Route 7, Box 109, Somerset, Kentucky 42501
The engine on the cover was originally purchased from the George
Bohon Company, Harrodsburg, Kentucky by one Mr. Williams soon after
the turn of the century. Mr. William’s pride in owning this
engine was bolstered by the assurance of quality on the brass name
plate-Guaranteed for 5 years. He used this 2? HP Bohon engine
(which was cast by either Waterloo or Associated) as an alternate
source of power for his windmill on calm days. Because of ample
winds, the Bohon engine was soon retired under the protective
canopy of an old fashioned hog scalding box and/or pan at the base
of the windmill tower. There it rested and watched the fickle
breezes wave and ripple the verdant carpet of Kentucky bluegrass
while the years rapidly became decades.
In the summer of 1968, Mr. Ruel Yates, a Harrodsburg machinist
and budding engine collector, received a call to the old
William’s farm to make adjustments to a hay baler. Upon
arriving at the farm, he discovered that the tractor and baler were
making their way along the back side of a very large hay field.
While he waited, his curiosity was aroused by the old windmill
standing in a small grove near the field. Upon closer inspection,
he discovered the Bohon engine resting upon its original trucks and
in near mint condition under its ancient but quite adequate
After making the necessary adjustments to the baler, Ruel
inquired about the long forgotten engine. In less time than it
takes an electrical spark to clear the igniter, Ruel was the new
owner of the engine and on his way back to his shop. There he
labored in time fragments for almost a year painstakingly building
a scale model farm wagon complete in every minute detail and
utilizing the original wheels and axles.
In 1975 my 10 year old son, Joe, II, was becoming an avid
collector of gasoline engines and held the distinction of being the
youngest member of the Bluegrass Steam and Gas Engine Association.
The Bohon engine he desired most, however, was as elusive as a
feather in a whirlwind. In late summer, Ruel agreed to sell me his
beloved Bohon so that I could present it to my son as a gift.
During the summer of 1977, Harold Rowlett, vice-president of the
Bluegrass Steam and Gas Engine Association, completely repainted,
Striped, and lettered my sons most cherished Bohon.
It has all the original parts including the make and break coil.
Indeed, in its newly painted splendor, it is a credit to that grand
old George Bohon Company, which, like so many other once
magnificent enterprises, was a hapless victim of the economic
‘crash’ of ’29.
Once each year, the old Bohon goes home to Harrodsburg, Kentucky
for a 3-day weekend. My son exhibits it at the annual Bluegrass
Steam and Gas Engine Show which is held on the third weekend in
Y’all come on down to our show and watch this beauty
perform. While you’re here, ‘sit a spell’ under one of
the ancient shade trees and talk to Ruel and Harold whose artistry
and exacting labors restored this engine to its original