Around 1966, we stopped using steam power and hooked up to the electric grid. The steam engine that powered the old mill back in the 1st half of the last century, was removed from the basement of the old mill (which we shut down in 1979, and tore the building down in 1994). The engine was junked in a woodlot south of Teutopolis, Illinois; there it was recovered several years later by Altamont, Illinois farmer, Ben Winter, who had an aptitude for and an interest in things mechanical. He restored it and put it in his museum of engines, etc. on his farm. Ben passed away a few years ago. Just this year we got a call from Ben’s daughter, Fay, who said she was dispersing the museum collection, she knew where the steam engine belonged. So now it’s come home. Our first thought is to put an antique rollstand, that also used to be in our mill, on the wagon with the engine and show it in parades. But the engine is in working order, so we wonder what else we can do with it.
August 30, 2016