425 Kristle Lane, Lake Charles, Louisiana 70611
Tucked away in the piney woods of south central Louisiana is an
absolute showplace of old iron and various other nostalgia. Located
off Highway 489 just east of LaCamp is the home of Sam Curruth.
LaCamp can be found among the other small towns of Hicks, Leander,
and Cora. I had visited with Sam several years earlier just after I
had gotten interested in old engines. At that time I didn't own
a single engine, and I was completely taken by his collection of
over 40 engines, several tractors, implements, cars, and numerous
other pieces of equipment.
Though I had seen him several times over the years at various
shows, it wasn't until a recent show in Browley, Louisiana,
that we had a real opportunity to renew our acquaintance. I asked
him if I could come visit him again. I always get a two-week break
from work at Christmas time, so we set a date for Monday, December
I left my house about 7:30 that morning with my wife following
in her car to one of her favorite breakfast spots. After breakfast
I drove for about an hour and a half up through the county,
arriving at Sam's place around 9:30. Though I now own a number
of engines myself, I was just as anxious to begin our tour as the
first time I visited.
Just in front of his house is a small shed containing a 1908, 8
horsepower International Famous. Sam bought this engine at an
auction in Colfield, Missouri. It is in original condition. I had
recalled his running this engine on my first visit. He brought it
to the recent show I mentioned earlier and had it running. In fact,
I recognized the engine and because of it, I located Sam at the
show. We talked over the engine for a long time. I was really
impressed at how slowly he could make it run.
Of all of his engines, I like this one the best. It has that
unmistakable hit and miss sound, and will coast to a near stop
before just making it over the top to hit again. It's a real
attention-getter at any show. Picture number one is of this
We made our way from there to one of his barns, where he had a
number of engines stored. One of them was a Taylor vacuum engine.
This engine was found at a nearby dairy. It has a single piston,
but it is two different sizes. The smaller part of the piston, the
front, is used for power, while the larger part, the rear, creates
a vacuum that is used to milk cows. He told me he had never seen
another engine like this one, and neither had I. In this same shed
were about a dozen other engines, a tractor, a Meadows grist mill,
and numerous other pieces of equipment.
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