novo did start me on gas engines and made me want an old engine my grandfather used to tell about when I was a boy, and he showed me about where the engine was. Later on, I saw the engine in a wooded area, down in a pit. The engine was all intact, the best I can remember. This area is also a good place to mushroom hunt.

Well, after getting the Novo I went back to the old engine in the Spring, while hunting mushrooms, but the engine was a terrible sight. Someone had taken a hacksaw and cut off one of the flywheels and took it with them. The rod cap was gone and the rest of the engine was covered with the remains of the blacksmith shop and years of fallen leaves, in a basement pit about seven feet deep. The engine ran a line shaft through the blacksmith's shop and was attached to a three cylinder pump for the orchard spray pipe that ran through the orchard to carry the spray up the hillsides, as they were very steep. My grandfather worked for the orchard owner a little while. However, the orchard did not last long. Now I am told the last time the engine was used was in 1933, and when it did run you could hear it firing all over the county. It had an exhaust pipe that ran out the top of the blacksmith shop.

Well I got a little off track. Getting back to the engine: When I saw it that spring day in 1967, I was sick. I picked up the funnel water filler off the water hopper, the valve push rod and the ignition setup. They had been taken off also and thrown down. I looked the push rod over and did not feel I wanted it so I dropped it around the pit and carried the funnel home for a keepsake.

Now maybe I had better tell you more about where this engine is or was. The engine sat on the edge of property that a church camp owns, but you could not get to it without walking three quarters of a mile after driving about a mile and a half into the campground. It sat on the backside of the pond with a concrete dam, about 16 inches wide at the top and 125 feet long. The dam was in bad shape. It was all down hill from the place where the engine was, in a heavily wooded area. You could drive to the pit.