The Minnesota State Fair starts today and besides sampling as much food as my body can take, I always try to make it to Heritage Square to see the museum, and Machinery Hill to watch, listen, and smell the old tractors.

Heritage Square is a must see as it has railroad cars, signals, old buildings (including the railroad yard tower), and a museum in the depot. Nostalgia abounds as you walk through the railroad cars looking at old pictures, dioramas, and exhibits of fairs past.

Yard Tower, Depot Museum, and Train Car at Heritage Square

Yard Tower, Depot Museum, and Train Car at Heritage Square

At the northern end of the grounds lies Machinery Hill, where the kerosene threshers and tractors of yesteryear fill the air with chugs, chuffs, and exhaust. My favorites are the John Deeres of the 50s and 60s.

1959 John Deere Model 530 - Owner Jim Quirk (Photo from 2010)

1959 John Deere Model 530 - Owner Jim Quirk (Photo from 2010)

For more information on the history of the fair visit the fair History and Archives.

It is also important to note that light rail construction has University Avenue tied up so alternate routes and transportation are suggested.

About Chad Leigh Kluck

Chad Leigh Kluck
Originally from Nebraska, I am a history and railroad enthusiast currently living near Saint Paul, Minnesota. I enjoy trains, photography, and nostalgic memories, as well as the history of transportation, agriculture, eateries, breweries, and railroad towns. More...

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