New barn to debut at Luverne fairRock County Historical Society’s new building to house antique ag display WORTHINGTON — It was nearly a year ago when residents of Luverne learned of the generous gifts of Harvey Allison Ordung.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — It was nearly a year ago when residents of Luverne learned of the generous gifts of Harvey Allison Ordung. The Rock County resident and lifelong farmer gifted more than $4.5 million to a dozen agencies and organizations in Luverne and Rock County. Among the benefactors was the Rock County Historical Society.
On Monday afternoon, Rock County Historical Society board president Betty Mann and former board member Maurice Fitzer admired the new barn commissioned with the nearly $59,000 gift the society received from Ordung’s estate. The barn, completed just a week ago, will house antique harvest equipment and make its debut during the Rock County Fair this Thursday through Saturday in Luverne.
“The money for this building is his (gift),” said Mann. “We felt that he was a farmer and people would be pleased that we have machinery in here. We have a few pieces of machinery that actually belonged to his family.”
Among the items from Ordung’s family are a horse-drawn seeder, a hog crate used to ship purebred stock via rail and a disk.
The new barn, designed and constructed by Darrel Van Aartsen, a local contractor and historical society board member, offers 3,600 square feet of display area. It joins a century-old barn that was moved to the fairgrounds from Fitzer’s farm in December 2002.
“It was getting so full — we were so cramped for space,” said Mann of the historical barn that’s been filled to the brim since 2004. She said more people were interested in donating farm implements and equipment, but they didn’t want the equipment to be exposed to the elements. Now, she hopes people will be willing to donate more items.
Mann said the lack of space made it difficult to conduct tours of the agricultural display — especially during the winter months when pieces couldn’t be pulled out to make room for walking.
“Now, we can actually bring people into the barn for tours,” she said.
With the additional barn, the historical society has been busy moving items around and improving the display for the public.
“(This building) means that we can store many of these old pieces of machinery so they can be on display,” said Mann. “We couldn’t have done this without (Ordung’s) money.”
Fitzer said one of the most unusual pieces in the society’s agricultural display is a wet feeder in which pigs could feed themselves.
“I’m going to be 84 years old and that’s the only one I’ve seen,” Fitzer said.
He invites people to visit the display this week.
“People walk through here and, if only they’d ask questions — I’d love to explain it to them,” he added.
In addition to the new barn, the historical society will also debut its other new addition — a summer kitchen donated by the family of Merlyn Lopau of Luverne — at this week’s fair. The summer kitchen features displays of an antique cook stove, wooden and wringer washers, a quilting frame and various pieces of crockery.
The Rock County Historical Society barns, summer kitchen and replica District 1 Ash Creek country school will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the Rock County Fair.
The fair officially kicks off Thursday, although entry of open class exhibits is from noon to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Also Wednesday is the 4-H rabbit show at 6 p.m., followed by the 4-H poultry show at 7:30 p.m.
The fair schedule is as follows:
8 a.m.: 4-H swine show
10:30 a.m.: 4-H dairy show
1:30 p.m.: 4-H goat show
3 p.m.: 4-H sheep show
5:30 p.m.: Beef feed prepared by the Rock-Nobles Cattlemen’s Association.
7 p.m.: Rock County Talent Contest.
8 a.m.: 4-H beef show
9:30 a.m.: 4-H horse training
10 a.m.: 4-H horse pleasure show
3 p.m.: Senior Citizens Day program
4-7 p.m.: Free nitrate testing.
5 p.m.: 4-H pet show
5:30 p.m.: Pork feed prepared by the Rock County Pork Producers Association.
9 a.m.: 4-H Livestock Auction
11 a.m.: horse games show
5 p.m.: 4-H premier showmanship
6 p.m.: 4-H Parade of Champions
7 p.m.: 4-H Fashion Revue
7 p.m.: Biofuels Enduro race, sponsored by the Rock County Corn and Soybean Association and Agri-Energy LLC.
Commercial exhibit buildings will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The floral hall will open at 10 a.m. daily, and the midway will operate from 6 p.m. to midnight Thursday, and from 1 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.