About the Project
In 1895 the S. D. Warren Paper Mill Company purchased 3 two foot gauge locomotives, essentially identical, from Baldwin Locomotive for the purpose of transporting materials within the industrial complex. Two surviving locomotives are part of the collection at the Boothbay Railway Village.. Locomotive Number 2 is the subject of this current restoration effort. The museum intends to bring the engine to full steam operating condition. This will take considerable time, effort and funds.
Here we will chronicle the progress and the results of the efforts of our museum volunteers.
S. D. Warren Paper Mill - Brief History
Samuel Dennis Warren purchased a small existing paper mill in 1854, located in the town of Westbrook, Maine. The first iteration of the mill was known as the Grant, Warren Company. In 1867 the mill became known as the S. D. Warren Paper Mill Company. Up to this time paper was made with cloth rags being reduced to a pulp. At this time Warren decided to add wood fibers to the process of paper making, being the first in the United States to do so.
Production in 1880 was 35,000 pounds of paper per day, while employing about 3,000 people.
The railroad system, both internal and external, played a vital role in the business of paper making. Initially, in 1867 horse drawn wagons on 2 foot gauge rails transferred freight between the mills and the Maine rail system. Steam locomotives replaced the horsepower in 1895. The locomotives were responsible for bringing in the 180 cords of wood consumed in the paper making process and 250 tons of coal for the mill’s boilers. It is noted that 30-35 miles of track were a part of the 250 acre complex. In the late 1890's the paper mill was the largest of its kind in the world.
Today the paper making company, employing about 300, is owned by SAPPI Limited, a South African company.
A famous landmark will be restored to a working icon at the Boothbay Railway Village and Museum. Engine #2 which has been the landmark sign adornment for over 25 years has been moved to the shop building to be restored to a working steam engine for use at the Village.
Engines #1, 2, and 3 are Baldwin Locomotives, manufactured in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the late 1890s and early 1900s. All three engines were ordered by S. D. Warren Paper Company in Westbrook, Maine for use in their pulp mill. At the mill, engine #2 (the one being restored) was used to haul pulp wood, coal and other items needed to run the mill.
A photo of the museum's locomotive Number 2 with the reconstructed cab. It is providential that this engine has survived for over 115 years. (photo courtesy Westbrook Historical Society)
Working on the frame of our 1895 Baldwin. Preparing for some needed welding.
Preparing components that were removed from the engine's frame for eventual reinstallation. Although the locomotive is over 100 years old, many of the parts are in excellent condition. Much of the work is the result of the conversion away from steam power. The desire to return to an original steam boiler powered locomotive is a strong motivator for all involved.
This is a view of a cylinder bore of the 1895 Baldwin. The remarkable condition indicates the fine quality of its fabrication. When dissembling the engine many remarked how easily components came apart and the good condition of those components.
S. D. Warren engine No. 2 working in the wood yard in 1932. Each car held 2 cords of wood. A typical train was 5-10 cars.
Photo courtesy of Sappi Fine Paper North America
Terrific photo of Locomotive No. 1 in action. Date unknown.
The Baldwin Locomotive Works - Brief History
Our locomotive, S.D. Warren & Co. No. 2 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia Pennsylvania in November 1895. To restore and tell the story of this valuable piece of our history, we should recognize Baldwin for their success and their important connection to the Maine two-footers.
The Baldwin Locomotive Works was founded in 1831 by Matthias Baldwin (1795-1866), a young Philadelphia metalworker who had constructed a miniature locomotive for the Philadelphia Museum. With its success, Matthias began receiving orders from many of the early railroads in the area not wishing to order their locomotives from England. Baldwin eventually grew into one of the largest employers in the country, having over 18,000 men by 1907. In its early years Baldwin’s success was largely due to creating a standard locomotive product line and selling those items. However by the mid 1840’s the market had sifted to where each railroad ordered locomotives designed by themselves, and not the locomotive builder. Baldwin installed a system of standard parts to be used on various different engine designs, minimizing design and manufacturing effort. Baldwin also insisted that parts be interchangeable, from locomotives of like design. This was a new concept, but it worked to his advantage. Even with all of this, Baldwin built most locomotives in their standard 8 week production cycle. Ultimately BLW became the largest locomotive builder in the world. Building over 70000 locomotives by the early 1950’s.
All but one of the narrow gauge railroads of Maine had at least one Baldwin Locomotive. This was due to a number of factors, but most notably cost. Baldwin had developed clever ways to construct different locomotives to do different jobs, using a core of standard Baldwin Parts. This kept construction costs low and delivery times fast, just what was needed in Maine. Many parts used to build engines for Maine, can be seen on Baldwin locomotives destined for many different parts of the world. Although Baldwin engines were economical, they proved to be of high quality in both workmanship and material. Most of the Baldwin locomotives on the narrow gauge railroads in Maine, were rebuild over and over again during their long service lives, proving their value and ruggedness.
We are very fortunate that 4 of the 23 two foot gauge Baldwin Locomotives built for service in Maine still exist. S.D. Warren & Co. No.’s 1 & 2 exist at the Boothbay Railway Village and Bridgton & Harrison No.’s 7 & 8 exist at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad. Currently No. 2 & 7 are being restored to working order.