BARRON COUNTY -- The Lentz Steam Engine, built in 1925, ran the American Excelsior plant in Rice Lake from 1946 until 1976 and has been residing next to the dam since the 1990s after being restored by several local steam engine enthusiasts.
The Rice Lake Rotary Club is coordinating work to improve the signage of the trail system through the park adjacent to the dam, and the current location of the engine was considered. The Rotary Club made a few calls, and a decision was made to move the engine to the Hungry Hollow Steam and Gas Engine Club grounds along Hwy 25 in the Town of Stanfold. The move will also improve emergency and maintenance access to the north side of the dam.
Northwest Builders was involved in the original move and will be contributing a very important piece of the project - the crane to lift the 16-ton engine on and off a trailer. The existing roof structure will be disassembled and rebuilt at the Hungry Hollow grounds.
The Hungry Hollow Steam and Gas Engine Club will be constructing a new concrete base at their site, and American Excelsior is assisting with the costs of the new base. The project is planned to be completed before the annual Hungry Hollow Show on June 25 - 26th.
This community project highlights the cooperation between these service organizations and local businesses.