The Scrap Iron Man Tried...BUT DIDN'T SUCCEED

| November/December 1988

  • 20 HP Stickney Engine
    This is the story of how a 20 HP Stickney almost was scrapped, but was saved to run another day.
  • Stickney
    A wooden pattern used in the Stickney's restoration.
  • 20 Hp Stickney Engine
    The 'before' picture of the 20 HP Stickney was definitely dismal.
  • Stickney
    Another wooden pattern used in the restoration process.

  • 20 HP Stickney Engine
  • Stickney
  • 20 Hp Stickney Engine
  • Stickney

1215 Jays Drive, N.E. Salem, Oregon 97303

For many years Dave Kestler, of Herald, California had heard of a large Stickney engine in the Yreka, California area, but living several hundred miles away, nothing was done about it. In 1978 the decision was made to go north and check it out and possibly acquire it.

Having a fair knowledge of the mines in this area, they arrived in the Fort Jones Country and started asking questions. They were told that a mine up the road had a large engine there. Upon arriving at the site, it was found that nothing was left. However there was evidence in the tailings pile of where a large engine had laid on its side. But now it was gone. 'Well we missed this one, so let's look around before we leave.' A tobacco can is found nailed to a stump, in it was a copy of the mining claim. The name of the mine is the 'STICKNEY LYNN'. The claim also shows the names of three owners.

Upon arriving back in Yreka, a check is made in the phone book, and it shows one person with the same name as listed on the claim. We go to the house, and a lady answers the door. We ask the right questions and are told that that Stickney Steam Motor belongs to her son. We are told to go to the tavern where he is a bartender and talk to him about it. Upon arriving at the tavern, we order a brew and start conversation about the engine. We are told that yes he owns that Stickney Steam Motor and yes it is for sale. For $4500.00, OUCH! Over the hours and much small talk, the price keeps coming down. At the last call, Dave is told to come out to the ranch in the morning and we'll get together on that Stickney Steam Motor.

Arriving at the ranch the next morning, the engine is finally found. But it is in bad shape. Some scrap man sure did a number on it. The main bearing caps are gone. The rod bearing, governor, fuel pump, muffler, carburetor, coil, ignitor and step plates are missing. The hopper had been dynamited, also cracking the area around the ignitor hole. The engine had been rolled on the flywheels, with the bearing cap gone. This measure had broken the crank-case cover.

It is decided that it is still salvageable so let's load it up.


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