Box 317 Mound, Minnesota 55364
Ken Scott, current president of Scott-Carver Threshers, vividly remembers the day his uncle came to his house wondering if Ken would like to help steam up Grandpa's steam engine that had been stored for years in an old shed. When Ken showed enthusiasm for the idea, Ermie (short for Ermin) went to see his old friend Bill Oleander to get help checking the 'old girl' over--'old girl' being Ermie's favorite name for the engine. Unknown to Ermie at that time, he created a Sunday afternoon event that people wanted to repeat year after year.
Last year thousands of people came to see and hear the Threshers steam, chug, and whistle through Scott-Carver Thresher's 24th festival. Preparations that had gone on all summer, especially Saturdays, culminated the second weekend in August. Many of the Threshers took a week off from work to be on the grounds all week. By Friday morning when the gates opened at 7 a.m., excitement was running high.
As spectators arrived, they were first surprised by the 'new' appearance at the outer gate. A split-rail fence had been put in by Nathan Kohn and John Schultz, plus Nathan had battled many a mosquito and wasp to cut all the grass so meticulously. The once-new, then weathered, now newly painted sign (thanks also to Nathan) sparkled in the sunlight.
Flea market dealers, exhibitors, and craft dealers poured through the gate all day, keeping gatekeeper Joe Bruhn and button-sellers Doris Bruhn and Darlene Luebke exceedingly busy. Horseback riders under the direction of Liz Brunette directed the traffic in the parking lot.
Proud owner Rudy Adams and engineer Chuck Geibe paraded this 65 HP 1922 Case steam engine during the 24th Scott-Carvers Festival near Jordan, MN.
Parade chairman Keith Scott and Richard Boettcher started early Thursday numbering the tractors, cars, and engines that would be par adding daily at 1 p.m. all three days of the festival. Thus by Friday they were ready to register and number all the new exhibits being brought in.
The honorary Parade Marshall for the 24th was Uncle Sam who came in honor of the nation's bicentennial celebration of the Constitution. Santa Claus (Don Baird) and his one-horse sleigh (donated by Howard Reuhling of Belle Plaine) pulled by eight John Deeres and one tiny Farm-all were there for the 23rd Festival but couldn't make it again for the 24th, so he sent his sleigh and one tiny Deere (driven by Marvin Iverson) so Uncle Sam (David Schoening) could ride in style.
The Threshers' food and beverage stands are all owned and operated by the association. Starting with a sunrise breakfast and continuing throughout the days with a full-meal menu, the kitchen crew worked long and hard. Flipping pancakes and burgers kept Roman and Ruth Hoof-hower, Marge Slavicek, Bea Boettcher, and many others hot and tired. The brewing of the special homemade-tasting beans and sauerkraut was again under the careful supervision of Lorraine Sobiech. Sandwiches were made continually by Eileen Selly and Karen Geibe. Friendly faces at the counter included Alice Haller, Evelyn Brosam, Rosie Snell, Kris New, and Jim Underferth. Cashiering most of the weekend was Karen Scott. Co-chairwomen Lilly Ann Cook and Mary Galatowitsch started early and worked late.
John Schoening, Maple Plain, MN, owns and totally rebuilt this 1914 80 HP Case that he paraded daily at last year's Scott-Carver Threshers Festival.
Popping the corn and serving the pop was again done by Wilma Schoening and grandsons Jim and David. Serving the beer was new-father Don Baird. Scooping ice cream all weekend, a job that requires strong biceps, was supervised by the Art Nelson family. The Threshers' bookstore, featuring lots of old manuals and new magazines, was again under the care of the wonderful librarian, Margaret Ferguson.
Saturday brought out horse-plowing competitors for the walking plow division at 11a.m. and the sulky plow division at 2 p.m. Coordinating the contest was Gordon Klehr, who placed first in the walking plow division. Alfred Stump of Belle Plaine placed first in the sulky plow division.
Square dancing by the Richfield Squares and Cat's-paw Cloggers began at 11 a.m. in the newly enlarged entertainment shelter. After the daily parade the world-champion whistler Bob Larson entertained. Then at 4 p.m. the seventh annual fiddling contest was held. Contestants ranged in age from 6 to 82, came from as far away as Nebraska, and included the Kolbreck sisters who have appeared in Nashville.
Most of the events ran continually each day. The sawmill had many daylong workers including Frank Boehne, Rudy Adams, Jim Mollenhauer, Chuck Geibe, John Haller, and Dick Kohout (and one other dedicated gentleman from another show that this writer doesn't know by name). Corn shredding was handled by John Schultz and Nathan Kohn (a man who keeps the grounds in top condition year round).
