Last week’s Mystery Shot: Steele County Fairgrounds

Last week’s Mystery Shot really was a mystery for many of our readers. Oh, they knew they had seen the building before, knew that it was on the Steele County Fairgrounds and could even identify where it was on the fairgrounds and, in several cases, what side of the building it was. What they couldn’t tell me was the name of the building.

Ed Drake and Kim Miller said they “couldn’t find the name of it, but it’s on the north side of the building between the Muckle Museum and the Izaak Walton building.”

They weren’t alone.

Rich Dresser said that he figured I would have a photo from somewhere at the fairgrounds. “And you did not disappoint,” he told me. (Glad to oblige.) He was also certain what building it was and its location. “But I had no idea what its official name was.” So he made a site visit to the fairgrounds and found out.

For those of you who don’t know, the Mystery Shot for Saturday, August 10, 2019, was the Mother’s Rest Building on the west side of the fairgrounds, pretty much exactly where Ed and Kim said it was.

Readers correctly identifying the Mystery Shot were Ed Drake and Kim Miller; Rich Dresser; Mat Joachim; Aiden Kingma; Bonnie Krueger; Wayne and Betty Kubicek; Linda and Derald Shaw; and Diane Vosejpka.

The photo, by the way, was provided to us by Jim Joachim, whose name you see is conspicuously absent this week from the readers identifying the Mystery Shot. However, his son’s name, Mat Joachim, is clearly there. For those conspiracy hounds among us, let me share Mat’s answer that came to me early last Saturday.

“Considering the submitter for this week’s shot, to dissuade any allegations of collusion, I guess I’d better get my answer in before I speak with him,” he wrote. “While I can’t think of the exact name of the building, this week’s shot is of the roof peak on the north side of the building between the sheriff’s office and the conservation building.”

And he provided a map of the fairgrounds with the correct building circled.

As for the exact name of the building, a pamphlet provided to me by the fair tells me the following: “In 1921, the Owatonna Council of United Commercial Travelers erected on the grounds a $5,000 building known as ‘Mother’s Rest,’ which proved to be a most attractive feature. Babies were checked in free of charge, in care of competent nurses, for one hour at a time. The building is well ventilated and equipped with rolling rubber-tired cribs for the youngsters, as well as couches and easy chairs for the mothers, with washing and dressing rooms, toilets and a large check room … Currently, Mother’s Rest is used as a meeting space throughout Fair Week by the SCFF Board of Directors and their guests.”

So there you have it.

Thanks to all who participated, and I hope you’ve been enjoying the fair. You still have this weekend to enjoy it some more.

Submit your answers

Show off your local savoir-faire by identifying this week’s Mystery Shot. Readers who correctly identify this mystery photo from Steele County and who submit their answers this week no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday will have their names published in the Lifestyle section of next Weekend’s edition.

There are two ways to submit your answer for the Mystery Shot.

Go to your email account and send you answer directly to Jeffrey Jackson, the managing editor of the Owatonna People’s Press. His email address is Please be sure to include the words “Mystery Shot” in the subject line.

You may send or bring your answer to the People’s Press offices at 135 W. Pearl St., Owatonna, MN 55060.

The answer to this week’s Mystery Shot will be published in the next Weekend Edition.

Your own image

If you have a favorite spot in Steele County and would like to submit your Mystery Shot, we welcome you to submit your photos as well. Send your name and phone number along with the image and the location name to or send your photo to the People’s Press offices at 135 W. Pearl St., Owatonna, MN 55060.

Jeffrey Jackson is the managing editor of the Owatonna People's Press. He can be reached at 507-444-2371 or via email at

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