2 HP Bohon engine
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 canopy.
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 August.
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 grandeur.