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Wayne County Fair

Wayne County Fair

WAYNE COUNTY FAIR

Nothing exemplifies the roots of Wayne County as much as the Wayne County Fair. The first fair was held in Bethany in 1822 and a second the following year in Pleasant Mount. Both were sponsored by the Wayne County Agricultural Society. Financial problems ended these efforts as they also did fairs held on the Court House grounds in Honesdale between 1848 and 1856. In 1861 the Wayne County Agricultural Society was reorganized and shares of stock sold. The Society was chartered in 1862 and a board of fifteen directors appointed. Twenty-two acres of land were purchased from E.B. and G.W. Kimble along the Dyberry River one mile north of Honesdale.

The first tasks were the construction of a half mile track for speed trials, fencing, and the beginnings of buildings to house the exhibits.

The grandstand shown in our illustration was built in 1902 and enlarged in 1931. It seats about 2000 patrons. There are sixty concession stands under and behind the grandstand.

The midway, thrill shows, music, and food are of course an integral part of the fair. But it is the harness racing, livestock shows, 4-H Club members showing their dairy and beef stock, sheep and swine, poultry and rabbits, proud owners and prize ribbons that are the heart and soul of the fair. A stroll through barns, Grange exhibits, and Farm Museum bring memories of times past and teaches another generation about our rural beginnings.

Line Drawing by Judith Hunt

From 1993 through 2008 the Honesdale National Bank published an annual wall calendar, each featured 13 historic sites. The sites were chosen and researched by a committee of the historical society and artwork was commissioned to Judy Hunt and William Amptman by the bank.

This page was one month of the calendar and was made possible through the Wayne County Commissioners and a Tourism Promotion Committee’s Tourism Grant.