Cover from the 126th Guilford Fair Premium Book
Founded by four Guilford farmers whose "cupboards"
were "full of the fat of the land," the Guilford Fair had its
origin on the eve of the Civil War in 1859. In that first Guilford
Fair, Marshal William Fowler of Moose Hill, to the accompaniment of
fife and drum music, led the procession of 40 young men riding on
horseback and carts and wagons decorated with agricultural
products. The early agricultural fairs on the Guilford green also
became famous for their cattle shows, when the village was crowded
with strings of parading cattle. The competition among farmers was
to send the largest possible "delegation" of animals. By 1903
indoor exhibitions featured Guilford merchants displaying meat,
potted plants, millinery, and photographs; there were also displays
of Indian arrowhead collections and quilts and needlework. The
advent of the trolley car in 1910 contributed to an unprecedented
Fair crowd of nearly 10,000 people. Guilford Fair outgrew the
confines of 8-acre Guilford Green -- its home since 1859 -- and
relocated to the 30-acre Hunter Farm off Lover's Lane in 1969. The
Guilford Agricultural Society, sponsor of the Guilford Fair, had a
mortgage-burning on the property in 1984. A few traditional
buildings have been erected, the parking lot has been improved. In
its survival and continuity, there is beauty in the Guilford Fair
as an occasion for homecoming and reunion.
Project documentation is a photocopied introduction
from a spiral-bound book, "The 126th Guilford Fair Premium Book"
Originally submitted by: Rosa L. DeLauro, Representative (3rd District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.