Not For Sale

By Staff
1 / 3
Witte engine.
2 / 3
Model 'A' Ford with Sears tractor attachment.
3 / 3
Fordson tractor.

RR#1,Box 165 Windsor, Vermont 05089

It was the 6th of May this year and I was ready to go engine
hunting. I decided to stop to see my buddy Ed, to try to stir
things up and see if he cared to go along. He decided he had things
to do, so I went home to figure out my next move.

I was having a cup of coffee, thinking 1 might take a short trip
into New Hampshire. You can almost spit in the Connecticut River
from where I live- about a mile to the south is the famous
Cornish-Windsor covered bridge, so it is a short trip to get to New
Hampshire. Anyhow, the phone rang. I had asked my friend Bob Warren
earlier if he was planning on going to the Hudson, New York engine
auction on the coming weekend. Bob and his wife Pat are mainstays
of the Vermont Gas and Steam Engine Club. Bob usually goes to the
auction, and said he was going down to Hudson, and was ready to
load my drag saw and other items to take to the auction.

I mentioned to Bob that I was about to go on a short engine
hunting trip into New Hampshire and wondered if he cared to go
along, before we loaded the things I wanted to send to the Hudson
auction. It didn’t take Bob very long to answer my question and
say he’d be right down.

Since Bob lives just a short distance from me, he was here in a
short time and said, ‘Let’s go!’ We both hopped into my
pickup and were off. I said I knew a guy who had a lot of rusty
iron and I knew there was an engine there with a tree growing up
through part of it. I had been there before and I knew the way-
that was about five years ago.

This day, we were on the wrong road and wound up on a dead end
road in someone’s dooryard. There were people inside, so I
asked if they knew where we had taken a bad turn and if they knew
the place I was talking about. We were close, but we had to
backtrack down the hill and take the first right to get to the
place these people called a real junkyard. I call it rusty iron and
I love the stuff.

We arrived at rusty iron heaven and treasures were stored all
around the house, the barn, the fields. It was still early in the
year in New England, with water and mud everywhere. We spotted a
rusty Witte and thought we ought to take a picture of it in case we
couldn’t buy it. There were geese honking and chickens making
noises nearby and, frankly with all the noise, we decided to go to
the house, after we had snapped one picture.

I tried to get to the front door but it wasn’t easy getting
around the treasures. I heard someone holler from the house and I
hollered back. I was near the part of the house that had been
vacated due to a fire about two years earlier.

As I eased around to the inhabited side of the house, the lady
wanted to know what I wanted. As I was telling her I wished to take
pictures of the old engine, the man of the house showed in the
doorway, so I repeated that I was interested in taking pictures of
the engine and wondered if he wanted to sell. ‘NO!’ He
didn’t want to sell the engine, but I could take pictures and
look the engine over and we did.

Across the road where the barn is, or was, was a pasture
containing more treasures. We asked if we could go to the pasture
and take a few more pictures, and the owner reluctantly gave us
permission to check some more rusty iron treasures. I invited the
gentleman to come along, as I would like to include him in the
pictures, but I got another ‘NO’ for an answer and,
‘It’s too wet and muddy over there.’

Being unprepared for that amount of mud and water, Bob and I
worked our way around the pasture and barn and came up with a
couple other interesting subjects for pictures-the Fordson tractor
and the model ‘A’ Ford doodle-bug with the Sears, Roebuck
& Co. tractor adapter kit.

Meanwhile, back across the road, Ma and Pa were sorting metal to
sell for supplemental income and Pa was a little reluctant to give
up too many of those treasures to supplement that income. Ma had
just lost her shepherd dog and wondered if I knew where she could
get a pup. She also wanted a gander for the goose. We couldn’t
seem to help her much with that, but we offered to buy the engine,
and Pa kept saying, ‘No.’ Finally, Ma says, ‘Why
don’t you sell that old engine?’ but Pa kept holding out. I
asked if we could come back and visit, and they both agreed it
would be okay if we came back for a visit. We bid them both
‘good day’ and headed for home.

Engine buffs-if you know where this story originated,
remember-it’s our find!

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines