The quiet Missouri town of Lathrop, known as the mule capital of the world, was host to the 2001 Pawnee Steam School. Lathrop was a center of mule production and trading in years past; today it boasts the showgrounds of the Lathrop Antique Car, Tractor and Engine Association.
The School had 175 students from across the United States and Canada. Nine instructors were from the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana. Pawnee Steam School is unique in the fact that it travels to a different location each year. With the school being 'on the road,' the student body is very diverse in terms of geography as well as in skill and experience levels.
Jim Plowman and many members of the Lathrop Antique Car, Tractor and Engine did a wonderful job of providing meals and tending to the many needs involved in hosting the steam school.
Each steam school class generated a lively question and answer session at its end. The boiler water treatment class had a very informative discussion. Experiences with boiler water treatment in the Eastern part of the U.S. were related by a Pennsylvania steam school student.
Fellowship is also a big part of the Pawnee Steam School and accordingly, certain people were presented with a steam school 'award.' Joe Graziana received a clear majority of awards this year. Among the many 'useful' awards he received were a third hand (for use during the belting contest), a sand timer made of two one-gallon jars (also for use during the belting contest), and a Keck-Gonnerman precision adjustment tool. The student traveling the farthest distance was awarded a gallon of Harold Stark's home-brew. (This brew may or may not be used to clean injectors.)
Chady Atteberry reports the 2002 Pawnee Steam School, which returns to Pawnee, Oklahoma, will be a three-day school. The school will feature a 'steam school class reunion' where the students will have the opportunity to fire and belt up engines. A demonstration of climbing the incline will also be done on Friday. The 2002 Pawnee Steam School will be held on March 29, 30, and 31.
Due to demand for Pawnee Steam School textbooks, extra copies have been printed on a first-come basis. The textbook is available for $10.00 per copy (which includes postage) by sending cash, money order or check to Larry Creed, R.R. #13, Box 209, Brazil, IN 47834. FC