The grain threshing had many dedicated threshers manning the machines as well as pitching grain, including Dallas Plekkenpol, Marvin Iverson, Helmuth Pautsch, Charlie Tiegs, Dick Kimpston, Jim Birk, Larry Brown, Doug Banks, and Hillard Berg, plus a few spectators who wanted to recall the 'good old days.'
Prior to the festival, the many hours of plowing, planting, fertilizing and cutting were done under the watchful eye of 'old timer' Bill Sobiech. What didn't get done by others such as Nathan or Doug or John was done by Bill himself. He watched the phases of the moon and knew exactly when the planting or harvesting had to be done.
Parade chairmen Keith Scott and Richard Boettcher were the last unit in the daily 1 PM parade at the 24th Scott-Carver Festival. Keith built this motorized 1941 John Deere spreader during the summer with the help of his father Ken. It's now powered by a 350 Chevy engine and would probably do 80 if anyone had the guts to try it.
Another busy man year-round was John Schoening. During the year he was busy welding, repairing, and painting his endless number of exhibits. During the show he was continually going from machine to machine, making sure each was ready for the daily parade or for plowing or sawing or threshing.
Gas-engine alley has grown dramatically in the past few years since it became a grassy shaded area surrounded by red rock roads. Helping visiting exhibitors as well as operating their own equipment were Gerald Siegle, John Galatowitsch, Berk Rogers, and Boyd Bailey. The rows and rows of tractors were supervised by Dave Irey, who himself exhibits and owns two beautiful Rumely Oil Pulls.
One of the most exciting events for the threshers in their 24th year was the donation by the John Achey family in Wisconsin. John was the founder of the 'Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association' near Dresser, Wisconsin. In John's memory, his family donated an Avery separator, a grain binder, a grain drill, a Hart Parr tractor 18-36, an International Titan tractor, and a David Bradley tractor. John Schultz and Carl Bilda are a couple of the Threshers who have spent many hours beginning the restoration of the tractors.
Some of the unique events at the 24th included the 1889 steam fire pumper owned by the city of Jordan and operated during the show by Bob Slavicek. Broom making by Harry Brosam proved to be a big attraction, especially to a lady who stopped by the gate to ask if she could come in just long enough to buy a broom from Harry!
The making of laths and shingles always seems to be popular at all the shows. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Dysterheft, Pam Boehlke, and Wilmer Boettcher, plus a new rubber stamp the Threshers had made for the occasion, these machines again drew a lot of attention.
Over on steam-engine row, where John Schoening could be found firing his many steam engines, Clinton Luthy could be found tending his 1912 Case that he was exhibiting for the second year. Friday proved to be the worst for Clinton when his steam whistle stuck during the parade after the announcer asked him to say 'hello' to the crowd.
Another 'old timer' who can seldom be found away from his Advance is Joe Selly. His wife claimed he was too stiff to get around easily yet time and again Joe could be seen climbing atop the engine to check on something. Even Joe's younger brother Peter stood back in amazement. To the innocent bystander, it seems that the steam engine smoke must take 20 or 30 years off the actual age of the operator because for three days they can do feats that aren't possible the other 362 days of the year.
Stationary steam engines are also a big draw at most shows. Most shows can boast of the monstrous engine over which they had to build the building. Scott-Carver has what they call the 'NSP engine' because it was donated to the club by Northern States Power (thanks to the efforts of Bob Young Dahl). In addition many members have set up the stationary engines they own. All are powered by a huge boiler that needs to be fired constantly. Thanks to Denny Krill at the boiler and Wesley Bosch, Jack Strand and Joe Brinkman moving from engine to engine, that huge building ran smoothly last year.
Two years ago, the Threshers built a new blacksmith shop that sports two dedicated blacksmiths, Martin Luebke (he's the one in the red underwear and the derby) and Bob Werner. Next door is the 1880's log cabin which housed the quilting ladies from East Union who stitched a quilt during the show that was raffled Sunday afternoon. Demonstrating other kinds of handiwork in there also was Carol Underferth (who is creating a beautiful quilt for the Jubilee that will also be stitched during the show and raffled Sunday afternoon).
As spectators left the grounds, they had one last chance to buy a souvenir from Dorothy Luthy or Marion Plekkenpol in the Little General Store. Caps and tee shirts seemed to be the most popular items, although the supply of postcards ran out early.
As the 24th festival came to a close, safety chairman Roland Snell breathed a sigh of relief that another year had safely come and gone. All that was left now was to drain all the gas from every tank and tuck away the 'big boy' toys until August 12, 13, 14, 1988--the Scott-Carver Threshers Silver Jubilee!