Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hike to the wrecked Nichols and Shepard Steam Engine Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Last September while on a family  vacation to Tennessee my brother and I decided to go on a hike and see this steam engine.My brother Wesley had seen a post on about this engine and with a little research were able to find its location. After a nice early morning hike we found it. It is an early Nichols and Shepard engine between 10 to 15 horsepower. This was a fairly small engine but in its day would have been a workhorse. Now the story on the engine. It was  used as a logging and sawmill engine and was being used to build a new school. They were done with the project and were driving it out of the woods when the operator steered too close to the edge of a ridge. It rolled and fell several hundred feet and landed in this creek bed. It was deemed not worth trying to repair and was left where it fell. No one was hurt in the accident. This happened in the 1920's so it has been there for quite a few years. Some of the engine is missing but quite a bit of it has been left and it is well worth the hike to see it. Here are the directions if you would like to go on the hike also. Take 321 out of Gatlinburg, TN several miles and you will see a sign for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the right. Turn right and go to the park ranger residence on the right. You can park there and the trail begins behind the house. It is unmarked but not hard to find. Follow the trail and you will cross several foot bridges. You will see stone walls, stone pillars and a cemetery  along the way. The engine is located past the primitive camp site on the left.

First glimpse
Found it

Front wheel and axle

Both rear wheels

Crank shaft

Planetary gears and smokestack flange
Fire box end of the boiler

My brother Wesley (on right) and I

Steering compression spring

Crankshaft bearing with some babbitt left

Worn bar lugs and star lug

Boiler rivets

Worn drive gear

Brass plug that the scrappers could not get out
Axle stay rods

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