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Thread: Anyone Know What This Object Might Be?

  1. #16
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzbo View Post
    I have RR book about Saco River RR and it has many similar photos as Waumbek's. Judging from people in photos smokestack on CW Saunders appear to 48" diameter.
    Hmmm! Well, at the time I stopped to take a few quick snapshots of the object, I was certainly not thinking it was anything other than some sort of junk that someone had dragged into the woods. And so with that mindset, I really didn't take any time to do any measurements.

    Anyway Ray, regarding your question about the diameter, if in fact it had a diameter of 48 inches, then that would mean the circumference would be about 12.5 feet. I know that in an earlier response I had guesstimated the circumference to be about 8 feet. However, it was only a guess. My guess on the diameter would be that it was certainly within the range of 40 inches.

    Perhaps later this week I'll be headed down in that general area, and if so, then I might tramp around a bit to see if I can locate the object again, and take some precise measurements, etc.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    I wasn't suggesting that the mystery part is from THE C.W. Saunders but possibly from a similar engine. In any event, the best way I know to identify it, 1HH, is to take a picture of it over to Clark's in Lincoln. Ed is no longer there, of course, but his brother Murray and younger members of the Clark family are, and they are mechanical geniuses with a penchant for digging old steam locomotives and other steam machines out of the woods of Maine and elsewhere and restoring them. Someone there will be able to tell you. Just stop in the gift shop and inquire. They're used to such questions (some asked by me so I know) and gracious about helping out.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    My RR book is at home and I'm at lunch at work, but I seem to recall the Saco River RR book in recounting history of Sawyer River RR, the CW Saunders was dragged out somehow long after Livermore was disbanded and Saunders land sold to FS. It spent many years by side of "old?" Route 302. It was lost track of at some point. When exploring area you might look for traces of "old" Rt 302 roadway. You might recall John when I showed you old bridge crossing over Nancy Brook. That was the old rt 302.
    On #67 of NE67
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    It reply "I'm positive."

  4. #19
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waumbek View Post
    I wasn't suggesting that the mystery part is from THE C.W. Saunders but possibly from a similar engine. In any event, the best way I know to identify it, 1HH, is to take a picture of it over to Clark's in Lincoln. Ed is no longer there, of course, but his brother Murray and younger members of the Clark family are, and they are mechanical geniuses with a penchant for digging old steam locomotives and other steam machines out of the woods of Maine and elsewhere and restoring them. Someone there will be able to tell you. Just stop in the gift shop and inquire. They're used to such questions (some asked by me so I know) and gracious about helping out.
    I took Waumbek's suggestion and contacted the good folks at Clark's Trading Post about the object I found in the woods in the general vicinity of Sawyer River Road and Route 302.

    It has taken awhile to post this new information since I needed to find some time to go back into the woods and relocate the object and to take some measurements & additional photos. Then, there were several days of back & forth e-mail correspondence with Elise & David Clark. Plus, I've been away from NH for over a week visiting family.

    Anyway, in terms of measurements, the diameter at the top of this funnel shaped object is 60 inches, and the diameter at the terminus of the object is 18 inches.

    So, considering these measurements and the photos, David Clark hazarded a guess that the funnel shaped object might have been a smoke stack from the Doc Ordway steam engine which was built in 1844.

    If (and it's truly an "if") this is the stack from that particular steam engine, then it's anyone's guess as to how it came to rest in its current location. It's also anyone's guess as to how it could have survived in such relatively good condition for over 150 years. But as David Clark pointed out, just because the original locomotive was built in 1844, does not mean that the stack necessarily has to be that old. The stack could have been replaced at a much later date.

    Below is a photo of that locomotive accompanied by a brief write up. This photo appears on page 24 of the book entitled "J.E. Henry's Logging Railroads" by Bill Gove.

    Here is a photo of the funnel-shaped object found in the woods.

    Here is a close-up of a portion of the widest part of the object (i.e. the top of the stack)

    David Clark asked that I form my own conclusions, and so I suppose that would be my suggestion as well!

  5. #20
    Senior Member evilhanz's Avatar
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    Thanks for going back and taking some additional photos and measurements. The close up of the interior of the funnel makes it pretty clear it's a spark arrestor. That was a device riveted to the smoke stack of a wood-fired steam engine. It was designed to circulate and break up the embers in order to reduce the chance of spot fires along the tracks and in the slash.The large diameter makes it unlikely that it was attached to a portable steam donkey as I originally thought, but that's not out of the question. One of the mills or the CCC camp could have used one with an arrestor that large.

