95 Years Underwater: A Rare Long-lost Steam Shovel Returns Home


0

In 1975, Bill Oberlauer took the unusual step of acquiring ownership of an old steam shovel, and the unusual part was that the steam shovel was about 25 feet underwater and hadn’t been seen on dry land in 70 years. “My father loved collecting trash,” remembers his son, Mike Oberlauer. “When they used to have local dumps and things, we used to take a load of garbage there and a half load again.” Bill Oberloy was speaking with a relative of the crane owner about the old steam shovel that was used to build the Edenville Dam and Lake Wixom in Michigan. The story was that the crane got stuck, and they couldn’t get it out before the water rushed to fill the new lake in 1925. “They talked about the steam shovel there,” says Mike. “Then my dad kinda got the itch to look for him.” After obtaining a royal letter, Bill Oberlauer assembled a diving expedition. He had a plan to use two barges to try to haul the shovel if they could locate it, and he began creating a registry for an organization he intended to contact SIMPS Salvage. For entry on August 25, 1975, he wrote, “SIMPS Salvage Limited – made its first attempt to locate a steam shovel in the backwaters of the Edenville Dam ….” Bill Oberlauer Record began trying to salvage an old steam shovel in 1975 Mike Oberlauer Mike Oberlauer was reporting He is 11 years old and was sitting on the charter boat Melody 2 on a bright Sunday afternoon, with the diver and others in the spot where the old shovel was expected to be, but the water was very murky. The diver could not get off. They tried to use the tow line but had no luck making strong contact with the bucket. Bill Oberloer abandoned any further rescue attempts. But he kept his record with one entry. Maybe one day he might fill it up. “We talked about that on and off,” Mike says. “He always remembered. And people in the area knew the crane was there.” Bill Oberloer was ahead of his time. Nearly 45 years later, a 500-year-long flood that sent people into and around Beaverton, Michigan, spoke again of the ancient steam shovel at the bottom of Wixum Lake. On May 19, 2020, the Edenville Dam broke. Wixum Lake was empty. “It didn’t even occur to me that the lever would be exposed,” says Mike Oberlauer. The next thing you know, is that my brother and I are overwhelmed with emails, texts and pictures: “Your father’s crane is out! You can see your father’s crane! “So Mike and his brother walked to where the lake was once and where they were on that scuba diving trip in 1975. It’s been 16 years since Bill Oberloer died.” And just as we were on our way to that place, where he said it was exactly when we were on the boat, ”says Mike. There was a local news crew and another contractor there as well. Mike and Bill showed them their father owning the crane and they challenged the claim. We left, I just grabbed a piece of board that was in there and brought it with me saying, “At least I’ll get a souvenir. At least I’ll get a piece of the crane. Because I didn’t think anyone would be able to get the thing out of there or anything else.” Bill and Mike Oberlauer is a picture with the old crane. They were putting the picture in their father’s old log to close the chapter on the steam shovel of Bill Uberlower. “So we drank some beer and said, ‘Yes, let’s do it,’” Mike says. “That was kind of emotional.” Bell, left, and Mike Oberlauer first see their father’s crane after Wixom Lane runs dry after breaking an Edenville Dam. However, Mike OberloierPlans changed, after news emerged that the long-lost steam shovel had been found. Bob Kelly, who owns the only restored Type-O Thew steam shovel, called Mike Oberlauer. Kelly can say from the photo, he was a Type-O. Always in search of antique steam and electric shovels, Kelly told Mike that he would be interested in removing and restoring the old Type-O Thew, and now he’s only the second known to exist. (To learn more about the Kelly restored Thew, click here.) Built in the early 1900s by the Automatic Shovel Company in Lorain, Ohio, the Type-O features a distinctive horizontal crowd to give the bulldozer a horizontal movement before leaning up. Captain Richard Theo, captain of a crude boat in the Great Lakes, invented the unique Type-O design to prevent the bucket from damaging wooden piers when loading and unloading ore boats, and Kelly found Thew Type-O shovel in 1913 in Ontario, Canada, in 2000 He returned it to its home in Macdonald, Pennsylvania, where it was brought back to pothole. Mike Oberlauer agreed to give Kelly his first time on a newly found steam shovel, if they could find a way to get her out. The 1913 O Thew Steam Shovel O Thew from Bob Kelly At the time, Mike, a Michigan Cat field technician, had no interest in trying to recover the old shovel himself. He seems to have worked a lot more than he had time. Make some calls to find out what needs to be done to remove the lever. He faced some bureaucracy and had to make some pleas with the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Meanwhile, the community was excited about the old shovel and hoped to do