Shay Locomotive

In October 2021 the 36 ton Shay Locomotive C/N 2005 located outside the Forestry Building of Stephen F. Austin State University made its way to Harbor Springs. Following its transport to northern Michigan, the Historical Society plans to conduct much-needed repairs and eventually display the locomotive in downtown Harbor Springs. It will be the second large artifacts displayed by the Historical Society and will introduce visitors to the life and contributions of Ephraim Shay, inventor and Harbor Springs resident.

Built in 1907 by the Lima Locomotive and Machine Works of Lima, Ohio, C/N 2005 is a two-truck Shay which ferried countless loads of timber from East Texas forests to sawmills until the early 1920s. Originally owned by W. T. Carter and Brother Lumber Company, the locomotive was donated to the University in 1970.

Dr. Hans Williams, dean of SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, said that the locomotive needs extensive repairs and renovation, but that the college is limited by the large cost of such operations. The Historical Society contacted the University in April 2021 to inquire about the possibility of transferring ownership of the artifact to the society.

The Historical Society has enlisted the expertise of licensed engineers and historians to assist in the renovation of the locomotive. These efforts are estimated to take several years. Contributions to bring this piece of history to life are greatly appreciated.

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