The First Griggs County Fair

An attempt for organizing a fair association was made in July of 1897 without much success, but by June of 1899 the Griggs County Fair Association was organized; articles of incorporation and bylaws were adopted.

A twenty-acre tract of land in the southeast part of town was purchased from H. P. Hammer.  By the end of July a grandstand 80' x 18' was built and the racetrack was ready for business.  Early in 1900 horse sheds were built and a water well was dug on the grounds.

July 4, 1900 teams laden with pleasure seekers came into town from every direction and the town was soon filled with 3,000 to 4,000 people.  The celebration of the National Holiday began with a bicycle parade at 9 a.m.  Following the parade, the crowd went to the fairgrounds to witness the five-mile bicycle race in which a dozen different riders started.  Holton of Larimore came in first, with Theo. Marquardt a close second.  A baseball game between Hope and Cooperstown was called, a close game with Hope winning.

In the afternoon horse and pony races were held.  Cattle exhibits included shorthorns by A. A. Booth of Rogers and Messrs. E. C. Butler and Benjamin Upton.  Other exhibitors receiving premiums included: George  Newberry who showed guinea fowl and buff Cochins, Gus Evers with Brahmas, J. G. Mills with Poland China pigs, Will Sansburn with a Clydesdale stallion, Neal Stewart with a Percheron stallion, and J. N. Brown with grade Shorthorns.

This celebration was probably Griggs County's first fair and would have been a grand success had not the rain put a stop to it, the indications pointing to a very large crowd on the second day.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 229

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