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Milling Around

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Published on: Jan. 2, 1998

Last revision: Oct. 28, 2010

cars, to working condition. The restoration didn't always go quickly. He scoured the country looking for parts to these historic machines.

In the early 1970s, he found the engine he needed to restore his Model TT abandoned in the woods. When he took it home, it still had grease in it. He replaced the rings and cleaned it up. "And it ran," Noah says. "Those old Ford engines were tough."

Another time Noah found the fenders he needed hanging in a man's shed. The owner said on several occasions that he might sell them, but never would. "When the man died, I bought them from his daughter," Noah says. That was eight years after he first spotted them.

Noah also restored many old tractors, most of which started by turning the crank on the front. At one time he had 19, many of which had been used to power sawmills and logging equipment in the Ozarks.

For some of Noah's artifacts, a fleet of tractors could have come in handy to bring the items home. In 1968 the town of Eminence was holding its bicentennial and had plans to rebuild a pre-1841 log cabin on the courthouse lawn. After kids set it on fire one night, the city abandoned the project.

But Noah couldn't let one of the oldest cabins in the area go to ruin. "So I brought the logs over to my place," Noah says, where he rebuilt the cabin with its original logs in his spare time. He added a front porch, a wooden shingle roof and boards on the interior walls to hide the charred wood. "I had to shorten it one log because some of the logs were too burned, but for all practical purposes it's the same cabin."

The cabin originally was built along the Current River, Noah says. He got the rock for the fireplace from an old county court house that burned during the Civil War. "I picked up the rocks after work-a little at a time-then when I retired I built the fireplace," he says.

The cabin and its contents, a rope bed with a feather mattress and horse hair mattress, a pie safe, a wood cook stove, a table and a rocking chair, are getting ready for yet another move.

The cabin and the other items mentioned in this article, plus numerous antique saws and other forestry equipment Noah collected, will be going to the Missouri Forestry Heritage

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