History

History of the Deerfield Fair! 

In the centennial year, 1876, the first Deerfield Fair was held in the center of town, in and around the Town Hall. It was a one – day event and the early records show the striking similarity of the structure of the association, the variety of the events and the
format of the ente rtainment.

As noted in Reverend Elliot C. Cogswell’s “History of Nottingham, Deerfield and Northwood”published in 1878 the second Deerfield Fair was held on September 26, 1877 and was attended by townspeople as well as surrounding areas. There were 136 yoke of oxen, matched horses and district teams. There were cows, sheep, swine, poultry, butter, cheese, fruit, corn, wheat, barley, beans, oats, vegetables, flowers, worsted work and embroidery.

In 1899 and 1900, Benjamin Sanborn of the Sanborn Company Creamery spon sored a fair at their farm on Leavitt’s Hill in celebration of their successful general store and creamery business.

1903, 1904, 1911, and 1914, the Progressive Grange and Deerfield Grange sponsored fairs held in and around the town center with exhibits, speakers, a grand parade, etc.

In 1923, the two Granges once again planned a fair as a simple money raiser.

On May 5, 1924, a group of Grangers met to consider the formation of an association and consequently the Deerfield Fair Association was formed. In 1930, the Fair became a two – day event. In 1938, through the popularity, profitability and success of previous fairs, the area in the center of town had become crowded and in 1945, a third day was added to include Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

The Fair Association bought the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) land from the town for $1.00, where the Fair is now. With more convenient buildings the association added departments, attractions, as well as exhibits. The Historical Building is the origin al CCC Me ss Hall. Other CCC buildings have been replaced periodically during the 1980’s.

In 1950, Sunday was added to make it the four – day event it is today.

Today, the Deerfield Fair consists of over 100 acres with attendance in excess of 100,000 visitors over the four – day event.

Many of the people in attendance these days have stories to tell about their decades of memories at the Deerfield Fair.

The dedication and hard work of the many people who support the Deerfield Fair in one way or another are credited with the continuation of a tradition which we hope will bring happy memories to many more people for years to come.

Excerpts from “Deerfield Fair, A History 1876 – 2001” by Joanne F. Watson