Soulé Steamfeed Works
Anyone interested in steam engines or our great industrial heritage owes it to themselves to visit The Soule Steamfeed Works. The best time to visit is at the Live Steam Festival in November. The old factory is not a restoration, it is preserved mostly as it was operated until its final closure in 2002. It includes a pattern shop, foundry, machine shop, parts inventory and assembly area where 6,500 steam engines were manufactured. It is a real gem!
The Soule facility is now the Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum: http://www.soulelivesteam.com
Here are a few photos & quick videos from the 2102 Steam Festival (click on any photo for an enlargement):
Soule primarily marketed their services & products to small and medium size sawmills. Besides being a foundry, machine shop and parts house, they also manufactured rotary & piston steam engines from 1892 until 1992. Here are their 2 main products:
The machine shop is a wonder of machinery, mechanisms & noise:
The Pattern shop (upstairs from the foundry) holds an overwhelming number of patterns, all hand made by craftsmen. All the pattern making tools & machines are still in place. All of these patterns were used to create cast metal parts for some product:
Today, a modern and safe boiler provides steam for several engines that have been collected & restored in the building. More are being added as volunteers locate & restore them:
During the first weekend of November, Soule host the Live Steam Festival. Collectors from the area bring their treasures to display and operate on live steam. It has also become a collecting point for large & small calliopes, steam whistles and model steam engines.