History


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We hope you enjoy the following photos from the 2005 Barlow Fair and memories of our Fair’s history…
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The Barlow Fair is the only independent fair of its size in the state.  It still abides by the principles of an Act for encouraging Agriculture that was passed on February 27, 1846.  The purpose of the fair was to encourage agricultural and mechanical arts, and to disseminate useful information thereof to area farmers.
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Fifteen interested people gathered at the Town Hall in August 1872 to organize an Agricultural Society, and a grove West of Barlow was fitted for the first exhibition that September.  The horses were tied to dogwood trees.
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The grains, vegetables and household items were displayed on a dance platform in a rented tent.  Admission was 10 cents for adults and free for children.
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By the second fair in September 1873, a domestic hall had been erected with poles tied between trees for cattle and horses.  The rough pens were made of white oak rails.
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A track for showing and racing horses was built in 1889.  Automobiles made their appearance at the 1914 fair and owners paid a 25 cent entrance fee.
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Early exhibits at the fair included horse-drawn plows, side-hill plows, wheat drills, corn planters, post-hole diggers, fanning mills, stump extractors, wheelbarrows, pony carts and many styles of horse- drawn vehicles.
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Woodworking displays included furniture, newel posts, butter firkins, barrels, tubs, brooms, wooden buckets, and fly brushes.  Harnesses, shoes, saddles, and rugs were also displayed.
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An old Octagonal two story bandstand near the hilltop is now used as a food stand on the bottom floor.  The top floor is filled with historical displays provided by the Western Washington County Area Historical Society.
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The large T-shaped building built in 1892 is still used and in good repair due the wonderful efforts of a restoration group.
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When the Fair Board was able to purchase 30 acres in the late 50’s, they expanded the facilities.  A variety of permanent buildings were erected over the years, including the home of Scout Troop 217 on the West grounds.  The Sheep Building was converted into an excellent picnic shelter.
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In 1967, a dining hall and the Lion’s Club stand were constructed.   In 1974 the Lad and Lassie building was built, and in 1977 a cattle barn was constructed.  A horse barn was added, and in 1978 the Coon Hunters Club added a building.
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Tractor and horse pull areas have been in use for several years.
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A gazebo was finished just in time for the Barlow Bicentennial in 2000.
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According to the old saying… “It never rains on the Barlow Fair.”

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Even if it does, that won’t stop the fairgoers!  They dig out their boots and ponchos!  People in farm country don’t let a little rain stop the fun!

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Come on out for the next Barlow Fair!
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