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As the leaves change color and the weather shifts, autumn comes to New England.
So, too, comes the tradition of the Topsfield Fair – which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. An annual event for many growing up in Essex County, Massachusetts, and beyond, the Topsfield Fair began in 1818 with the founding of the Essex Agricultural Society. In 1820, the fair had its first cattle showing in Topsfield, chosen for its central location in Essex County. The annual fair was itinerant until the Essex Agricultural Society moved it permanently to Topsfield in 1910. In 1920, the Topsfield Fairgrounds were wired for electricity and expanded with permanent buildings and exhibition halls.
Over the years the fair has grown and evolved, but its agricultural roots remain well intact. In honor of the Topsfield Fair’s bicentennial, here are some images from the Yankee Publishing Collection, which continues to be processed and significantly digitized in Historic New England’s Library and Archives.
Topsfield Fair History website. Accessed September, 24, 2018.