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Farmington: Franklin County's Shiretown

Franklin County Agricultural Fair

There were many categories for judging at the fair. The men showed the animals, while the women showed off their handiwork. The Court House was used for the ladies reception and exhibition of foods, such as butter, cheese, maple sugar and fruits. Samples of other items include: worsted hose (stockings), hats, caps, boots and shoes.

Crops exhibited and judged, included: wheat, barley, corn and flax, along with hives of bees, pumpkins, apples and clover seed. A sample of stock categories include: working oxen, horses, sheep, swine, steers and calves. Premiums included a high of $4 for “best stud horses,” and $5 for “best bull, not less than 2 years old.”

By 1901, at the 62nd Annual Exhibition of the Franklin County Agricultural Society, held on the Franklin Park, it was stated, “We have the finest Cattle Shed in the State, 1128 feet long, containing 141 Stalls, 10 by 8 feet, and the best-arranged mangers possible, and in fact, everything for the comfort of stock. Hay and straw free.” $5.00 paid to 1st place for best heard, 1 male and 4 females. A sample of other categories: stallions, matched and gentlemen’s driving horses, poultry-best pen Americans: Plymouth Rocks and Wyandottes, swine-registered boar, registered sheep-Merino ram, speed-trotters, pacers. Dairy, sugar and bread products, apples, pears, farming tools, carriages and harnesses. Also, quilts and spreads, carpets, rugs and plants, fancy work, taxidermy.

The fair has been held every year since 1840 at the fair grounds on High St. It is still an agricultural fair with livestock, horse pulling, tractor pulling, an exhibition hall for crafts and food goods. There is a grand stand to watch the horse racing of trotters and pacers. Amusement rides have been added and thousands of people from Franklin County attend each year.