Kelly Springfield Restoration

Project Background

At the October, 2014, Roots of Motive Power board meeting, we decided to move the Kelly Springfield roller from Roots of Motive Power in Willits to Baldo Locomotive Works in Willits. The move began a mid-week work party to begin its restoration. Work parties have been gathering on Wednesday evenings, from 5 to 8, or so. Baldo Locomotive Works is enclosed, offering heat and light to restoration workers. This shoud help speed the restoration. 

What follows is similar to a journal. It’s a work in progress about a work in progress. The material so far comes entirely from email correspondence, mostly from Chris Baldo to a fairly large group of Roots members. Dirk Johnson is putting this together with an eye toward reaching a broader audience for the important work at Roots of Motive Power. We hope it will also add some buzz and excitement for a project that already sizzles.

An Opportunity

If you find it difficult to attend the Roots weekend work days, this is an opportunity for you. This project has many facets so there is something for everyone to do regardless of skill or expertise. There’s wood working for a new canopy, boiler work, cleaning and painting, and historical research, to name just a few of the areas that need a lot of work. 

If you would like to participate in any way that wouild suit your skills, drop us an email to get the work location and let us know you’ll be joining us.

10/11/2014: Early Prognosis 

We might tear it apart and find the boiler needs more work than she is worth, but that is the gamble in any steam restoration. Attached are a few photos, one of the current condition and some of a similar Kelly Springfield in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The influence of Kelly Springfield’s British engineer are apparent. 

Railroad History Project

Project Background

Roots of Motive Power originated in 1982 from a predecessor organization called Little Lake Valley Pioneer Engine Association. Roots started out with a single piece of logging equipment and with the mission of preserving and restoring whatever antique logging and railroad equipment they could locate. As donations of equipment began to come in, space was provided for displays next to the Mendocino County Museum. But it soon became obvious that additional space would be needed to house the growing collection.
Thus was created the Redwood Empire Railroad History Project in the mid-1980s. Roots and the Museum (with the blessing of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors) joined forces with the intent of obtaining grants to fund several phases that would provide for expanded facilities and display venues.
The project includes provision for an expanded site for outside displays of equipment, a Restoration Building to permit year-round work and protected storage, and the Learning and Education Center which also houses the Research Library and Engine House. The facilities are linked by a ¾-mile loop track which surrounds playing fields adjacent to the sites, all of which are located on East Commercial Street in Willits.