Help rebuild the Calumet & Hecla #3 Steam Engine's boiler

By Houghton County Historical Society

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The C&H #3 - Living History

The Houghton County Historical Society is home to the C&H #3 steam locomotive. Built in 1915, this small industrial locomotive was used by the Calumet & Hecla mining company around the mills and smelters of Lake Linden and Hubbell to move copper concentrate, ingots, and other materials. Calumet & Hecla donated the locomotive to the Historical Society in 1969.

In the late 1990's the Society held fundraisers, and with the help of the Soo Line Historical Society, and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum of Duluth the locomotive was restored, and a loop track was built at the Museum site. Visitors were able to experience living history by taking a train ride behind the C&H locomotive #3. Steam train rides at the museum have become part of the childhood memories of many of our small visitors.

Now #3 Needs Boiler Repairs

For several years since the restoration, #3 has served the Society and our visitors well. However, any steam engine will require periodic maintenance to the boiler and boiler flues. The typical repair cycle for such work is 15 to 18 years. We are now at the point were #3 is in need of boiler repairs, and has had to be withdrawn from service.

A Boiler Bill

We've contacted the Escanaba-based firm that did the original restoration to #3. The cost of the boiler inspection, clean out, and the periodic maintenance repairs is expected to be in the area of $35,000. Once we have the funding and can have the engine serviced, the work is expected to take one to two months to complete. Since receiving this news we've identified, and are pursuing, grant opportunities. Whether we'll receive a grant, and in what amount remains to be seen. We do know that many granting organizations will require the Society to provide matching funds, and that we must begin raising funds.

And YOU can help

Your donation, along with any grants we are able to obtain, will go directly toward the boiler repairs and maintenance of the #3 locomotive. These donations will help the Historical Society bring #3 back onto the tracks, serving once again as living history for our region.

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