29-50 | Canfield Fair
Side A | Canfield Fair
In 1846, the same year that Mahoning County was created, Ohio's General Assembly passed an act "for the encouragement of agriculture." An outgrowth of this legislation led to the founding of the Mahoning County Agricultural Society in April 1847. Boasting a membership of 170, the Society agreed to sponsor competitions for premiums to be distributed at an "annual fair and cattle show the next fall." Canfield was the geographic center of the county and selected as the site for the first fair. In October, from the lawn of the First Congregational Church, Comptroller of the United State Treasury Elisha Whittlesey welcomed participants. Admission was one shilling (twelve and one half cents). The Village Green overflowed with exhibitions of prized livestock, harvests, plowing contests, and horse racing. Early fairs were one-day events attended primarily by gentlemen. However, the church provided a venue for ladies to display their handiwork. (continued on other side)
Sponsors: Canfield Historical Society, Robert H. and Maxine D. Neff Family, and The Ohio Historical Society
Side B | Canfield Fair
[Custom Artwork] (continued from other side) By the 1850s, the fair was no longer a "men only" event. Picnic baskets were packed and entire families came for the day. Growth continued with involvement of the youth through Junior Fair, 4-H, and other youth activities. Throughout the years the fair reflected the time. Agriculture and 50-yoke oxen trains were featured in the early years. By the 1880s railroad excursions from Youngstown brought fairgoers to Canfield. Emphasis on education was evidenced by construction of the Education Hall to showcase local talent. The debut of the light bulb extended hours in 1924. The Depression Era brought a new grandstand, offices, and roads built by the Works Progress Alliance. The grounds expanded to 350 acres with many well-kept buildings. Years of responsible stewardship promise a future of exciting attractions and a guarantee of "SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT."