SLEEPING GIANT AWAKENED AFTER FIFTY YEARS
Authoress sitting on the Avery after it had been dug out of six feet of snow and wooden frame placed beneath the engine so it could be placed on a stone boat built for the purpose of bringing the engine out.
Some men only dream dreams. Others, such as Don Bradley of
Forsyth, Montana, make dreams become reality.
Don has realized his dream of eleven years of resurrecting the
old 18 ton giant Avery thirty horsepower steam engine from its
resting place at the 7000 foot level in the quiet forest at the
foot of majestic Mt. Ellis. The steam engine has slept for fifty
years surrounded by winter's deep snows and summer's meadow
Bradley has been an engine lover since he was a small boy on the
home ranch in the Lee community near Ashland, Montana where he
first fired up an Avery steam engine one size smaller than this one
at age 11.
Since 1961, Don has dreamed of bringing the old Avery, built in
the early 1900's, out of the mountains above Bear Canyon near
Bozeman. It is one of only three large undermounted Avery engines
left in the United States, after he gets this one built with his
boiler on it. The other stands in a museum in Michigan and one in
After years of checking records, getting permission from Forest
Service officials, and purchasing parts from all over the U.S. and
Canada, and many trips into New World Gulch above Bear Canyon to
look the engine over, Don Bradley was ready, along with fifteen
friends and relatives who came along to help him; to take on the
perilous task of getting the engine out to civilization again.
Bradley, and two buddies, LeRoy Mickell and George Bradley, had
built a stone boat in Bradley's shop to bring the engine out
on. On March 2, all was in readiness and Bradley and his volunteers
arrived in Bozeman. On March 3, an HD7 with back hoe was rented to
prepare a pathway thru the steep, narrow, rocky gorge leading to
the meadow in Park Camp where the old Avery rested. The first cat
clipped off the embankment and a second cat was brought from
Maudlow to pull it out and also to follow it up the mountain
preparing the trail. March 4, the engine was reached at the foot of
Mt. Ellis, and on March 5 the men began the arduous task of digging
the engine out of the deep snow and soil where it had rested for
fifty years since being used by Ike and Phil Aldritt at their
sawmill and lumber camp.
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