Education Depot


Announcing the opening of registration for classes to be held at Steamer Hill in Rollag Minnesota on July 13th and 14th, 2024, aka. Rollagology V.

In the interest of educating people in the activities that occur at Rollag, MN during the Labor Day Weekend Show, a total of 6 classes will be offered on the show grounds on the weekend of July 13th and 14th, 2024.

Individuals are able to sign up for two of the three morning classes offered on Saturday and Sunday. They can also sign up for any two of the three classes offered Saturday afternoon. Sunday afternoon will be a chance to go to any of the class instructors for further information, questions you forgot to ask, contacts… etc., or travel home early if needed. Class registrations will be limited to 15 people per session.  No one can attend the same class twice that weekend. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for the weekend is $40 and covers camping, lunch on Saturday and Sunday as well as the Saturday evening meal.  It can be done online by signing up below.

Saturday and Sunday morning 4-hour classes: (pick one Saturday and one Sunday)

  • Railroading, and 353 Railroad Operations   (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Construction Area Overview (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Running a Successful Sawmill (8:00 a.m. to Noon, Saturday and Sunday)


This is a list of the Saturday afternoon 2-hour classes: (pick two)

  • Soap Making  (1:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)
  • Ladies Activities, Preserving Treasured Clothing (1:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)
  • Making a Tin Rose (1:00 p.m, and 3:30 p.m. Saturday)


Here’s a short description of the classes being offered and the general topics they’ll teach on:

Railroading, and 353 Railroad Operations

This 4 hour class is designed to be an introduction to the many aspects of Railroading, including how Soo Line Steam Locomotive 353 hauls thousands of people around the grounds every Labor Day Weekend.  YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE HOW MUCH THERE IS TO KNOW!!!  Unfortunately, we’re only going to give you a small taste of those topics.  In fact, it’s difficult to put into one paragraph all the things we’re planning to cover.  It will be approximately one hour of classroom and 3 hours of hands on, including starting and stopping a full sized locomotive!!  When you’re done with this class, you’ll decide if you want to do more with our railroad, another railroad, if it is simply too big a commitment for you.  Maybe you’ll just appreciate more, the people that make it happen.  In any case this class promises shock and awe when you see all it takes.

  • Instructors:  Mark Kirschman, Tim Moen, and many of the 353 Railroad Staff.

Construction Area Overview

The Construction Area has become the second largest geographical exhibit at the show after the 353 railroad.  This 4 hour class will introduce you to ALL of the operating equipment running during the show.  You’ll learn the parts of a steam shovel and tour the three that operate on the grounds.  You’ll also get to see the many internal combustion powered machines that are working there.  Then!!  The skilled staff of the area will get you on actual period correct construction equipment and let you move dirt!  You’ll doze, but there will be no sleeping.  You’ll also get to run the show’s front end loader and feel the power of a modern machine pick up dirt and move it as is sometimes done in this area as part of the display.  You’ll crush rocks, and haul material just like real construction.  You’ll sit in the seat of a period correct motor grader and be introduced to the art of road maintenance.  Everyone will get the chance to operate something you probably never imagined you could.

  • Instructors:  Kyle Weets, John (Louie) Larson, Harris (Klinger) Billigmeier

Running a Successful Sawmill

Sawmills were a huge part of the industrial revolution that took place after the turn of the 20th century.  Running one successfully is a compilation of science, art, mechanical aptitude, and luck (some of that luck better be GOOD luck at that!).  This 4 hour class will have approximately 30 minutes of classroom instruction with the remainder occurring at the mill.  Students will learn the proper description of the sawmill parts, different jobs that exist at an operating mill, blade components and how they’re made to run true and relatively cool,  as well as the geometry of a typical log and how to maximize the usable lumber from said log.  Then, everyone interested will get the chance to “pull the lever”!  You’ll feel the micro control you have on a mega piece of equipment, including the engine on the other end of the belt.  Steady as she goes, you’ll either love the feeling, or hate the responsibility, but either way, you’ll know if it’s something you’d like to pursue or leave to someone else.

  • Instructors are: Adam Meyer, Merlin Meyer, Roger Meyer, Brian Mesich and the staff of Earl’s Mill


Soap Making

This 2 hour course is designed to give members a new appreciation and understanding of the process of heating, cooling, mixing, and waiting to facilitate the complicated chemical reactions that go on while producing soap. Sound impossible? It’s not! Sound simple? It’s not! Many steps need to be exact while producing soap. From the rendering of the fat to the PH control its cool (not just temperature) to see the final product cut up and doing its job. You’ll take a bit of your work with you when you go!

  • Instructors are, Sarah Larson and TBD members of the WMSTR soap making crew.

Ladies Activities, Preserving Antique Clothing

This 2 hour class is designed to teach you the techniques required to preserve those articles of clothing you treasure most.  Do you have Grandma’s wedding dress? Would you like your great-granddaughter to wear it?  We all have family heirlooms, things worn or used in the past by people we loved.   How do you preserve those things to pass down to future generations?  In this class you will learn about the simple ways you can conserve your family treasures for the future.  Where is the best place to store items in your home?  What methods to wash and remove stains do not damage aged, and delicate fabrics?  Why might you choose to mend things and what techniques should you use?  What mistakes can you avoid?  All these questions and more will be answered.  Class members are encouraged to bring in their family treasures and get specific advice on storage and repair.

  • Instructor: Jane M. Kieffer Rath. Claire Rath


Making a Tin Rose

A new item has been added to the blacksmith shop for sale during the show, and our team is delighted to introduce you to the technique of making tin roses.   This two hour class will show you the tools and craftsmanship required to make a beautiful piece of art work.  Perfect ones take many hours of practice, but you’ll leave this class with the tin rose you made and the basic knowledge to create one of these magnificent pieces.

  •   Instructor is Jim Hopfauf


Education Weekend Itinerary

Friday 7/12/2024

  • 1900 – 2000 hrs. (7.00 – 8:00 p.m.) Kickoff/meet and greet meeting at the Mercantile

Saturday 7/13/2024

  • 0630 hrs. Coffee and social at the Mercantile
  • 0730 Load people movers and proceed to class locations
  • 1200 Load at classes for provided lunch at the Mercantile
  • 1230 Load people movers for afternoon classes
  • 1630 Load at classes return to Mercantile for evening meal

Sunday 7/14/2024

  • 0630 hrs. Coffee and social at the Mercantile
  • 0730 Load people movers and proceed to class locations
  • 1200 Load at classes for provided lunch and closing comments at the Mercantile
  • 1230-1630 Free time for students to roam class areas, visit, or travel home