2007 Auburn Heights Steam Car Tour 

The Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve, hosted the annual east coast steam tour in Wilmington, Delaware from June 17-22, 2007.  Sixty steam cars from as far away as Washington, Maine, and Florida, along with steam car enthusiasts from the United Kingdom and Canada spent the week touring northern Delaware, eastern Maryland, and southeastern Pennsylvania.
The first day of the steam tour provided a scenic drive on the grounds of Winterthur; an American country estate and former home of Henry Francis du Pont who was an avid antiques collector and horticulturist.  After that the tour participants gathered at the Auburn Heights home of Tom & Ruth Marshall.  Pictured are several of the 76 participating tour cars parked on the front lawn on the house.
Photo courtesy of Tom Cannard
Steve Eckel, driving the family's 1908 Model F, arrives at Auburn Heights.  After a hearty lunch and generous portions of Woodside Farm Creamery ice cream, tour participants enjoyed rides on the the Auburn Valley Railroad’s 1/8-size live-steam trains, rides in the 1915 Stanley Mountain Wagon as well as rides in the 1916 Rauch & Lang electric car.  For most, the highlight was touring the Marshall home built in 1897.
Photo courtesy of Tom Cannard
In the mid-1960s T. Clarence Marshall constructed a pair of coal-fired, 4-8-4 (Northern Class) live-steam locomotives, laid nearly a half mile of 7-1/4" gauge track around Auburn Heights, and started operating the trains for various events.  It is estimated that over 100,000 people have ridden the Auburn Valley Line since the first trains ran in the mid-1990s.
Photo courtesy of Tom Cannard
Tuesday saw the cars visiting Chesapeake City, MD.  Located at the western end of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, one of only two commercially sea-level canals in the US, the canal is 14 miles long, 450 feet wide, and 35 feet deep.   Connecting the Delaware River with the Chesapeake Bay and the Port of Baltimore, the C&D Canal is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Photo courtesy of Tom Cannard

The tour route visited the heart of “Chateau Country”, the area where many of the DuPont family’s homes are located.  The steamers visited Hagley Museum, where the DuPont Company was founded, and Granogue, the magnificent 525-acre estate that is the home of a great-great-grandson of the founder of the DuPont Company.

Photo courtesy of Tom Cannard

Curt  Fullum from Punta Gorda, Florida arrives at Granogue in his 1910 Model 60 Stanley. Built in 1923 and constructed of Germantown granite, the stone contains platelets of mica that sparkle in the sunlight. The floors are concrete finished in teak wood.  The gardens and greenhouses reflected Mrs. DuPont’s interest in horticulture.  Guests dined on the patio and listened the world's finest classical organists play the Aeolian Organ.  Installed when the house was built and recently restored, an Aeolian organ with roll player was indeed “the final touch of beauty for the well-planned home.”

Photo courtesy of Cindy Tobias
Pierre du Pont was the great-grandson of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, who arrived from France in 1800 and founded the DuPont chemical company. Pierre turned the family business into a corporate empire in the early 20th century and used his resulting fortune to develop Longwood Gardens.  Now considered the world’s premier horticultural showplace, tour participants enjoyed the evening fireworks and  fountain displays.
Photo courtesy of Tom Cannard
Thursday brought the cars to Lancaster County, PA and Amish Country.  A morning visit to the Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Association to see displays and operating steam equipment.  The Strasburg Railroad was an option for those wishing to make the detour.  Along the way numerous Amish farmers were tending their fields.
Photo courtesy of Robert Reilly

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