Category: Current Issue
captions (Then and Now)
Almost lost in brush and vines, the 1928 Studebaker engine and chassis section remained on the Chamberlin Mill site, where it had sat idle long after the Mill ceased operation in the late 1960s.  Courtesy photos.
& Now 
Operational again, the engine is returned to Woodstock.  During a celebration for supporters of the project,  Nate Rosebrooks explains details of the engine rebuilding to Brian Jones, CT State Archaeologist, as Sue Quigley and Bill Masopust look on.  
WOODSTOCK VALLEY — For almost a half century, the 1928 Studebaker straight-engine that saved the sawmill operation at Chamberlin Mill after the Great Flood of 1936 sat out in the elements, rusting.  But this past year, a remarkable transformation has taken place.  Mystic Seaport engine restoration volunteers, spearheaded by Thompson’s Nate Rosebrooks, took on the challenge of getting the engine running again. 
The engine will return to Chamberlin Mill on Old Turnpike Road at 2 p.m. Oct. 4 for a Walktober event, “Chamberlin Mill and its Neighborhood.” Once the Mill is fully restored, plans are to use the engine to run the Mill’s 1873 Lane # 1 circular saw, for public demonstrations. 
More information about Chamberlin Mill is available at
With meticulous care and ingenuity, the volunteer engine restoration team under the watchful eye of  Scott Noseworthy Engine Curator and Volunteer Coordinator , completely dismantled and rebuilt the engine.
“I really did not think this possible,” said George French, a Chamberlin Mill board member, echoing thoughts expressed by many.  “But, I’m very glad I was proved wrong.” 
The Mystic Team, which has seen many boat engines badly corroded by sea water come back to life had confidence from the beginning.  From September to May, Nate and others spent at least two days each week working on the engine.  A New Hampshire car collector, Robert Valpey, came forward with a “parts car” that could be used for the project.  Financial assistance materialized from supporters of Chamberlin Mill and Mystic Seaport, including other volunteers who were  eager to see the work succeed, and from the National Studebaker Association. 
“Bringing this engine back to life was a remarkable achievement, “ said Jean McClellan, president of Chamberlin Mill, Inc., the non-profit responsible for revitalizing this 19th century sawmill.  “But, perhaps even more remarkable was the generosity shown by so many for the engine’s restoration, especially Nate Rosebrooks and the miracle team from Mystic Seaport.  For an established non-profit organization like the Seaport to support a fledgling non-profit in this way is quite something.  We are very, very grateful for this generosity.”