Those famous Stanley Steamers and more classic car events

6 mins read

KINGFIELD – Everything you’ve ever wanted to know and much more about the famous Stanley Steamer cars will be presented in the four-day Steam Car Seminar beginning Tuesday with a reception held at the University of Maine at Farmington.

The seminar will naturally lead into several events surrounding the Classic Car Show and Motorcycle Run to be held over the weekend at the Farmington Fairgrounds.  

The Stanley Museum, in partnership with the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the first in a series of events that will offer workshops led by experts in steam car lore, in addition to a museum tour, train ride, lots of great food and on Friday, steam cars are among the many Stanley-related items to be auctioned off at the Stanley Museum Consignment Auction to be held at UMF.

“It’s been several years since the Stanley Museum has held an event like this,” said Lorna Nichols, executive director of the Chamber. “This will bring awareness and fund raising for the Stanley Museum.”

One of the Stanley Museum’s steamers, the subject of a four-day seminar beginning Tuesday, rides in the Kingfield Festival Days parade held June 19.

The steam-powered Stanleys were invented and manufactured by Kingfield native twins F.E. Stanley (1849-1918) and F.O. Stanley (1849-1940). The Stanley Museum, formerly the Stanley School built in 1902 and named for the brothers in 1905, was opened in 1981 as the museum, offering an extensive collection of artifacts, archives and the Stanley cars on exhibit.

The week of events kicks off with a gala reception on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 19 at the University of Maine at Farmington from 5-7 p.m. Guest welcome speaker is Sarah Stanley, great granddaughter of F.E. Stanley, a post board member and current advisor to the Stanley Museum.

Wednesday and Thursday workshops include a discussion of the history of early Stanley racers titled, 1909’s “Models E2, U and M.” Then there are several offerings for the do-it-yourselfers titled, “Boilers: Construction, Maintenance and Installation;” “Rear Ends, Gears, and Bearings;” along with more on engine types, long tour preparations and lubrication. The classes will all be held at UMF.

After classes on Wednesday, a barbeque will be held at the Stanley Museum in Kingfield followed by a narrow gauge steam train ride and restoration tour at the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad.

On Thursday after class, a Maine lobster bake will be held at Mooselookmeguntic Lake to be topped off with Stanley fiddle music featuring Stanley & Grimm, a group who will be performing on vintage Stanley violins.

On Friday, the consignment benefit auction held at UMF is a chance to pick up needed parts and other Stanley-related items for your collection and, at the same time, provide much-needed support for the Stanley Museum. In addition, an amazing five Stanley Steamer cars will be put on the auction block.

“It’s significant,” Nichols said of the auction’s offerings. The combination of workshops, good food and the comprehensive auction, is bringing Stanley enthusiasts from all over.

“I’ve gotten calls from all over the country from people who are coming here to participate,” Nichols said. The large, worldwide membership in the Stanley Steamer registry demonstrates the popularity of the steamers and it’s no surprise a good turnout is expected.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Nichols said.

To keep the fun coming, Nichols has organized more car-related events for Saturday and Sunday at the Farmington Fairgrounds. The End of Summer Hoorah Auto & Motorcycle Show, is expanding the former Country Classic Car Club’s car show to also feature motorcycles and family-centered events such as a pig scramble, wife-carrying competition, and the Farmington Rotary Club’s pig roast supper, featuring entertainment and an auction, all beginning at 5 p.m.

The Classic Car Club members asked and received help from the Chamber to take over and run its annually held show. Popular in its own right with lots of car owners and admirers coming to see the show each year, the Chamber decided to try and keep all those people staying over into Sunday with a motorcycle benefit raffle run through Franklin County. The Chamber-sponsored motorcycle run used to be held in the fall but this year is partnered with the car show events.

This year’s run will benefit the Fallen Soldier Memorial fund in Augusta. Raffle tickets are five for $10 or 10 for $15, prizes will be awarded and a lunch stop is scheduled at Rangeley.

“I’m too excited,” Nichols said. “This will not only show off Franklin County, it’s an important fund raiser as well.”

For more information or to make reservations for these or other events, please contact the museum at 207-265-2729 or Chamber office at 207-778-4215. A complete schedule of the Aug. 19-24 events and registration forms are available on the Chamber’s Web site:

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