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History - Locomotive on BBI

 
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mikewhite
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Joined: 01 Jan 2003
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Location: Sand Bay

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2003 4:01 pm    Post subject: History - Locomotive on BBI Reply with quote

The locomotive that was used by the E. H. Stafford Manufacturing Company on Bois Blanc was manufactured by the Lima Locomotive Works on 9/7/1895. It's serial number was 495. It had two cylinders of 8 inch diameter and a stroke of 12 inches. The boiler was called the "boot" style and had a diameter of 44 inches. It had a round plate on the front of the boiler with a cast in #1 on it. It weighed 29,400 pounds. The gauge or width between the rails was 36 inches. It was originally built for the Watson Lands Lumber Co. in PA. Records show it owned by the Stafford Manufacturing Co. in 1920 and for sale by Frederick H. Wade of Bois Blanc Island in 1926. The records show that it was scrapped.

I find the story about the locomotive being driven to the end of the long dock at Sand Bay and then blown up to be very questionable. If anyone has some actual evidence of that event please let me know. Also, if anyone has information about Fred Wade, please let me know.

Source: www.shaylocomotives.com/data/lima/sn-495.htm

submitted by Mike White
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Dan Reynolds
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Joined: 13 May 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting that you were able to find such detailed information on the locomotive - thank you for sharing it with us. I saw the photo and information you'd donated to the Historical Society some time ago. Since the story of its explosive demise at Sand Bay is questionable, do you have any other theory as to what might have happened to it? I suppose it could have been dismantled and removed in pieces, since removing it from the island intact would have been quite a chore (and there would probably be some other evidence of that somewhere). Fascinating, though.

Take care,
Dan
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Rob
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Joined: 09 May 2002
Posts: 848
Location: Big Rapids, MI., but wishing I was on BBI

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting info. thumbs_up!

Thanks!
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mikewhite
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Joined: 01 Jan 2003
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Location: Sand Bay

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, the reason I questioned the blow up of the locomotive is that it sounds like a tall tale, and also there are no large "chunks" of the locomotive to be found out around the cribs of the old long dock at Sand Bay. It would have made more sense to have dismantled it and sold the iron. Back in those days iron was in demand. I looked through A Partial History of Sand Bay by George Dye and Helen James to see if I could find a way to disprove the event. What I found was a description by George Dye of he and others doing the locomotives in. There is a picture showing the causeway that led out to the actual dock. On the causeway were train tracks. George says there were three engines and that in 1927 they were run down to the big Sand Bay dock, the boilers filled with dynamite and blown up. He says the heavy drive wheels are on the bottom at the end of the dock.

The dock he mentions was not the original one built by Stafford Manufacturing. I have a photo of the original. It shows the part that later was a dirt causeway was originally built using pilings and it was tall. When the Dye's got to the island they rebuilt or added to the cribs at the end of the dirt causeway. George Dye called it "reconstruction. It is hard for me to believe that they would have laid tracks on the new parts that they built, so if they did run the engines to the end of the dock it may have been on an earlier dock. The part that the Dye's built was washed away in 1930. It appears that they gave up on the long dock because by around 1935 the short Sand Bay dock and boathouse was built.

If there is anyone out there to correct me or add to this information please do.
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Troy
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Joined: 07 Jul 2002
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, is it possible the large chunks, due to the weight, have buried themselves in the sand. Has anyone ever used an underwater metal detector out there. I know they are expensive, maybe we could rent one and do some diving out there. Do you dive? I know Missy and Steve do, I was thinking of bringing my gear next summer and we could all go to some of the shipwrecks or do research on the island.
Troy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Troy, The bottom of the lake where the cribs are at is hard clay covered with a thin layer of gravel. Many people have searched around those cribs. Missy (my daughter) and Steve her husband have scuba dived around the cribs. There are a lot of small metal pieces but nothing large. The biggest concentration of metal is in shallow water in a spot that would have been on the south side of the causeway. I have a collection of junk metal from that spot at my firepit at Sandbay. There was and may still be railroad rails out around those cribs which adds validity to the story.
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pilotkid
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Joined: 11 Dec 2002
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Location: Bois Blanc Island/ Washington, DC /Muskegon

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 7:58 pm    Post subject: Rail Road Reply with quote

I SCUBA dive quite often, along with the other members of my family. Last summer my dad bought an underwater metal detector and, anxious to try it out, went to Sand Bay. So, needing to log some hours for my advanced courses, I went along. There are many pieces of the rail still out in the bay, most in less than 20 feet of water. Pieces of metal such as spikes etc, most likely nails from the cribs can also be found. It is also very cool to see the tremendous pilings from the cribs. Sad to say, no sign of the locomotive.
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