Demonstrating the impact of steam power in Pioneer Manitoba has always been a central theme of the Museum. In 2011, the Century Project Committee is continuing this tradition through the restoration of the Museum’s Sawyer-Massey 82 horsepower steam engine.
This Sawyer-Massey engine is a typical example of the mid-sized steam traction engines that made settling Western Canada possible. In the early 20th Century hundreds of similar sized and designed engines were responsible for tilling Western Canada’s prairie sod and powered the threshing machines that made Canada the breadbasket of the world.
After spending many years in a lumber mill East of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, this Sawyer-Massey engine was purchased in 1956 at a lumber mill auction sale. Mr. George Down, a founding MAM member, bought the engine and moved it to the Museum. A fellow volunteer, Mr. Fred Harrison of Holland Manitoba ran the Sawyer-Massey at the Museum until his passing. The engine was then purchased by the Museum Ladies Auxiliary in the 1980s and donated to MAM.
The Century Project’s goal is to build a new welded boiler and restore the engine for use
in our educational programs and demonstrations. The project will cost $90,000 and take 4 years to complete. With a new boiler, the Sawyer-Massey 82hp engine will continue to showcase how steam power was used in pioneer Manitoba well into the 22nd Century!
The Committee is always seeking eager volunteers to help with its fundraising efforts, marketing outreach and engine restoration. Individuals interested in volunteering with
this project should contact the Museum Office at 204-637-2354.