James Miller Steam Engine Man from Perth

James Miller Steam Engine Man from Perth




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal10 Jun 1961, SatPage 19


In 1961 all eyes were on James Miller as he drove his 1918 steam engine in the Little League Baseball parade. He was proud of that steam powered tractor and threshing machine that he had purchased a few years back. The last public appearance the old gal had done was she had been displayed at the Toronto Exhibition in 1918.

It’s not that the old gal had not had a good life. Thomas Cullen had initially bought her and she was later used sawing logs for O.P. Dowdall of Perth. After that her engine remained idle. In 1956 necessary renovations began and it cost Mr. Miller way more than the purchase price. All the boiler tubes were replaced and the machine received a complete overhaul. In order to keep the original wheel lugs Mr. Miller designed a special plate type rim to fit over them. He cut the tread portions from old automobile tires and fashioned them to the rims on the machine so  it could be driven over town streets.

At the time of the article in 1961 the steam engine fan’s new project was a horse drawn portable steam engine built in 1900 by the Robert Bell Engine and Thresher Co. Ltd. of Seaforth, Ontario. He purchased at an auction near Leitrum and she was soon to sit side by side with the 1918 steam powered tractor.


If you have any more  information about Mr. Miller and his steam engines, please leave comments so we can add to the story. Thank you!





Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)









PHOTO From Perth Remembered: Threshing Time at the farm of Robert Hendry on the Scotch Line in 1901. Notice the large portable steam engine. Present in the picture are Jim Dennison, Ormond Hossie, John Hendry, Frank Ritchie, Lorne Scott, Jim Steele, Bob Wilson, Jim Munro, Jim Wilson and Robert Hendry, also boys in front Ernie and Gilbert Munro.



From Perth Remembered–Grain Threshing Scene c.1916. This threshing mill was used by Henry Lewis and his son, Walter Lewis, who did custom threshing throughout Drummond Township for several years. The mill was powered by a large Waterloo 20 HP Steam Engine. Wood was used for fuel to fire in the boiler, and it would take about an hour each morning to get up steam pressure to run the threshing mill.




“Thresher Jack” Smithson and his steam engine. Photo courtesy Lanark Archives. (Perth Remembered)



From the Wanda Morrison Lee and Joan Kehoe Photo Collection Allan Stewart of Beckwith– Lorne McNeely collection



Steam engines!! From the Wanda Morrison Lee and Joan Kehoe Photo Collection Stewart Donald and Leonard McNeely



With the Steam Co. in France.

The following is a letter from Second Lieut. H. A. Powell, to his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Lowry, of Pakenham.1918

“At present I am in a very nice place and a good many miles behind the lines. We are busy building roads. My company is all steam so I am right at home. I have thirty steam wagons, fifteen Fodens non-trippers, 13 Sentinel Hydraulic tip and two Garret’s screw tippers. So you see I have a pick and choice. Their capacity is 5 to 8 tons, without trailers. The Sentinel wagons are 70 horse power poppet valve engines. Speed five to twenty miles an hour. Just now we are trying some plan to keep the frost away from the pumps but I think we will succeed. Yesterday I was at a steam conference and arguments were comical, mostly by men who only knew the difference between steam and petrol engines by seeing the smoke and steam.

The weather has been very wet for some time but now it is clear and cold, but not too cold for comfort. I have a very fine billet with a French count, his wife and daughter. They are extra well educated people and much different to most of the people I have met. Well, I suppose you have heard that I got married last 30th Oct. to a girl in London. We had a fine time at the wedding and went to Ventnor, Isle of Wight, for our short trip. We were married in St. Mary’s Cathedral, West Ealing, and then went to lunch at the Frocaden Hotel, supposed to be the finest place in London.

My best man was a Capt. Harry Driver, Bachelor of Science, D.S.O. and M.C., the two bridesmaids were Dimple and Winnie Middleton, daughter of a multi-millionaire. Their father is manager of the Universal Motor Co., Universal Insurance Co. (automobiles), and a large stockholder in the Phoenix Life Insurance Co. He gave us our lunch, also supplied all the cars to take us to church and back. Flo has been his secretary for ten years and two months. She still goes up two days a week to look after the paying of the men and do the banking. I expect to leave here some time soon to take over the duties of workshop officers at a base shop. I will be in charge of repairs to Caterpillar and Foster Daimler engines. I have passed all my tests as a work shop officer and the knowledge will be very useful in civil life. It is hard to say when we will finish up out here but I may be home in the fall of 1919. Fighting may finish next fall but it is hard to say.”



Photos!! Who is With These Steam Engines?

Glory Days of Carleton Place–So What Happened to the Moore Steam Engine?

The Old Steam Engine Tractor on Mullet Street

Hissing Steam, Parades and a 1930 Hearse–Pioneer Days Middleville

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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