The steam donkey is slowly moved into place at the Sooke Region Museum. It took volunteers more than two hours to move the nine-ton piece of equipment a few yards. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

The steam donkey is slowly moved into place at the Sooke Region Museum. It took volunteers more than two hours to move the nine-ton piece of equipment a few yards. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke museum steam donkey moved to permanent home

Crane used to move nine-ton behemoth a few metres on museum property

The Sooke Region Museum took a step closer to its Forestry Path on Friday with the lifting and moving of a nine-ton steam donkey to its final resting place.

Steam donkey, or yarder, is the common nickname for a steam-powered winch, or logging engine, widely used in early logging operations.

The steam donkey was donated to the museum in the late 1970s by Ron Fitton. It’s undergoing restoration.

The machine was used on the Phillips Farm (now SunRiver Estates) on Phillips Road, and was shipped to its original home by Washington Iron Works. It was barged up the Sooke River to the Phillips property.

On Friday, it took a volunteer work crew and Vic City Crane more than two hours to move the steam donkey about 15 metres to log skids. The steam donkey will front Sooke Road on museum property.

The steam donkey is a unique piece of equipment in the the museum’s planned Forestry Path, which is designed to tell the story of logging and industry in the region.

There’s no timeline when the Forestry Path will open.

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editor@sookenewsmirror.com

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