Steam Schools

A Listing of Steam Schools for 2007

| December 2007

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    A period ad for a steam school from The American Thresherman.
  • ThreshersSchool

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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 contact 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 on the top of the page comes from The American Thresherman, and advertised 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; e-mail:

Somerset Steam and Gas Engine Assn.
10th Annual Somerset Steam School
Somerset, Va.
April 14-15, 2007

Fairfield View Dairy Farm. The cost is $75, registration is required. Includes all materials and two lunches.

For more information, contact:

Bill Roberts
14375 Blue Ridge Turnpike
P.O. Box 492
Somerset, VA 22972
(540) 672-2495

Midwest Old Threshers
Old Threshers Reunion Steam School
Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
April 28-29, 2007

Registration required. 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:

Terry McWilliams
Public Relations and Marketing
405 E. Threshers Road
Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641
(319) 385-8937

Oklahoma Steam Threshing & Gas Engine Assn.
Pawnee Steam School 2007
Portland, Ind.
March 24-25, 2007

Tuition is $40, 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:

Al Confer
(765) 369-2656
John Girard Jr.
(260) 623-2001; (260) 466-5101

Heritage Park of North Iowa
7th Annual Steam School
Forest City, Iowa
May 19-20, 2007

Tuition is $20, which covers the cost of lunches and handouts for both days. 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 drive train. Under supervision of instructors, students will steam-up and be provided the opportunity to get some hands-on experience operating several steam traction 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

The Central States Threshermen
Steam School
Pontiac, Ill.
May 19-20, 2007

Threshermen's Park, two miles north of Interstate 55 on Route 2. Classes begin at 8 a.m.

For more information, contact:

David Schott
620 S. Vermillion St.
Pontiac, IL 61764
(815) 842-3129

Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn.
Rough & Tumble Steam School
Kinzers, Pa.
May 19 and June 2, 2007

Tuition is $60, which includes all materials. Enrollment limited to Rough & Tumble members only, limited to first 22 applicants, available at the Time of Harvest. 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 Johnson
P.O. Box 1068
Exton, PA 19341
(717) 442-4249

University of Rollag
Steam Traction Engineering Course
Steamer Hill, Rollag, Minn.
June 16-17, 2007

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, 2007, which includes books and some meals. The Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion Board of Directors will award any student who is a current, active Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion member a scholarship. 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 full-size 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
Box 999
Moorhead, MN 56561
(218) 233-1771

Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. Inc.
Steam School
Edgerton, Wis.
Sept. 28-30, 2007

Rock River Thresheree Show Grounds. Registration is required with a limit of 50 students. The cost is $50, includes textbook, Case steam engine manual, the Steam Traction Engineers checklist and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Class starts on Friday evening. 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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