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Potlatch Forests, Inc. Equipment
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Miscellaneous Camas Prairie Photos
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Ivan Ergish was born and raised in the logging camps of western Oregon. The family came to Winchester, Idaho about the end of WWII to work in the Craig Mountain Lumber Co. mill at Winchester. Ivan worked there and elsewhere in the region at various mills including Potlatch until the late fifties when he began working for Kling's Office Supply in Lewiston. Ivan was forced to retire in the early 1980s due to diabetes. He passed away in the Spring of 1997.
I first met Ivan in the Fall of 1965 when I was a student at the Ubniversity of Idaho. At the time Ivan was starting his first 1" scale live steam locomotive, a model of the Craig Mountain Railway # 1, an ALCO 2-6-2T. He had previously modeled in HO and S scales before switching to live steam. He eventually stabled a roster of six live steam locomotives including a beautiful 1.3/4" scale Classd "A" Climax. He also built a gas engine powered 1.1/2" scale model of the Vally & Siletz # 5 railcar that I now proudly own. Many of his live steamer projects were written up for LIVE STEAM and MODELTEC.
As a pioneer of scale model railroading Ivan was virtually unknown but very important.
Ivan was a master machinist and made many of the patterns for Kemtron in the 1950s but his most lasting influence on model railroading came when he developed a working drive system for an HO scale Shay. Ivan took the model to an NMRA contest where it was spotted by Bill Ryan of Pacific Fast Mail. Bill had been working with Japanese model builders to figure out a method of making a drive system for HO scale Shays and borrowed Ivan's model to show the Japanese. Ivan's drive method was adopted and still powers most model Shay locomotives.