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

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This was part 1-The Old Steam Engine Tractor on Mullet Street

Janine McDonald Azzouz is our guest editor of the day with the added comments by Carol McDonald. Here is an update on the Mullet Street Steam Engine. Thank you Janine and Carol!

There probably aren’t many people interested in steam engines these days but they were a big part of my grandpa’s life and it’s nice to see the story put together correctly so the details aren’t lost! Someday when his engine is restored (maybe by late 2016-17) we will definitely go visit it and send you more pictures!

My mom came up with this list of names or the men that worked on steam engines during my grandpa’s time. Just in case you come across their names during your research – here they are! Men in this area like Carmen Hogan, Finlay McEwen, Eldon Henderson, Ernest Giles , George Marshall James Dobbie and Desmond Moore have helped to keep the era of steam alive for the future generation.

Below is the email exchange between Carol and Brian who is restoring it. It’s a long read but well worth it.  You can find the Ontario Heritage Museum online in a newspaper article but as Janine said I don’t think that they have their own web site.

This is from Carol McDonald:

I am Carol McDonald , oldest daughter of Desmond and Jean Moore (both deceased). They owned the Sawyer & Massey traction steam engine that sat in the back yard at 190 Morphy Str. Carleton Place Ont.  Dad worked for the CPR as a fireman for some years and  enjoyed the steam era machinery, therefore when he had a chance to purchase the engine in the 60s there was no stopping the purchase.

He loved taking it out , taking the kids for a ride, putting in the belt to saw wood or run the threshing machine, he even lit it one New Year’s Eve to blow the whistle at midnight! Later years it was a conversation piece , as many people stopped in to chat about it which dad and mom always loved. It was sold to Brian Walsh in 2008 after dad died, to be restored to original state. I have been in touch with him and he has sent a letter back to me which I am forwarding to you. Thanks for your interest and work on the history of our town and its people.

From Brian Walsh

Carol,

Nice to speak with you.

Restoring the “engine” over the past years has brought me in touch with its early history and keeps my conversations with Des tack sharp. Every single minute of the restoration respects Des’ memory and I feel his smile whenever I walk through the barn where I restore the engine. I have restored the injectors to new condition and that moment they breathe life into the boiler will be so sweet.

The Engine is a “Sawyer&Massey” and it was built in Hamilton, Ontario circa 1911. It is a 17 1/2 Horse Power, single speed engine. There are five Sawyer 17 1/2 HP remaining, in any condition at all, that I am aware of in Ontario and only one that I am aware of is still operating. All of the engines were built between the late 1890’s and 1926. This engine is different from any of the other engines in its original condition. The firebox door is different from the others of the same manufacture.

The wheel configuration and size of both the main and front wheels distinguishes it from the other 17 1/2 hp engines as well. When the restoration is complete (sometime in 2016-2017) it will be the only restored Sayer & Massey with new boiler and firebox. The engine itself is quite rugged and with the newly re-manufacture boiler and firebox it will be an unstoppable powerhouse.

This steam traction engine was acquired by Des and maintained in running condition by him until the early 2000 era. Prior to taking home in Carleton Place it came out of Shawville, Quebec. Its ownership prior to Des purchasing it is unknown to me.

From the restoration that is currently in progress I can surmise that it saw an exceptional amount of “mileage” over its lifetime. Engines of this type were typically used in agriculture in Ontario. These self-propelled “road locomotives” as the British referred to them were used in Canada as mobile power plants, for saw mill propulsion, ploughing, and in particular to operate newly emerging threshing technologies. Due to their relatively high cost, most farmers could not afford outright ownership so they were typically “hired” out as “custom threshing” operations.

The steam engineer and threshing crews traveled from farm to farm with a threshing machine in tow. There is evidence this steam traction engine had a serious “road accident” and a makeshift repair has carried it for many years. Intense use wore the main axle stubs so significantly that they required re-manufacture. The pinion gears on both sides, required re-manufacturing as well as they were evenly worn and so significantly so that it indicates the engine was most likely used for “custom threshing”, and likely traveled from farm to farm, which would account for the exceptional wear of the pinions. The 17 1/2 is one of the smallest traction engines built by any manufacturer. Engines under 25 HP were typically “side-mount” as is this engine, so it would not have been used for ploughing on account of this configuration and also, the relatively higher horsepower required of a ploughing engine.

Cast iron and metal waste away with time and the condition of the boiler & firebox at the time that photo were taken, would not hold water let alone to safely hold the pressure of steam to operate. Most of the parts of the steam locomotive were badly corroded and were just “hanging-on” by 2008. Des Moore, a most gentle man from the age of steam, kept this little engine alive for the latter half of the 20th Century, and bestowed it to me to restore.

The restoration has been in progress now since 2008 and in that time the locomotive has been completely disassembled, the parts and pieces individually repaired or remade and the re-assembly is now underway. Providence may allow a glimpse of the engine making steam once again by the New Year. The complete restoration to original condition calls upon technologies from the age of steam that have all but been lost to us today. Mullet doesn’t do the little engine justice.

I may name the engine Titan when it is brought back to life, in honour of Des.Brian

RELATED READING

The Old Steam Engine Tractor on Mullet Street

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For years when I used to make my way to Townline in Carleton Place a Steam Engine Tractor sat on the lawn of a Mullet Street home. Can anyone add any information? Where is it now? Well, we found out in short order and that was great!

