A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my Genesee Country Museum adventure. Included in that post was a photo of an old rusted out piece of equipment that caught my eye along the back roads leading up to the museum complex. I didn’t know what it was or why it was there, but I was intrigued enough to snap a few photos of it. Well…….I was delighted to read an article by Virginia Kropf in today’s Batavia Daily News Online about it! Reading about what it is and the story behind it makes me extremely happy that I stopped to capture it for my archives! What a find!
You can read Virginia’s article here: “Rusting steam shovel deserves better fate” – you will likely need to answer a survey question or two in order for the entire article to open up for reading (the Batavia Daily News Online edition is free, but they do require the survey questions to be answered to make each day’s articles visible for reading).
From the article (thank you so much, Virginia) I discovered that it is actually a steam shovel that has been sitting on Gulf Road across from a quarry in LeRoy for more than 50 years just rusting out! It was originally one that ran on railroad tracks, but was converted into a caterpillar at some point. The article goes on to tell about what makes this particular steam shovel unique – it still has its original steam boiler and it has been accepted for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places (a marker for it is in the works)! I am tickled pink that this historic gem was not scrapped for its metal during WWII, as the article notes, and is still around to tell a story of the quarry industry in our area! What a gem!
Here are the photos I took of this unique discovery that day:
By the way – in the article, Virginia also talks about her memories of swimming in local quarries. I, too, used to swim in the quarries here in Albion when I was a child – going to Pecks and Transit quarries was such a treat! The water in the quarries was always so cold, as I remember, and refreshing! We jumped off the rock ledges into the “bottomless” water, floated around on an old inflated tractor tire tube, and sunned ourselves on the banks to dry off before heading home. What wonderful memories the word “quarry” brings to mind…….and what an important industry quarry mining was to the history of our area! Bravo to those who are working to bring attention to the legacy of the local quarrymen!
This is my kind of stuff. In the article there was talk about painting the shovel…I hope not. Lets hope it is maintained as an old relic, and not as a new relic. Tom The Backroads Traveller