skip navigation and jump to page content The Library of CongressThe American Folklife Center 
Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Brooklyn Fair Grandstand, 1999
Newly remodeled Windham County Agricultural Society Grandstand

Windham County Agricultural Society - Sponsoring Brooklyn Fair

The Brooklyn Fair, held annually the last weekend in August, is sponsored by the Windham County Agricultural Society to promote and preserve the county's agricultural heritage. First held in 1809, the fair is the oldest agricultural fair in the country.

The Windham County Agricultural Society was founded in the town of Pomfret in 1809 as the Pomfret United Agricultural Society for the purpose of encouraging "agriculture and domestic manufactures." The society sponsored annual fairs, alternating among the towns of Pomfret, Woodstock and Brooklyn. When the society incorporated in 1820 as the Windham County Agricultural Society, all subsequent fairs were held in Brooklyn.

Early fairs, called cattle shows, were held in and around the old courthouse. These fairs included exhibits of needlework and household articles to stimulate what was then called the "female industry." During the mid-1850s, the society purchased fifteen acres to hold fairs on. By the late 1880s, horses shows and races, and more domestic manufactures, such as canned fruit and jellies, had been added to the fair.

The Brooklyn Fair attracted more than 100,000 people in 1999. It is the only Connecticut fair that features harness racing. Other fair activities include a chain saw competition, a best dog show, a cattle show, a draft horse show, a donkey and mule show, a sulky horse race, a pedal tractor pulling for children, pony pulling, and live entertainment on several stages.

Project is documented with text, copies of historic documents, nine photos, a newspaper article, fair programs from 1996 to 1999, and photocopies of program covers from previous years.

Originally submitted by: Sam Gejdenson, Representative (2nd District).

link to www.loc.govMore Local Legacies...

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.

disclaimer for external linksLearn More About It...
  The Library of Congress 
The American Folklife Center
Contact Us
AFC Icon