2019 Steam Schools

article image
by John Johnson
Instructor Leroy Schwartz observes a Rough & Tumble steam school student at the controls of the Little Toot locomotive.

We’re approaching that time of year again! Whether you’re a new steam enthusiast or a more seasoned veteran, make plans now to enroll in a steam school near you in 2019.

In addition to classroom instruction on steam basics, maintenance, safety precautions and emergency procedures from qualified professionals, steam schools also provide meals and class materials, and offer the opportunity to operate various pieces of steam equipment and earn credit toward a license. Register early as classes fill quickly! FC

Did we miss your group’s steam school? Contact us at farmcollector.comor at (800) 678-5779 to get your program included in future listings.


Central States Threshermen’s Reunion
When: June 1-2
Where: Threshermen’s Park, Pontiac
Tuition: $60 ($50 for additional family members)

The Central States Threshermen’s steam school is designed for beginning and intermediate engineers, with an emphasis on safe engine operation.

The morning schedule consists of classroom presentations covering properties of steam, boiler basics, lubrication, injector operation, boiler maintenance, boiler restoration, emergency procedures and more. The afternoon sessions are hands-on firing and running of steam engines.

For more information: Doug Smith, 2695 E. 1900 N Road, Moweaqua, IL 62550; (217) 341-4987; email: smithtwenty@cebridge.net.


Heritage Park of North Iowa Steam Engineer School
When: May 11-12
Where: Heritage Park of North Iowa, Forest City
Tuition: $75

The Heritage Park steam school offers two classes: one for beginners and one for advanced students. As part of the course, attendees help prepare one or more steam traction engines for steam-up. Students who complete the class will receive 16 credit hours toward the 50 hours required for a Minnesota Hobby Engineer’s license. Class size is limited to 50 beginner and 20 advanced students. Materials, lunch and refreshments are included.

For more information: Jerred Ruble, Heritage Park of North Iowa, P.O. Box 27, Forest City, IA 50436; (641) 797-2697; email: antiquepowershows@heritageparkofnorthiowa.com.

Students at the Midwest Old Threshers 2018 steam school clean the flue of a 1915 Case 65hp engine.

Midwest Old Threshers Reunion Steam School
When: May 4-5
Where: Midwest Old Threshers grounds, Mount Pleasant
Tuition: $75

The class begins at 8 a.m. on the first day and continues through the day with a short lunch break at noon. The next day, all class participants will operate working engines for a hands-on educational experience. The session ends at 2 p.m. with a noon meal provided.

For more information: Julie Scott, 405 E. Threshers Rd., Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641; (319) 385-8937; email: info@oldthreshers.org.


Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion/University of Rollag Steam School
When: June 15-16
Where: Steam Hill, Rollag
Tuition: $50

The two-day course offers classroom instruction and hands-on experience using a wide range of steam equipment, including stationary, traction, miniature and railroad engines. The class is certified for Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio steam hobby licenses. WMSTR is the only training approved by the State of Minnesota not provided by a state-run entity. Materials and two meals are included.

Class size is limited to 70; early enrollment is suggested as the course typically fills by March 1. For more information: Tom Hall, University of Rollag, P.O. Box 999, Moorhead, MN 56561; (218) 233-1771.

Butch Biesecker, Rough & Tumble Steam Chairman and President, displays parts during a classroom session at the R&T steam school.


Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. Steam School
When: May 18-19
Where: Rough & Tumble grounds, Kinzers
Tuition: $80

Enrollment is limited to Rough & Tumble members. New members must join prior to the school in order to operate equipment on the R&T grounds. The school is limited to the first 20 applicants, age 14 and older, and fills quickly.

Classroom time is limited to half of the first day, with remaining time dedicated to practical, hands-on operation, including cleaning, inspection, maintenance and operation of numerous steam traction engines. Conditions permitting, students also may operate two railroad engines (Shay and Little Toot) as well as custom engines and a large variety of steam traction equipment.

For more information: John Johnson, P.O. Box 9, Kinzers, PA  17535; (717) 442-4249; email:steamschool@comcast.net.

The 2018 graduates of the Rough & Tumble steam school are shown here with the Rough & Tumble club’s Shay locomotive.


Somerset Steam & Gas Engine Assn.
Somerset Steam School
When: April 13-14
Where: Fairfield View Dairy Farm, Somerset
Tuition: $100

The course is divided into classroom and hands-on sessions with qualified and experienced instructors focusing on education, familiarization and safety in the operation and maintenance of steam engines and boilers. All course materials and two lunches are included. Class size is limited to 20 students.

For more information: Gil Roberts, P.O. Box 492, Somerset, VA 22972; (540) 672-3429; email: info@somersetsteamandgas.org.


Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. Steam School
When: Sept. 27-29
Where: Antique Steam & Gas Engine Club Inc. grounds, Edgar
Tuition: $65

Topics covered include steam theory, boiler construction, safety, maintenance and operation with hands-on experience. Materials include a textbook and Case Steam Engine Manual, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday is included. Free primitive camping is available on the show grounds. Class size is limited to 40 students, and preregistration is required. The completion counts for 16 hours toward the required number to obtain a state operator’s license in Minnesota and Ohio. Youth scholarships are available.

For more information: Jeff Bloemers, Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. Steam School, 5903 Cart Path Rd., Sheboygan, WI 53081; (920) 287-1146; email: jwbsteam@gmail.com.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment