As Taken From THE HERALD JOURNAL, Logan, (Cache County),
Utah, Aug. 15 1956
BACK IN THE DAYS before automobiles and airplanes? Before
political conventions were telecast, highways gobbled up cities,
and the juke box was an acknowledged member of society?
Venerable thresherman L. K. Wood of Mendon provides us a picture
of the county fair as he used to remember it
‘THE OLD TIME COUNTY FAIR’ is described by Mr.
Wood in this reminiscing:
A balloon ascension was considered a marvel and wonder there
were no airplanes, of course.
August brought with it the county fair; there was romance in the
fair. Who could resist its fascination?
By stage, train or family wagon the same old wagon that hauled
the farm products people attended the fair. The wagon bed was
strewn with hay in which the young people could nestle.
There were kitchen chairs in the wagon box, tied with clothes
lines to make them safe against the ‘thank you mama’s’
in the road. A jug of cider was taken along, and a good watermelon
tucked somewhere under the driver’s seat.
The county fair even then was lined with vendors. The man with
gas balloons was out early; the fellow that sold little flags to
adorn the wagon; the salesman with the homemade ice cream to wipe
the limestone or the pike from your lips.
Then the lemonade girls with new sunbonnets and the family pail
that held the cool liquid.
Dad wore a badge that admitted him to the grounds, since he was
a member of the association, but a family ticket had to be
calculated and purchased, according to sizes or ages. Of course,
judges of stock walked by the gatekeeper with healthy step.
Once inside the gates, the family went devious way’s. Mother
and girls had their patchwork quilts and fancy-work still smelling
of the flatiron, to open and spread before the admiring crowds.
Jars of fruit and glasses of jellies, put up by the junior
girls; arrowheads and other handcraft by the boys.
Perhaps you were a deacon in the church, but this day you forgot
to love your neighbor as yourself. Great competition. You knew too
well that your hogs or cattle were as good as your neighbor’s,
and should have won first prize. Or your watermelons and squash
were better than Bill’s, as they grew in better soil.
Brown told you on the QT how he and his daughter scrubbed the
And the Durham bull with the great bow around his neck and the
ribbon he’s won over the Herefords gave such a sense of pride
that you stepped into a side bar to have a beer on it.
THERE WAS THE INEVITABLE progress of the county over last year,
and the improvements of haying and harvesting machinery were a
marvel. Even the sore-shouldered horses were replaced with steam
How you listened and applauded at the local brass band’s
playing Strauss’ ‘Blue Danube’, then
‘Lohengrin’, and then ‘Bringing in the
There were the prizes. If you got a ribbon or a dollar you were
happy though it cost you six. Your name could appear in the local
paper. If the team and wagon could be sent home early with the boys
and women to do the chores, perhaps you could go into the simple
frame shed where the cellist and violins were playing for dancing
the Highland Fling and Virginia Reel.
The long-stretched evening shadows disappeared; the night came
on and gradually grew late.
A ride home with Neighbor Brown in the latest Ludlow and span of
grays ended another day at the County Fair in those days long
The night was serene along the pike and country side. The lines
were left loose over the dashboard, and the horses knew the
Nothing but the croaking of frogs in the marshes broke the
silence as two officials of the fair approached their farms.
Another country fair had come and gone.