Pete Geddes

Steamed up at Port Alberni’s Industrial Heritage Centre

Friday was all about the steam outside the Industrial Heritage Centre as volunteers fired up a couple of their heritage machines.

Friday was all about the steam outside the Industrial Heritage Centre on Ninth Avenue, as volunteers with the IHS fired up a couple of their heritage machines.

Ken Fyfe salvaged a 1923 Keystone well driller from Dease Lake in 2015, and has restored it. The well driller had been taken up to Dease Lake for the gold rush in 1930 and abandoned in the bush.

Because the boiler is still being worked on, Fyfe and other volunteers used the IHS’ restored 1917 Farquhar as a steam source to run the well driller.

“Early oil wells were shallow,” volunteer David  Hooper explained. The well drillers would pound a hole into the ground until it struck oil.

Well drillers were also used for water well drilling as well as early natural resource extraction, he added.

Two members of the IHS will take the 1947 McLean Hayes truck to Salem, OR to participate in an exhibit.

Bob East and Cliff West will head south with ‘Bertha’, the 1979 highway hauler, and the Hayes on the back to attend the American Truck Historical Society’s national show.

“They will be promoting Port Alberni.”

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