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
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,
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
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
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
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
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!