Grocery Store

Sartell Grocery Delivery Truck

A 1925 Star truck

Sartell Grocery Store on Riverside Avenue

about 1918


The Town weighing scale, also known as the Potato Scale, was located near the bridge. In the photo the wagons with their horses are probably lined up to use the scale.


Town Scale

By Thomas Sartell

“On the first lot south of the west end of the Mississippi River bridge (1914) was a shed-like building in which were kept such items as shingles, cement, building paper rolls and millwork by the Sartell Brothers.

Directly in front of that building and standing on the edge of the street, was the township scale. Except for an upright enclosure about five feet high three feet wide and a foot or so thick to protect the actual weight display mechanism, it consisted of a street-level platform, below which were the levers, rods, springs and the like which responded to weights driven onto the platform. This paraphernalia was accessible for servicing and cleaning by an opening in the base of the above-mentioned weight display mechanism structure. The platform mechanism was housed within a concrete foundation about four feet in depth.

As an official weigh master, C.F. Sartell could readily leave his tasks in the Sartell Brothers office and store building, step across the street and handle the weighing jobs of farmers, contractors, ice haulers and others. Should it be necessary, he could then issue weight receipts, gross and net.

Some of the first weights measured and recorded using that scale were for crops such as potatoes, hauled in by horse-drawn wagon. Later, trucks and trailers of many sizes and loaded with other farm produce, building materials, soil and gravel, to mention but a few materials, were weighed on the platform. This scale saw service for many years, at least until World War II.

One memory of the scale is that when we chanced to walk across the platform we couldn’t resist making it glide the inch or so of play its mechanism had built into it. This also produced a variety of low-level clanking from the working parts. Added by Rip Jr. : We would love to crawl under the scale and look up through the cracks in the scale to see the trucks and cars drive on it and watch the weighing mechanisms move and clatter. It was also a great place to hide and to read magazines.”

This is a direct quote from the book History of Sartell, Minnesota Lumber, Paper, Valves and Progress A Century of Progress Welcoming a Century of Promise. Page 184