Three pictures of the Steamer that William "Bill" Boyle blew up in 1908
The above picture shows Bill Boyle driving the steamer before it blew up. Bill operated steamers for many years both
in Manitoba and Saskatchewan; usually, it was for threshing or sawing lumber. As one can see in the above picture, when threshing,
operating it was basically a three man operation: the operator, who drove it, the fireman, who fed the engine fuel (seen shoveling above),
and the person operating whatever equipment was hooked up to it. According to the Lintlaw history book, "Echoes of the Past", James, and
his two sons Bill and Clarence had already bought land near Lintlaw in 1907, and had started setting them up (building houses, etc.) over the
spring and summer. In the fall, James and Bill returned to Manitoba to finish harvesting on their farm there,
and after that was done, James and his 2nd eldest son Gordon returned to the Lintlaw
area to stay at the new homestead over the winter.
Bill stayed in Manitoba one more year, to do the farming (1908). It was while threshing for another farmer in the area at
this time that the whole back end blew out of the steamer. The fireman died the following
day, and Bill ended up injured for months. The farmer's son was also injured, with brick from the steamer
fire box embedded in his hip. These were heavy machines, made out of iron, so you can image the
force of the explosion that caused the damage you can see in the two pictures taken below (from different angles).
Mike McKnight, who visited this website doing research on steam engines, thinks this is Gaar, Scott and Co. built return flue, made in Richmond,
Indiana. If it is, this engine was no longer made after 1905. He also thinks it may be the 18 horsepower model.
It should be mentioned that the top picture of the blown up steamer was actually sent
to Gordon from Manitoba shortly after it happened, with a message on the back from someone named Minnie, whom I believe to be Minerva Storey (a cousin).
It was written in pencil, and has faded since then, but one can still make out bits and pieces. From what I can tell:
"Dear boy Gordon Keep this lesson ever before you as a future warning
to be a lesson for all ????? since Gods warning has been given in so solm (sic) a way. Your
loving friend Minnie"