For the 56th year, the Scott-Carver Threshers put on their annual Old Time Harvest Festival on the outskirts of Jordan. Complete with more classic tractors than any aficionado could ask for and countless more steam and gas engines on site, the festival celebrated eras of agricultural life that have long since passed.
The show, held at the Scott-Carver Thresher Show Grounds, harkened back to yesteryear with its many displays over the August 2-4 weekend.
Sandy Hesse, who has worked within a historical model print shop at the festival for 26 years, is well acquainted with the past. The print shop, now filled with, several presses, slug-making machines and a sea of greasy, worn odds and ends, was not always so full, Hesse said.
Hesse stated that her first time to the festival was a bit of a roller coaster, adding that she had to borrow many of the items that filled the shop with wares from Murphy’s Landing in Shakopee. Despite the major effort to gather slugs, types and a number of other items, Hesse still views her first year fondly.
“My first year was my highlight,” Hesse said. “I gathered just enough so I could set up a machine and show [guests] how it ran.”
Over time, Hesse said, experienced printers from around the state donated items, eventually filling the print shop that was on display last weekend.
Across the show grounds, Dale Rieppel operated a barn-sized, steam-powered ammonia pump that once helped refrigerate the Armour and Company meat packing plant in South St. Paul.
Last used in the plant in 1978, the machine is a vast assemblage of knobs, tanks, pistons, and wheels. In the center of the machine is a roughly 15-foot metal wheel.
It first became operational three years ago after the Threshers spent four years assembling it, using nothing but old pictures to guide them. Despite the lack of guidance, the machine ran as though it was still within its old factory home.
“Honestly, we didn’t have a lot of failures,” Rieppel said, of the process of learning to operate the machine that is roughly the size of a school bus.