OTHER Port Huron and North Western #1

RailMix Feb 1, 2020

  1. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    I wasn't sure where to post this, but decided the fallen flags forum was probably as good as any even though these photos aren't vintage. Port Huron and North Western #1, the D.B. Harrington, is a 3 foot gauge 2-4-0 built by Porter in 1878 and is remarkably still in existence. After being used in the construction of the railroad, it was displaced by larger power and was sold for use in lumbering in the northwest corner of Michigan. After 40+ years of service, it was utilized for another ten years in stationary boiler service at a cannery, which ended with a boiler failure in 1933. For years afterward, it was displayed in Traverse City, Michigan, where I first encountered it. I was about six years old and absolutely loved it, even though I wasn't aware of its history and didn't know that it had been used to build the railroad through my home town. I probably would have been insufferable about it if I had.
    Eventually it was sold to the Cedar Point amusement park, then donated to Greenfield Village, finally finding its way home to the Port Huron museum. In 2018, the locomotive was moved to a storage area behind the machine shop at St. Clair County Community College, where cosmetic restoration is under way under the management of local historian and author T.J. Gaffney. T.J. is a former curator of the Port Huron museum and a former executive director of the Steam Railroading Institute, which operates Pere Marquette 1225. As such, he has been involved with Pere Marquette's most modern steam power and the oldest existing power from a PM predecessor.

    I shot these photos of the restoration in progress:

    1. The completed tender with the rebuilt cab and new running boards stored under the cab. Also visible is one of the old cab sections.

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    2. The locomotive itself. It's the third oldest Porter locomotive known to still exist.

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    3. The rebuilt wooden pilot and balloon stack. The stack is not original, having been installed during service in lumbering. It will apparently be replaced.

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    4. The last two photos are "pictures of pictures" showing the locomotive in service with the D.H. Day Lumber Company from the general store at the Glen Haven museum. The first looks the same as the banner on the wall behind the locomotive. Note the extended smokebox. Was this, along with the balloon stack, a precaution to prevent sparks?

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    Wonder what the occasion was in this last photo? Note the guy on the velocipede in foreground.
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  2. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Dang Tom, thanks so much for showing this!! Gonna be a real beaut when she's done!

    Great piece of history right there!(y)(y)(y)
     
  3. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    The last pic looks like the whole train crew and they're family's!!:love:
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    After a boiler failure, it is a miracle she was not scrapped on the spot!
     
  5. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    I seem to remember that the caption said it was the sawmill workers and their families. It may have been a company picnic or a holiday (4th of July? Perhaps.)

    You're quite right about that. In fact, T.J Gaffney has stated that it's amazing how many narrow misses with the scrappers there have been. Apparently even back then, D.H. Day appreciated her historical significance enough to refrain from scrapping her.

    In fact, along with the link and pin couplers and absence of air brakes, the condition of the boiler makes a mechanical restoration out of the question.
     
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  6. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    A final addendum- I found and scanned some of my old print photos. Among them was this one taken by my dad while the locomotive was on display in Traverse City.

    The D.B. and me. Summer 1960.

    IMAG0011a.jpg
     
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