Where History Comes Alive

Blow Off Some Steam

If you love steam (and who doesn't?), you'll love this weekend. We often have horses on the grounds at the same time as we have live steam but this weekend will be horse-free so we can blow the big whistle on the top of the steam building as much as we want! There will be plenty of opportunity to get up close and personal. And dirty.

We have stationary and portable steam engines and a 65 HP Case steam tractor, too. With Pioneer Acres' reputation for steam, we even attract volunteers who bring in their own steam engines just to show them off.

You will definitely want to ride around the grounds on the back of the Case steamer. This marvel of engineering from 100 years ago makes a racket when it's moving and spews out steam and smoke in a decidedly environmentally unfriendly manner. Maybe that's why we don't run it very often, but when we do it attracts a crowd. Come by early and you can watch the process of getting it started. It's not quite as easy as turning the key!

In contrast to the Case tractor, the E. Leonard stationary engine is so quiet when it's operating that you can easily talk to the operators when you are standing right next to it. You get the feeling that you are watching TV without the sound turned on. Watching the giant flywheel spin is mezmorizing and the exposed connecting rod and crankshaft will make you wonder how something that big and heavy can move that fast.

Of course, not much would be happening without a boiler. It takes steam to make the engines move and it takes a boiler to make steam. To the first-time visitor, it just looks like throwing logs on a fire but it's actually much more complex than that. There an ongoing balancing act between not enough heat and too much heat, not enough water and too much water, not enough pressure and too much pressure, and so on. Hopefully, you get the idea. This weekend is the ideal opportunity to go beyond being a tourist and actually learn something!


10:00 am to 4:00 pm