Jeremy Stinson added : I lived across the street from Desmond and Jean Moore, who owned the steam engines you mean. Many of their children/grands are still around the area. After Dez passed, Jean said she was contacted by the Milton Heritage Farm (whatever it is called) and sold everything to them. They came, packed everything up as is and carted it off. She said they were quite happy Dez had spare parts like turn signal for his old 2 ton truck.

Jody Capello added: The steam engine belonged to my grandfather Desmond Moore. Thanks for sharing the photo. It was nice to see it again.

Janine McDonald Azzouz–Here’s a photo from 1979 with my Grandpa taking all the kids for rides around the neighborhood.

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Author’s Note- It is now being well kept at the Country Heritage Park in Milton Ontario. See the video below.

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Robert McDonaldMy wife’s grandfather, George Marshall, used to work on Steam Engines in Carleton Place. Here is an old photo of him from the mid 1970s. 

 

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Here is another photo of George Marshall and the steam engine.  This photo was taken at the bottom of Lisgar Street, where it meets Argyle (Thanks to Jennifer Fenwick Irwin)
Linda Gallipeau-Johnston— We lived just around the corner of the Moore’s for a short time – the kids loved that they could go and check out this machine by just walking down the street.

 

 

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Desmond Moore

In Memory of Desmond and Jean Moore

MOORE, Desmond Arnold Peacefully, surrounded by his family at the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital on Tuesday October 28, 2008 at the age of 87 years. Loving son of the late S. James Moore and the late Margaret (nee Shane). Beloved and best friend of 60 years to Jean (nee Gould). Adored father of Carol (Joe) McDonald, Donna (Ewen) Marjerrison, Karen (Denis) Prieur, Cheryl (Brent) Wheeler. Cherished grandfather of Jody (Steffen) Capello, Janine (Sam) Azzouz, Dane Fellows, Jennifer (Brian) Minifie, James Marjerrison (Grace Jung), Taylor Wheeler, Vanessa Wheeler and his great-grandchildren Nicholas and Sophia Capello, Yasmine, Aden and Siena Azzouz, Desmond and Caine Fellows and Avery Minifie. Friends may call at the Tubman Funeral Homes, Carleton Place Chapel, 61 Lake Avenue, Carleton Place on Wednesday October 29, 2008 from 7 to 9 p.m. and Thursday October 30, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Funeral Service will be held at St. James Anglican Church, Carleton Place on Thursday October 30, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. followed by interment in the parish cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to St. James Anglican Church, 225 Edmund Street, Carleton Place, ON, K7C 3E7 or the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital, 211 Lake Avenue, East, Carleton Place, ON, K7C 1J4

792776_A_20130718.jpg MOORE, Jean B. (nee Gould)
November 2, 1928 – July 17, 2013
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our wonderful mother, Jean B. Moore. Beloved and best friend of the late Desmond A. Moore. Left to mourn, her adored family Carolann McDonald (Joseph), Donna Marjerrison (Ewen), Karen Prieur (Dennis), Cheryl Wheeler (Brent). Her cherished grandchildren Jody Capello (Steffen), Janine Azzouz (Sam), Jennifer Marjerrison (John), James Marjerrison (Ashley), Dane Fellows (Ciara), Taylor Wheeler and Vanessa Wheeler. Treasured great-grandchildren Nicholas and Sophia Capello, Yasmine, Aden and Siena Azzouz, Avery Minifie, Desmond, Caine, Drake & Cruz Fellows. Predeceased by her parents John and Anna Gould (nee Jackson) and by her sister Edna Lightbody (Eldon). Fondly remembered by her nephews Bryant (Donna), Roydon (Lynn) and David and their families.
Friends may call at the Carleton Place Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 61 Lake Avenue West, Carleton Place on Thursday from 4-8 p.m. Funeral Service will be held at St. James Anglican Church, 225 Edmund Street, Carleton Place on Friday at 2 p.m. Interment St. James Anglican Cemetery.
In her own quiet way, she served the needs of many and was a faithful member of St. James Anglican Church.
In lieu of flowers donations to the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital or St. James Anglican Church would be appreciated.

 

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Photo from Janine McDonald Azzouz–I was inspired by the house comparison photos lately and looked up the photos of my grandparents’ house. This house is located at 190 Morphy St. It was built by my Grandpa – Desmond Moore in 1949. His father James Moore helped to clear the land and dig the basement. Desmond and Jean Moore raised their four girls in this little house – even having my great grandmother (Granny Shane) move in with them for many years! In the photo you can see Des Moore and two of his daughters – Carol McDonald and Donna Marjerrison. They owned the house until 2013 after my Grandma passed away. The “recent” photo is from 2013 when my grandma still tended to the flowers at the front of the house.

 

 

 

 

Thrasting Bee in Lanark Township about 1890.

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Submitted by Del DunlopPhotograph by Robert J. Stead.
Middleville

This is the Thomas Watt & Son stove display probably at the Middleville Fair.

Comment on Steam Engines at the Middleville Fair from The Almonte Gazette 1895

“I was disappointed at seeing that few steam plows were exhibited.  The sheep were very fine,  of which there were some superior animals. There was also a large number of pigs on exhibition,of which there was some fine specimens and for which large prices were asked”