Antique Steam Shovel Excavated From Wixom Lake Bed

A steam shovel not seen since the 1920s was recently found in the lakebed of what used to be Wixom Lake.

A team of volunteers helped remove the antique equipment on Saturday, Ocotber 24. The shovel was once part of a project to dam the the lake. Its owner, Bill Oberloier, passed away several years ago, though his son Michael Oberloier was able to salvage the machine. Amazingly, after much of the mud and muck was removed, the wheels were able to turn and it was rolled out of the lake bed on its own. Oberloier was even able to fire up the boiler.

The steam shovel, a Thew model Type O, is one of only three known to still exist. The machine will be restored and placed on display at the Midland Antique Engine Association.