Plaque near locomotive:
"The Historic Shay 70 Locomotive
The year is 1880 when Ephraim Shay (1839-1916), a man with inventive and mechanical ability, developed a powerful and agile locomotive that could climb, turn and operate on uneven ground. On February 27, 1926, the Shay 70 rolled off the assembly line and immediately went to work moving rock and materials to build hydro dam projects in Tennessee, Quebec and the Abitibi Canyon. Purchased in 1947 for 12,650 dollars, it began a new life for the Abitibi Woodlands, hauling logs out of the bush during the winter months. The Shay ran on temporary spur lines roughly laid on logs on top of frozen swamps and muskeg. The Shay would then haul massively loaded logcars to the main rail line leading to the paper mill. In 1954, rail lines to the mill were replaced by roads, leaving the Shay to begin a new career switching and assembling boxcars in the mill yard. Sadly she was retired and in 1979 proudly donated to the Town.
The Shay, Special and Indeed Vintage
From the front you will see the boiler offset to the left. The driveshaft on the other side was equipped with universal joints with power to each wheel. The Shay could turn on a 75 foot radius. There was also airbrakes on each wheel. It could also drop a wheel in a hole off the track and the other wheels could pull it out. The Shay was rugged and dependable and easily worked 23 hours a day.
Train crews had to carry emergency repair bolts and screws to plug holes in the tubes. It is said that there was always a pot of beans, a rabbit or a beaver stewing on the boiler. The women of Iroquois Falls could hear the Shay whistle for miles belching great quantities of coal black soot, often knowing their laundry came off the line dirtier than when it was put out to dry. Families looked forward to the annual blueberry ride, compliments of the Shay. The Shay Locomotive Works Company manufactured only 2761 such locomotives in Lima, Ohio with instant success. It became the most famous locomotive and contributed immensely to the logging empires of North America.
The Shay 70 is truly part of our history."