Herkimer County Agricultural Society

Officers and Judges

Herkimer County Fair


Herkimer County Fairgrounds

I've had this picture of the old Herkimer County Fair Grounds by the Erie Canal. The location used to be where the Herkimer NYS Thruway Interchange is. After the Thruway came through Herkimer, the site was moved to the Frankfort Fairgrounds where it has been ever since. It took a while to figure out where the location was, but after talking to some of the old-timers they remembered where the site used to be on the Thruway entrance/exit.

Betsy Voorhees
Town of Herkimer Editor
July 2001

Source: Constitution, By-Laws, Rules and List of Premiums offered by the Herkimer County Agricultural and Horticultural Society. Annual Fair to be held at Herkimer, N.Y., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, September 19th, 20th and 21st, 1894. Herkimer, N.Y. Citizen Publishing Company. 1894.

County fair season is coming up all over the country! A county's annual fair was the most important social event of the year, and a prize at the fair would positively affect one's income and reputation for quality stock and produce. The listings below come from the 12-page pamphlet issued prior to the opening of the 1894 Herkimer County Agricultural and Horticultural Society Fair (1842-1894). "Premiums" are prizes (cash or items) awarded to the winning competing exhibitors. Cash premiums ranged from $350 (the purse for best 3 in 5, mile heats, a "free-for-all" horse race) to many prizes of 50 and 75 cents, which was not an insignificant sum of money in 1894, especially to the children competing. Although premium booklets don't list exhibitors, the local papers would list the winners, and possibly all contestants for some categories, after the fair's conclusion.

Competitions were specialized, ranging from farm animals, to grain and garden produce, to home-made household objects ("domestic manufactures"), to fine art and fine biscuits, custards, berry pies and pickles. Just a few examples - Norman, Percheron and Clydesdale Horses; Ayrshire, Alderney and Short Horn Cattle; Southdown and Shropshire Sheep; Brahma and Partridge Asiatic Birds; Dorkin, Hamburg, Houdan, and Creve-coeur Chickens; largest number of bushels of various grains raised on one acre of land; best peck of beets for table use; best 3 factory made cheese for export; best sample of maple syrup; best 6 bunches of Delaware grapes; best wheel horse rake; best crocheted shoulder cape, home-made sofa pillow, embroidered fire screen, quilt pieced by girl under 12 years, oil painted easel scarf, specimen ink picture, collection Japan lilies, doughnuts not less than half dozen.

Officers of the Society for 1894

H.H. GreenPaines Hollow

Will E. KayHerkimer

J.H.J. WatkinsEast Schuyler

1st Valentine BrownMohawk
2nd Jackson SmithHerkimer
3rd B.F. PetrieMiddleville
4th D.G. Van SlykeLittle Falls
James FoltsFrankfort

Clarence Wheeler - ColumbiaVarnum Harris - Newport
Sanford Johnson - DanubeFred Smith - Norway
Alphonso Petrie - FairfieldDr. E.E. Kelley - Ohio
Merritt F. Joslin - FrankfortJ.R. Sweezey - Russia
Geo. W. Crook - German FlattsChas. Ives - Salisbury
P.S. Eysaman - HerkimerR.H. Smith - Schuyler
B.A. Rider - LitchfieldJohn Hall - Stark
L.A. La Rue - Little FallsGeo. Casler - Warren
Geo. Markell - ManheimJ.M. Richard - Wilmurt

C.T. Wheelock - Winfield

Varnum HarrisNewport

Horses - Jasper C. MorganMohawk
Cattle - Merritt F. JoslinFrankfort
Sheep and Swine - B.A. RiderLitchfield
Poultry - Geo. M. SheafHerkimer
Agricultural Implements - L.A. La RueLittle Falls
Floral Hall - Mr. and Mrs. Irving P. RasbachHerkimer
Agricultural Hall - Harvey J. SmallHerkimer

H.H. GreenPaine's Hollow
Will E. KayHerkimer
J.H.J. WatkinsEast Schuyler

John B. SmithEatonville
Clarence WheelerCedarville
Willard KeelerLittle Falls
Joel PickertLittle Falls
Geo. MarkellLittle Falls
Benjamin BrownNewport
Jackson SmithHerkimer
Wm. McKerrowMiddleville
John G. LewisEast Schuyler
Elton HopsonSalisbury Center
Alphonzo PetrieMiddleville
Peter H. SteeleMohawk
Beckwith DavisHerkimer
Benj. PetrieMiddleville
James H. SteeleHerkimer
Fred SmithNorway
D.G. Van SlykeLittle Falls
Geo. CrookMohawk
Mahrlon (sic?) GetmanMohawk
James FoltsFrankfort
Chester LoomisIlion
I.W. SwiftPaine's Hollow
Mrs. Willard KeelerLittle Falls
Miss E.M. AyresLittle Falls
Mrs. I.R. DevendorfHerkimer
Mrs. James H. SteeleHerkimer
Mrs. James YulePaine's Hollow
Mrs. I.W. SwiftPaine's Hollow
Mrs. Geo. CrookMohawk
Mrs. R.A. SmithEast Schuyler
Mrs. B.A. RiderCedar Lake
John R. SweezeyPoland

Names are spelled exactly as printed, so "corrections" won't be made to this historical document. We thank you in advance for directing all inquiries about persons listed to the Herkimer County Historical Society or local town/village historians and libraries.

Back to General History Section

Back to Herkimer/Montgomery Counties NYGenWeb

Back to New York State GenWeb

Created 7/10/01
Copyright © 2001 Martha S. Magill
Postcard copyright © 2001 Betsy Voorhees
All Rights Reserved.