2011 Steam Schools

Steam schools scheduled in 2011 promote safety and maintenance

Instructor Butch Biesecker demonstrates opening try cocks to verify water level in the boiler.

Instructor Butch Biesecker demonstrates opening try cocks to verify water level in the boiler.

Photos courtesy Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Assn.

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Nine steam schools will be held across the U.S. in 2011. These schools, put on by historical associations and organizations, are taught by experienced engineers. The schools fulfill the need for trained and knowledgeable operators in a category of mesmerizing, historic and potentially dangerous equipment. The one- or two-day courses focus on safety, operation and maintenance basics, and most include hands-on training. Registration is required for all courses. If you’re interested, hurry to enroll – most fill up quickly. 

Illinois
11th Annual Central States Threshermen’s Steam School May 14-15, Threshermen’s Reunion Park, Pontiac. Tuition is $50 and includes camping, coffee, donuts and lunch both days. Class size limited to 50.
For more information: David Schott, 620 S. Vermillion St., Pontiac, IL 61764; (815) 842-3129; e-mail: dj2shot@mchsi.com; www.threshermensreunion.org. 

Iowa 
Midwest Old Threshers Reunion Steam School April 30-May 1, Midwest Old Threshers show grounds, Mt. Pleasant. Tuition is $50 and includes materials and two noon meals; the course stresses classroom and hands-on experience.
For more information: Terry McWilliams, Public Relations and Marketing, 405 E. Threshers Rd., Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641; (319) 385-8937; e-mail: info@oldthreshers.org; www.oldthreshers.com. 

Heritage Park of North Iowa 11th Annual Steam School May 21-22, Heritage Park of North Iowa, Forest City. Tuition is $30 and includes materials, continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments; free primitive camping available. Class size limited to 50.
For more information: Jerred Ruble, Director of Shows, Heritage Park of North Iowa, 754 342nd St., Hanlontown, IA 50444; (641) 797-2697; e-mail: ruble@wctatel.net; www.heritageparkofnorthiowa.com. 

Minnesota 
Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion/University of Rollag Steam School June 18-19, Steamer Hill, Rollag. Tuition is $50 and includes materials and two meals; classroom instruction and hands-on experience using a wide range of steam equipment, including stationary, traction, miniature and railroad engines. Class size is limited to 70. Certified for Minnesota and North Dakota steam hobby license; class counts toward necessary hours for Ohio steam license.
For more information: Tom Hall, University of Rollag, P.O. Box 999, Moorhead, MN 56561; (218) 233-1771; www.rollag.com.

Oklahoma 
Oklahoma Steam Threshing & Gas Engine Assn. Pawnee Steam School March 26-27, Pawnee Steam Park grounds, Pawnee. Tuition is $40 and includes materials and two meals.
For more information: Robert Marrs, (918) 241-1510; www.oklahomathreshers.org. 

Pennsylvania 
Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. Steam School May 21 and June 4, Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. grounds, Kinzers. Tuition is $75 and includes all materials; course emphasizes safety, maintenance, operation and hands-on experience. Classroom time is half of the first day, with remaining time dedicated to practical hands-on experience, including cleaning, inspection, maintenance and operation. Students will be introduced to operating railroad engines, a steam roller and various steam traction equipment. Class size limited to 27. Must be a Rough & Tumble member or join prior to steam school.
For more information: John Johnson (717) 442-4249; e-mail: steamschool@comcast.net; www.roughandtumble.org

Williams Grove Historical Engine Assn., Inc. Steam Engineering School June 4-5, Steam Engine Hill, Williams Grove Historical Engine Assn. grounds, Mechanicsburg. Tuition is $50 ($40 for members) and includes manuals and two meals.
For more information: Barry Peck, (717) 789-4421; send mail to WGHSEA, Inc., P.O. Box 509, 1 Steam Engine Hill, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, e-mail: wghsea@yahoo.com; www.wghsea.org. 

Virginia 
Somerset Steam & Gas Engine Assn. 14th Annual Somerset Steam School April 9-10, Fairfield View Dairy Farm, Somerset. Tuition is $75 and includes all materials and two noon meals; course is divided into classroom and hands-on sessions with a focus on education, familiarization and safety in operation and maintenance of steam engines and boilers.
For more information: Bill Roberts, 14375 Blue Ridge Turnpike, Route 231, P.O. Box 492, Somerset, VA 22972; (540) 672-2495; e-mail: ssteamgea@gmail.com; www.somersetsteamandgas.org. 

Wisconsin 
Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. Steam School September 23-25, Rock River Thresheree show grounds, Edgerton. Tuition is $50 and includes materials, coffee and donuts, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday; free primitive camping available on show grounds. Subjects include steam theory, boiler construction, safety, maintenance and operation with hands-on experience. Class size limited to 50. American Society of Power Engineers test will be offered (but is not mandatory) on Sunday for $55.
For more information: Jeff Bloemers, Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Association Steam School, W. 4597 County Road F, Waldo, WI 53093; (920) 564-6292; e-mail: jwbsteam@gmail.com; www.whsea.org. FC 

Have a steam school to include in our listing for 2012? Contact Farm Collector assistant editor Beth Beavers at bbeavers@ogdenpubs.com; (785) 274-4379 or (800) 682-4704.