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Take Me to the Fair: An Addison County Tradition

Girl Lamb

"I brought Romney Sheep. I lease them from my aunt. She has thirty-five sheep. She shows them a lot. I’ve been doing this three years. You have to shear the bellies on them for the show. They’re looking for the best wool. We can’t wash Romney sheep with a hose, because that can ruin their wool. It takes the oil out. I go to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Fest and the Rutland Fair. I do Girl Scouts too. I’m in the Wonderful Woolies 4H group." - Avery, age ten

Anne and Hellen Curran

"I brought in about twenty garden vegetables, I’m trying to win the youth gardener award, ‘cause this is the last year I can win it. I’ve been coming to this fair for eleven years. I’ve entered in the fair gardening about five years, and I’ve been family gardening my whole life. I didn’t bring any tomatoes because they weren’t ripe. I brought zucchini, potatoes, leeks, cauliflower, cabbage, an acorn squash, and then I painted an acorn squash like a ripe tomato so I could enter one ripe tomato." - Anne

 

The Addison County Fair in Vermont has been celebrating the state's agricultural heritage since it began in 1884. Whether exhibiting livestock, entering home goods contests, or simply enjoying the many sights, tastes, and sounds, families have been gathering here for generations. In August 2011, photographer Markham Starr captured hundreds of scenes and portraits of the fair and its participants. More than sixty of these images and accompanying oral histories are featured in an exhibition, Take Me to the Fair: An Addison County Tradition, at the Henry Sheldon Museum from May to November 2012. Starr's photographs are displayed amongst colorful displays of fair posters, ribbons, historic photographs, and other fair ephemera from the Sheldon’s collection, representing both the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.                      

More photographs from the exhibition.

Exhibition Details:
May 11 - November 10, 2012
The Henry Sheldon Museum
1 Park Street
Middlebury, Vermont
802-388-8117

Partners:
The Henry Sheldon Museum

Markham Starr

Take Me to the Fair: An Addison County Tradition