How did the Warren County fair come to be?
Prior to the organization of the Warren County Agricultural Society in 1849, several exhibitions of agricultural and mechanical products were held at Lebanon. The first annual fair of the Warren County Agricultural Society was held on the farm of John Osborn, just east of Lebanon, on September 26 and 27, 1850.
In 1852 the society leased 10 acres of land from Robert G. Corwin, Esq. for fair purposes. An admission fee of 15 cents was charged for all persons not members of the society. The first fair on these grounds, which constitute a part of the present fair grounds, was held on September 22 and 23, 1852.
The original Society had 214 members, which was one of the largest in the State at the time. Ezra Carpenter of Clarksville, the first president, disclosed that the first fair met the guidelines that had been set by the officers and members. In 1858, the society reported a membership of 1,300, 22 acres of ground, leased for 7 years, with improvements thereon worth about $2,000. At the fair of 1857, $800 was awarded in premiums, the largest of which was $30 for the best-conducted experiment on 1/8 of an acre of Chinese sugar-cane, with the product in sugar or molasses.
In 1872 the society owned 30 acres and continued to build up the fairgrounds. Fairs have been held every year since the organization of the Warren County Agricultural Society, except for 2 years while the Civil War was in progress. The 2015 Warren County Fair has already begun and will end on July 25. For more information about the fair, visit the Warren County Fairgrounds website.
Warren County Fair research was done by the Records Center & Archives Administrative Coordinator Patricia Grove. Thank you, Pat!
Trivia Question: What group was barred by law from competing for premiums in the 1st Warren County fair? The answer will be revealed next post!
Answer to July 13th question: “Big Captain Johnny”