Tag Archives: county fair

The Miami Valley Park and Fair – Beginnings

Finding the start of the Miami Valley Park and Fair was much easier than it has been to find the middle and end. So what I am bringing to you today is the evidence of when it began.

There are books out there that discuss its existence in much more detail but unfortunately we do not have access to them at this time. What I was able to find in our records and which prompted this research is Exhibit A from The State of Ohio vs. James C. Governy, where James was charged with selling liquor within 2 miles of an agricultural fair.

I was also able to find a Western Star Article dated December 11, 1890, discussing  The Miami Valley Park and Fair’s picturesque setting and receipts totaling $8,000 for the first year. In addition to these resources, we were also able to find a write up in the Warren County Atlas, 1891, a map showing where the Fair Grounds were located in 1891, and a map labeling this property as Franklin Fair Co. in The Centennial Atlas, 1903. Stay tuned as we uncover more rich history from Franklin, Ohio’s history!

 

 

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Let’s Go To The Fair!

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.

A Proposed Layout of the Warren County Fairgrounds, circa 1908.

A Proposed Layout of the Warren County Fairgrounds, March 26, 1904.

In February 1941, the Warren County Commissioners planned for a new grand stand at the Fairgrounds.

In February 1941, the Warren County Commissioners planned for a new grand stand at the Fairgrounds.

An article about the fair from The Western Star Newspaper, September 27, 1900.

An article about the fair from The Western Star Newspaper, September 27, 1900.

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”