Steam engine may come home to Haliburton

By Chad Ingram

Published Dec. 5 2017

A steam engine that once powered machinery in a sawmill owned by the Hodgson family during Haliburton’s logging era may be coming back to the community.

The engine has been housed at the museum in Pickering since the 1960s.

“The museum up here was very much in its infancy at the time” Haliburton Highlands museum director Kate Butler told the paper saying it was possible there was just not much room to accommodate the large engine at the time.

The museum was initially located downtown within the Reid House which is now part of the museum complex on the other side of Head Lake.

As Butler explained the Pickering Museum is in the process of deaccessioning some of its pieces the Hodgson steam engine among them.

“It’s a big project” Butler said while talking about the possibility of acquiring the engine with Dysart et al councillors during a Nov. 20 council meeting. “It made sense to them that having a connection to Haliburton it essentially come home.”

While the municipality had received a quote of $3000 for the transportation of the engine from Pickering to Haliburton Mayor Murray Fearrey said it would likely make more economic sense to use the municipal fleet to transport the engine should the project proceed.

“We’re in talks with the Pickering Museum” Butler told the paper adding that curator Steve Hill would be making a visit to Pickering to assess the situation. “This is still very much at the exploratory stage.”