The History of the New York Steam Engine Association
The beginning started with three men who’s interest in steam engines lead to the forming of the New York Steam Engine Association, namely—Wally Wood, Edward Faulkner, Homer Prudom.
In the spring of 1958, Wally and Homer attended a Steamup at Sam Harrington’s place in Akron, NY. With an 80 HP Case and Gene Hake’s steams roller. Wally had his models on display. It was there that Homer received permission to bring the 80 Case to Ed Faulker’s in Honeoye Falls. Ed had two engines – a case and a frick. It was at that time that we started talking about a small show. In looking for a place to hold a show the Caledonia Fair Association was contacted and a meeting was held at Wadsworth, NY. With the Board of Directors of the Fair Association and Wally Wood, Ed Faulkner, Homer Prudom, the grounds were made available, but no decision was made. Later that year Wally decided to try to get the engine owners and interested persons to a general meeting held in a cabin in Mendon Ponds Park. It was December and the weather turned bad. The meeting was postponed until Spring of 1959, was held at Ed Faulkners, and was attended by about thirty people. Although there was interest shown and Wally had a promise of about $1000, he did not feel he had any one person to help him back the idea at that time. The matter was dropped for the time.
It was later that year that Bob Marshall received a letter from a man who had been a representative of the J.I. Case Company. Willard Durkee, Head of the Agricultural Department of the New York State Fair, requested the engines for a display at the Fair. Bob Marshall turned the letter over to Wally to do whatever he wished. After consulting with Lester Norris and Kenneth MacCormack, we decided to take the engines to the Fair. This stimulated a renewed interest, but the idea was at a standstill. One day Bob Marshall said he would help the show get started. James McLean who was President of Stromberg Carlson, spent many of his weekends at Bob’s told Wally that if he was ever successful in getting a show started, not to hire a lawyer to draw up the papers, that his lawyers would handle it for him. Mr. McLean kept his word and saved us about $250.00. The people signing the Charter were: Claude Abbert, Homer Prudom, Wallace Wood, Robert Marshall, and Edward Faulkner. The name of the organization was to be the Bristol Valley Steam Club. Later it was agreed to change the name to the New York Engine Association. Notices were sent out for a meeting at the Fire Hall at East Bloomfield, NY on November 22, 1960. Wally had a promise of $1200 before the meeting was called.
Wally Wood call the meeting to order, was named temporary chairman, and then unanimously named president. He named Lester Norris, Vice President; Claude Abbert, Secretary; Harry Schoff, Treasurer; nine directors – Homer Prudom, Robert Marshall, Ray Alexander, Ed Faulkner, George Van Atta, Luzerene Ball, Robert Stickler, Kenneth MacCormack and Don Field. Officers were to service one year terms. Three directors were to serve for three years, three to serve two years, and three to serve for one year. All officers are elected each year and three new board members.
This was the start of our New York Steam Engine Association Club that is still operating today. Historical details were referenced using a past article written by author George Knab.
The New York Steam Engine Association (NYSEA) is located at 3349 Gehan Road, Canandaigua, New York 14424. We are a member owned organization that was formed in Canandaigua, New York in 1960. The Club’s purpose is to promote and encourage interest in the operation, ownership and preservation of the antique equipment powered by steam or other motor operations.
Originally the show was held at Roseland Park until 1971. When the Club purchased 28 acres on Gehan Road. After many dedicated hours of work by the Club members over the years. NYSEA has grown to 100 acres of beautiful show grounds in Ontario County.
We encourage and welcome all enthusiast to stop by and visit us during our events as we have even more historical information on display and demonstrations being given daily during our show.