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We were greeted by this steam powered tractor just inside the entrance... although the doorway was wide open, the interior was pitch dark and everything needed to be lit by flashlight.

This steam tractor was made to pull heavy loads, plogh fields, run machinery, and perform other heavy duty tasks on the farm. When the drive train was developed so the steam engines could be self-propelled, they were known as traction engines, or tractors for short. They were phased out by gas powered trucks in the 1920s and 1930s.

I believe this engine was made by the Robert Bell Engine and Thresher Company in Seaforth, Ontario. They manufactured steam engines from 4 to 30 horsepower from 1911 to 1928. Here's an image of a similar Robert Bell Engine:

Update: it seems that this gem has been extracted from the garage and is currently being restored in Traverse City, MI. Cheers and good luck to Mike, who purchased the engine in 2015! You can read up on it and see old and current photos of the engine here.

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