Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

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AARR
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Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by AARR »

My sister in law owns property near Houghton Lake, MI (mailing address Merritt) off of S. McVerty Rd. approximately 1-2 miles south of E. Kelly Rd. She tells me the previous owner claims there is a buried steam engine on that property. Supposedly the previous owner allowed a "fossil hunter" to find it and dig up enough to remove the smoke stack. She's offered to let a few of us locate the engine again and dig it up partially or in full.

Anyone know about the history of the line or the legend of the buried steam engine?

If it's true anyone game to fossil hunt for it?
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...

pbmaxno15
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Re: Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by pbmaxno15 »

I'm in!!! I love a good fossil hunt.

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Michael
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Re: Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by Michael »

It certainly sounds interesting AARR. The nearest line went through Merritt
https://www.abandonedrails.com/missaukee-branch
As far as I can tell your SIL's property is about 3 1/2 miles south of the line in Section 21 of Butterfield Township
http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/ ... /Michigan/

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Standard Railfan
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Re: Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by Standard Railfan »

There were a number of logging lines in the Merritt area. I don’t have a list or map to consult. This area was logged later than most. Merritt hosted a large mill complex into the 1920s. The GR&I branch to Merritt was abandoned in the late 1930s IIRC.

The story seems a bit fantastic. First, locomotives are expensive, not something that gets left behind very often. Second, why go to considerable effort to bury something that size?

It is possible that a line built over very soft wet earth subsided after the frost came out or after heavy rain.

Sounds like a great story to chase down.

DaveO
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Re: Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by DaveO »

A short lived logging line (circa 1880) ran just north of Butterfield Creek. Exact route unknown.
In that era, logging locomotives would quickly be sold to someone else.

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Michael
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Re: Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by Michael »

I misread the distance so her property could be in section 28 along Butterfield Creek.
If so, than an old logging line going along her property on the north side of the creek is certainly a possibility.
LOTS of information here. https://onedrive.live.com/?id=6C1503688 ... 68814048E3
Hard to tell from the 1955 aerial. There was also a proposed PM railroad that would have gone very close to her property.
Image
Last edited by Michael on Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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AARR
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Re: Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by AARR »

Thanks guys for the great info and Michael for the map 8)
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...

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Michael
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Re: Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by Michael »

This is one of the many maps of logging Railroads in Missaukee County.
This one doesn't extend into Butterfield Township nor did any of the others I found but everything I read said some of these narrow gauge railroads were hastily built for temporary use and possible never mapped. Nevertheless most of the railroads seem to be in the northern and western parts of the county
Image

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M.D.Bentley
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Re: Sunken Steam Engine near Houghton Lake, MI

Unread post by M.D.Bentley »

The Oak island boys were sniffing around a sunken steam locomotive on the West side of the state. Something to do with a Confederate shipment of silver from down south.

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