Remembering Machinery Hill

We understand that time marches on and today’s entertainment venues need rides and musical stages to get people through the door, but we’re wistful about the official demise of Machinery Hill at the Minnesota State Fair nonetheless.

Multiple news outlets report today that the State Fair authorities are planning on a big makeover of what was once known as Machinery Hill.

It hasn’t been the location for farm equipment in years.

“Less than 2 percent of people actually live on farms. It’s decades now, 30 years, since we’ve seen much farm machinery up there,” Fair general manager Jerry Hammer tells the Pioneer Press.

And we know this to be true, of course, and that wiping Machinery Hill off the landscape makes good sense. But we still feel the need to take off our John Deere caps and mourn its passing.

Machinery Hill in 1913. Photo: Minnesota Historical Society Photo: Andrew Stevens, University of Chicago. Photo: Minnesota Historical Society Photo: Photographer: H. M. Schawang Photo Company. Minnesota Historical Society. The Montgomery Ward’s tent on Machinery Hill around 1940. Photographer: Paul Wright Studios of Photography. Minnesota Historical Society.