    There were many variations. One of the books I have on 19th century steam engine design shows no less than three dozen shapes - mostly of the balloon stack and diamond stack variety. Although the queen's crown style was not very common, I know for certain that the Baldwin engine used by the Sawyer River RR had one as late as the 1920s. I don't have the book in front of me, but Logging Railroads of the White Mountains should have a picture.

    The spark arrestors were removable, so that could explain why no other objects were found nearby. As wood-fired engines switched to coal, the bulbous arrestors were often replaced with shotgun style stacks that improved draft. Maybe the engine it was attached to was converted to coal and the arrestor abandoned?
    Last edited by evilhanz; 12-01-2009 at 11:32 PM.

  6. #21
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilhanz View Post
    The close up of the interior of the funnel makes it pretty clear it's a spark arrestor. That was a device riveted to the smoke stack of a wood-fired steam engine. It was designed to circulate and break up the embers in order to reduce the chance of spot fires along the tracks and in the slash.The large diameter makes it unlikely that it was attached to a portable steam donkey as I originally thought, but that's not out of the question. One of the mills or the CCC camp could have used one with an arrestor that large.
    Evilhanz, you raise an interesting possibility that the stack could have been attached to something other than a steam locomotive. Rather than go off in other directions, I wanted to keep this thread focused on the funnel-shaped object that I originally found. However, in light of your response I need to add another element to this thread.

    On my return visit to obtain measurements and get some additional photos, I stumbled upon another object about 150 feet or so from the funnel shaped object. This other object is a metal tube that is 18 inches in diameter and about 20 feet long. (PHOTOS BELOW)



    The photos and measurements of this tubular object were provided to the Clark family. They said that it definitely was not part of a steam locomotive. Their best guess was that it was most likely a smoke stack from a portable saw mill.

    But, even with adding the long tubular object into the equation, perhaps this still leads to the same point made by the Clark family about forming your own conclusions.

    There are so many possibilities. Perhaps the resourceful folks of the early 20th century took the discarded funnel-shaped stack (with the spark arrestor) and mounted it onto the long tubular object to form a smoke stack for a portable saw mill. Or perhaps these two objects were never "married". Maybe this spot in the woods was simply used as a dumping spot. Over the years, perhaps other smaller "dumped" parts have been scavenged, or disintegrated, or lay buried under the forest floor.

  7. #22
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    On the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska those artifacts would be considered "untouchable" and are counted as treasures of the gold rush.
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  8. #23
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erugs View Post
    On the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska those artifacts would be considered "untouchable" and are counted as treasures of the gold rush.
    You'll note he took only photos :-)

    Artifacts on National Forest land are also protected, and on private land belong to the landowner of course, which does not prevent illegal scavenging

  9. #24
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    Yes, Roy. Only pictures. John's a good guy. I'm still feeling guilty though, and I guess it shows, over moving a spoon on the Chilkoot so I could get a better picture. A big no-no, and I've been looking over my shoulder ever since!
    Last edited by erugs; 02-08-2010 at 05:20 PM.
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  10. #25
    Member Lou Hale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1HappyHiker View Post
    G]



    There are so many possibilities. Perhaps the resourceful folks of the early 20th century took the discarded funnel-shaped stack (with the spark arrestor) and mounted it onto the long tubular object to form a smoke stack for a portable saw mill. Or perhaps these two objects were never "married". Maybe this spot in the woods was simply used as a dumping spot. Over the years, perhaps other smaller "dumped" parts have been scavenged, or disintegrated, or lay buried under the forest floor.
    As some one who works on a lot of old houses I can tell you untill 50 years ago almost anything that could be reused/repurposed was. I often see house parts that were something/somewhere else

    However from working on these same old houses I can tell you when they had no use for something, it was dragged out to the back of the property and dumped. Out side of the urban centers there was no such thing as a scrap yard or central dump it just all went in a pile

    Is it possible to drag a metal detector out there? would it even be legal to dig anything up? That should help narrow it down between being a dump or site of an old sawmill

  11. #26
    Senior Member smitty77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Hale View Post
    However from working on these same old houses I can tell you when they had no use for something, it was dragged out to the back of the property and dumped. Out side of the urban centers there was no such thing as a scrap yard or central dump it just all went in a pile
    I was going to mention this as well. My property and that of my two neighbors was once owned by the local "scrap man / trash hauler" and you never know what you'll find when you dig down more than 8" or so.
    East bound and down, loaded up and truckin', we gonna do what 'They' say can't be done.
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