August, 1996, Dr. Ephraim K. Smith, a Professor of
History at California State University, Fresno, was
photographing old barns in Clinton County, Michigan.
On a back road east of St. Johns, he noticed a solitary
brick chimney standing in an overgrown meadow. Upon
closer investigation, he discovered that the chimney
stack was connected to a large boiler set in a brick
arch. Within fifteen feet of this massive boiler were
two large cylindrical tubs, their heavy covers, and
a rectangular tank. Scattered around the site were
pieces of lumber, sheet metal panels and rusty piping.