These days if you want to get to a county fair on Metro-North you head up to Dutchess County, are conveniently met by a bus at Poughkeepsie station, and are whisked away to the long-running Dutchess County Fair. Westchester County used to have a fair too, although it wasn’t quite as constant – stopping and starting numerous times over the years, and is now defunct (folks from the ’80s may recall this catchy tune when the fair was revived and held at Yonkers Raceway).

Today’s artifact is from 1889 – a special Harlem Division brochure advertising railroad specials for the fair, including fare and admission. Held in White Plains at that time, eventually the land on which the fair was held was sold and led to several years of dormancy.

Brochure Inside

Brochure Outside

While the horse racing is, of course, to be expected, don’t forget the big event – the BABY SHOW! All the handsome babies of Westchester county are competing, after all!

Dog show and sale at the Westchester County Fair
The fair also featured a dog show and sale…

Horse racing at the fair
The main event – horse racing at the fair.

The midway at the Westchester County Fair
Midway at the Westchester County Fair, circa 1900. Photos from the Library of Congress.

After several years of dormancy, the fair was revived in the ’40s before going defunct again, only to be revived in the ’80s, and again later cancelled.

3 Responses

  1. Mike Herr says:

    The brochure lists “Grand Central Station”. In those days, I suppose it was not a “Terminal”.

    • Emily says:

      Correct. It was originally Grand Central Depot, before being renovated into Grand Central Station, and then in 1913 Grand Central Terminal.

  2. Jim Daly says:

    Hi Emily – Thanks for posting this article with the photos. My great-great-grandfather, James W. Daly actually bred some of the trotters that raced in harness races at the fair. He had stables in Mount Kisco off of Bedford Road. My great-great-grandfather’s company was actually working on the Harlem River to New Rochelle stretch of the NYNHRR line when he died in 1908. Where did you find the photos from the fair? I know that my great-uncle actually offered the stable grounds for the fair one year. I can dig up the article if you would like it.

    Thanks again for your posts.

    Jim Daly

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