The new blacksmith shop was up and ready for our 2015 rally and crew members are planning improvements to make viewing the Blacksmiths’s even better in 2016. It was built on Sawmill road next to the SawBucks coffee stand, sildenafil thanks to the hard work of Dan Koneski, Jim Roll, Bill Dellapenta, Sparky Johnson, and George Stuber, Bill Ott, Dave Ott, and Dan Buczak. A special thanks to Jake Eiss (our head Sawyer) for milling all the lumber.
Blacksmiths were such an inherent part of rural life before mass produced parts and tools that every community had a village blacksmith. Most farmers had their own forge and the skills to use them. Long distances and wait times for parts increased the need to forge your own. Many folks became adapt at heating, bending, shaping, and forming iron tools or parts that would keep their farms running efficiently. Today, those skills are rapidly fading away. In an effort to fulfill our mission, we are pleased to have a permanent Blacksmith building on our grounds where families can see this age old trade performed.
Blacksmiths have an Iron will…….
Canadiana Triple Expansion Engine
The restoration of the SS Canadiana Steam engine is on track to begin this spring . We are proud to have this great piece of local maritime history here at our club and to be a part of the restoration of this classic triple expansion steam engine. For those not familiar with this particular engine a little history.
The engine was built by the Holly engine works in 1909-1910. It weighed 63 tons and stands over 2 stories tall. It’s 3 cylinders (50”+30”+20”} move in a 36” stroke and at top speed produce 1600 BHP. That is a large amount of energy for a ship that was engaged in passenger service as opposed to freight. The vessel was 210’ by 53’ and carried 3500 passengers. During her sea trials in 1910 the vessel proved to be one of the fastest ships on the inland sea’s and was awarded a contract by the US government to carry mail between Canada and the USA.
The ship‘s main use was to ferry passengers between the docks at the foot of main Street where the canal side project is now underway to an amusement park in Ridgeway Ontario Canada known as Crystal Beach. There were also dinner cruses and lake excursions to near by cites on lake Erie. The ship was owned and operated by the George Hall family and operated as a USA flagged vessel by the Crystal Beach Excursion Company. Although there were changes of the company name it remained in constant service to the beach until 1956.
This engine is a maritime version of the same style and configuration as those that were used to power the Ward Pumping station In Buffalo NY.
The project moves forward with the development of the foundation and enclosure at a site just south of our Walker Road entrance . A ground breaking will take place in late March and should be ready for engine placement by early May. A planning and engineering group will be formed at the general membership meeting March 15 2015. As always your participation is most welcome, treatment come and be a part of it all….History Lives Here.
Please contact us and this link if you wish to be a part of this project. No experience necessary Canadiana@alexandersteamshow.com
General Membership Meeting
Everyone is encouraged to attend and learn what is going on at the grounds. Meetings are held on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 2:00 pm with the exception of pancake breakfast Sundays in January, buy February, and March. Those months the meeting starts at 1:00 pm to accommodate those staying over from the breakfast event. Members are asked to bring a dish to share if they’d like to take part in the pot luck dinner that follows the meeting.