Steam Schools

Steam schools have been with us since the heyday of steam traction engines. The safe and competent operation of steam traction engines was priority when steam engines ruled the agricultural landscape 100 years ago, and it’s still priority today.

Our listing is compiled from information sent by readers and through calls made to schools that have operated in previous years. As such, there may be schools we have omitted, and we encourage readers to alert us to any schools we haven’t listed.

The photo above was taken by Mark Corson at the 2005 Pawnee Steam School, which was held in Boonville, Ind., March 18-20. Pictured are the instructors who volunteered their time to lead this year’s classes. From left: Ray Vaughn, Joe “Mr Case” Graziana, Harold Stark, Brian Vaughn, Bruce Babcock and Larry Creed.

The photo on the bottom of the next page comes from the May 1916 issue of The American Thresherman, and advertises the Thresher’s School of Modern Methods, which at that time was led by none other than the legendary P.S. Rose, then associate editor of The American Thresherman.

If you know of a school that is not listed here, please contact us at: Steam Traction, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609

Oklahoma Steam Threshing &
Gas Engine Assn.
Pawnee Steam School 2006
Republic, Mo.
March 24-26, 2006
Tuition is $25, two noon meals included. Registration and prepayment required, enrollment limited. Emphasis on steam basics and safety, repair and maintenance, trouble shooting boiler construction, soft plugs, injectors, plumbing and boiler water treatment. Will cover many other topics.
For more information, contact:
Charlie Stark
3848 S. Farm Road 93
Republic, MO 65738
(417) 732-7136
Heritage Park of North Iowa
6th Annual Steam School
Forest City, Iowa
May 20-21, 2006
Tuition is $15, which covers the cost of lunches and handouts. This is a beginner’s class. Class emphasis is on types of boilers, basic boiler operation, safety devices, proper boiler start up and shut down procedures, use of injectors and pumps, forced draft induction, firing a boiler under load, holding constant steam pressure and how to handle emergency situations. Steam engine topics will include basic operation of the steam engine, starting and stopping the engine, how the valve gear works, how a steam engine governor works and how to lubricate the engine and drivetrain. Students will steam-up one or more steam engines.
At the conclusion of the class, a test modeled on the Minnesota Hobby Engineer’s Test is administered to interested students.
For more information, contact:
Jerred Ruble, Director of Shows
Heritage Park of North Iowa Project
754 342nd St.
Hanlontown, IA 50444
(641) 797-2697

University of Rollag
Steam Traction Engineering Course
Steamer Hill, Rollag, Minn.
June 17-18, 2006
Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuition is $50, textbooks included in tuition fee. Tuition deadline is Feb. 15, 2006, which includes books and some meals. Any student who is a current active Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion member will be awarded a scholarship by the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion Board of Directors. There are no course requirements or age limits, with the exception of individuals wishing to acquire a Minnesota Steam Traction License, who must be 18 or older.
Emphasis on classroom instruction and hands-on training. Over 12 steam traction engines, two to three miniatures, three to four stationary and a fullsize railroad locomotive will be available for student operation and training. The course fulfills 16 of 25 hours required for a Minnesota Traction Engineers exam, also known as the “hobby” license. The national license ASOPE exam will be given on Sunday at 2 p.m. Cost of the exam is $55. All attendees age 18 or older are eligible to take this exam.
For more information, contact:
Tom Hall, Registrar
Box 999
Moorhead, MN 56561
(218) 233-1771

Carriage Hill Farm Metropark
Steam School
Dayton, Ohio
To be announced
The cost is $175, and covers all materials and lunches. Class size is limited to 40 participants.
Accredited by the Ohio Historical Steam Board to provide the training required to qualify for a Historical Boiler Operator license. The Friday night sessions will start at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday will start at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class will cover all aspects of Ohio’s new historical boiler laws as well as the proper and safe way to operate our boilers. There will be “hot” engines both weekends with plenty of hands-on time. On the last Sunday you will be given the Carriage Hill steam test, and if successful, you will be given a certificate that the Ohio testing facility will accept as proof of training. The State of Ohio Boiler Inspectors will also be present to administer the state test to those who are interested.
For further information and application form, contact:
Nick Krimm
Carriage Hill Farm Metropark Steam Group
7600 Shull Road
Huber Heights, OH 45424

Old Threshers Reunion
Steam School at Mt. Pleasant
Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
To be announced
Tuition is $30, which includes materials and two noon meals. Emphasis on classroom and hands-on experience. First day consists of class work with slides, videos and discussions. Second day consists of hands-on operation.
For more information, contact:
Old Threshers Reunion
405 E. Threshers Road
Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641
(319) 385-8937

Rough & Tumble Engineers
Historical Assn.
Rough & Tumble Steam School
Kinzers, Pa.
To be announced.
Tuition is $50, which includes all materials. Enrollment limited to Rough & Tumble members only, limited to first 22 applicants. Limited openings, call for 2005. Emphasis on safety, maintenance, operation and hands-on experience. Class time limited to half of first day, with remaining time dedicated to practical, hands-on, including cleaning, inspection, maintenance and operation.
For more information, contact:
John Geib, Instructor
3 Linden Drive
Hamburg, PA 19526
(610) 562-9532

Wisconsin Historical Steam
Engine Assn. Inc.
Steam School
Edgerton, Wis.
To be announced.
Rock River Thresheree Show Grounds. The cost is $40, includes textbook, Case steam engine manual, the Steam Traction Engineers checklist and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Subjects covered will be steam theory, boiler construction, operation and maintenance, steam engine components, piping, valves and accessories, prepping an engine for steam up, responding to emergencies and water treatment. We will have engines steamed up for hands-on training. ASOPE test will be offered, but not mandatory for a fee of $55.
For more information, contact:
Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. Steam School
Jeff Bloemers
W. 4597 County Road F
Waldo, WI 53093
(920) 564-6292

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