something else with it, and the Midland Antique Engine Association asked if Mike wanted to put it on her land as a place to retrieve it. Bill Lang, a contractor who also assisted in Bill Overlower’s 1975 diving expedition, devised a plan to bring in a bulldozer and excavator to remove the crane, and the more Mike studied the old shovel, took off parts and scraped the zebra mussel, and the more he heard about the excitement of the local community, the more he started He changes his mind about giving it up. “I lay on my bed one night and I was like, you know, once he goes to Pennsylvania, he’s never going back,” he says. View of an ancient shovel in Lake Wixum emptied after zebra mussels were removed along with a kettle and water tank. Mike Oberlauer invited Mike Kelly to give him the news. Kelly understood and said don’t let the matter get canceled, and if he changes his mind let him know. He also offered to help him along the way. After some petitions with the government’s Environment Agency, he managed to secure a $ 100 permit to remove the crane. At 8:30 AM on October 24th everything was ready going. Volunteers were assembled. Heavy equipment was in place. The local media were there, as were many onlookers, and Kelly and his grandson Tommy left at 3 am from their home in Pennsylvania to offer any advice about the rescue. The assembled volunteers used an excavator to haul the old bulldozer. The boom was removed, and the cast iron wheels rolled through the darkened mud on their way to the waiting trailer. An excavator was used to remove a bulldozer arm during the rescue operation on October 24, and Bob Kelly and his grandson Tommy (front left) Mike Oberlow were used, “We started at 8:30 am,” says Mike. “We turned the equipment on. By 11:30, we had everything strapped on and we drank beer.“ It went really well. ”The three-hour process safely removed the steam shovel and any parts that could be located, and it was quickly moved on Trailer heading to antique motor union grounds in the Midland. On the day of the rescue, Mike Oberloier wore an orange shirt with a picture of his ironed father’s face on the front. “I brought him here with me to be part of the crane lift operation.” Mike Oberloier wore an orange shirt With his father’s picture on the foreground on Rescue Day.Here he stands with steam shovel owner Thew Bob Kelly, to the right, and grandson of Kelly Tommy.Mike Oberloier After arriving at the antique assembly, the steam shovel was powered and sprayed with rust protection and covered.Mike removed the three motors. One raises the bucket, the other manages the swing and travel, and the third works with horizontal crowd movement.Two engines were cleaned and rebuilt and their parts could move, and Mike could not resist starting a fire in the old kettle after cleaning it. He says: “We threw a fire there and it escalated afterwards. Z smoke. ” “Look at her, after 95 years, and we lit the cauldron.” There is still a lot of work to be done on the 19-ton bulldozer, which was likely built sometime between 1907 and 1913. They could not find the manufacturer’s plate to pinpoint its exact date of origin. The wooden house went. Some of the bundles on the 19-foot boom need replacement. Some gears are off. The boiler must be replaced. He plans to use Kelly’s Thew dimensions to build the shovel house. Mike also manages to find a piece that Kelly needs to complete Thew’s restoration. He found the “automatic” release mechanism that enables the container to slide up and down the boom, working almost like the return-drilling feature of a modern excavator. Kelly didn’t have that piece, so he would make a model of it to replicate, and although it would take a lot of work, Mike was surprised how well preserved the old bucket was. “It’s amazing how anything made of cast iron is in perfect condition,” he says. “Anything made of cast iron cleans well.” Old Type O Steam Shovel washes off with energy after sitting at the bottom of Wixom Lake for 95 years. Mike Oberlauer Mike estimates it would take five years to get his dad’s steam shovel digging again. He works on it when he can and keeps his Facebook page up to date when he’s making progress. “Once I put that on Facebook, I go to the roof with people following from all over the world,” he says. “I’ve had friend requests from Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom, and they’re all following this on Facebook.” An email from an old steam shovel collector to Mike says, “I just want to let you know whether you believe me or not, this is the most watched thing in the antique equipment community right now. It’s the best thing to get out of it in 2020, so you’re trying to bring this hoist back into Life. ” For the Oberloier family, they also resurrected a dream – a dream that did not end that day in 1975 as Bill Oberloier stared at the murky waters of Lake Wixum. (In the video above, Mike Oberlauer demonstrates how one of the three engines of a steam scooper can move after cleaning and rebuilding it.)


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win
Joseph

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published.