The Century Project

The Sawyer-Massey operating at the Museum in the 1990s.

Demonstrating the impact of steam power in Pioneer Manitoba has always been a central theme of the Museum. In 2011, the Century Project Committee is continuing this tradition through the restoration of the Museum’s Sawyer-Massey 82 horsepower steam engine.

This Sawyer-Massey engine is a typical example of the mid-sized steam traction engines that made settling Western Canada possible.  In the early 20th Century hundreds of similar sized and designed engines were responsible for tilling Western Canada’s prairie sod and powered the threshing machines that made Canada the breadbasket of the world.

Picture of the engine as bought in 1956 at the lumber mill East of Portage La Prairie. Clearly it had been several years since the engine had been used.

After spending many years in a lumber mill East of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, this Sawyer-Massey engine was purchased in 1956 at a lumber mill auction sale.  Mr. George Down, a founding MAM member, bought the engine and moved it to the Museum.   A fellow volunteer, Mr. Fred Harrison of Holland Manitoba ran the Sawyer-Massey at the Museum until his passing.  The engine was then purchased by the Museum Ladies Auxiliary in the 1980s and donated to MAM.

The Century Project’s goal is to build a new welded boiler and restore the engine for use

Sawyer Massey after the Threshermen’s Reunion 2011

in our educational programs and demonstrations.  The project will cost $90,000 and take 4 years to complete. With a new boiler, the Sawyer-Massey 82hp engine will continue to showcase how steam power was used in pioneer Manitoba well into the 22nd Century!

The Committee is always seeking eager volunteers to help with its fundraising efforts, marketing outreach and engine restoration.  Individuals interested in volunteering with
this project should contact the Museum Office at 204-637-2354.

The Century Project Blog!

The Century Project Committee will be posting updates to this page as the project progresses. Please check back soon!Read full post

Teardown photos

The Century Project commitee got together after Christmas to do the tear down.  Click here for some photos from the day.  Read full post

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