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Durham Agricultural Society Durham Fall Fair Durham Fall Fair Durham Fall Fair Durham Fall Fair
Durham Fall Fair Durham Fall Fair Durham Fall Fair


The Durham Agricultural Society has a long and rich history within the town of Durham and surrounding communities. It was established in 1858 under the name South Grey Agricultural Society and by an act of Parliament, the Society's name was officially changed on April 26, 1934 to the current name of Durham Agricultural Society. Agricultural societies are Ontario's oldest organizations and were established before the Government. As settlers moved into the Grey and Bruce Counties, they established their homesteads and planted their crops. A highlight for them was the fall season when the men would gather to exhibit and display their year's produce and thus the Fall Fairs were born.

Over the years, the Durham Fall Fair has been held in several locations throughout this town: at the old Drill Shed in Upper Town, on the face of the hill on Garafraxa Street which is now an entrance to the Saugeen Valley Conservation Park, in a building at the corner of Lambton and Garafraxa Streets and in Moody's barn near the foot of the hill. Near Moody's barn was an open field enclosed by a rail fence which was known as the Fair Grounds. The Fairs were next held on the east side of Bruce Street between Lambton and George Street West and finally in 1879, the Fair moved to the present location on Saddler Street West. The current arena is the third set of buildings to house the Fair. In 1890, the Society purchased the current property from the estate of the late Thomas Brown for a sum of $150.00. During the late 1800's the grounds were improved and more space was provided for the showing of horses. Further purchases of land included the hill and part of the flats. The "hill" provided a natural grandstand for the many visitors, overlooking the race track and flats below. At a later date, a covered and seated grandstand was erected at the foot of the hill opposite the starting point and finishing line of the race track. Later, hen houses and cattle sheds were erected, but stand no longer. In 1890, the addition of a half mile race track was built.

In 1952, the members of the Durham Agricultural Society agreed to turn over their property to the town of Durham for the sum of $1.00 as a site for its new Community Centre. In return, the Agricultural Society was granted the use of the grounds including the new building for eight days each year. Throughout the history of the fair, many events have been featured: the Saugeen Valley Steeplechase, a Fleece Wool Show, a Regional Sheep Show, a Jersey Parish Show, 4-H Calf and Swine Clubs, Pet Shows, Beauty Pageant, Skipping contests, Cream and Butter Commercial Features, Goat Show, Saddle, Heavy and Light Horses, Jr. Calf Club, and 4-H Horse Club, just to name a few, as well as the usual field crop, livestock, and homecraft divisions.

The Society has had many volunteers throughout its history. From 1917 - 1918 the Durham Agricultural Society was honoured to have William Scarf elected as President of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies. In 1954, Anna Koehler served as President of the Homecraft section of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies. Jack Milligan was OAAS District 10 Agricultural director from 1998 - 2000.

In the early years, the local schools closed for the fair and the Furniture Factory also closed for half a day. At the 100th anniversary of the Fair, centennial gates were erected by the Durham Agricultural Society and placed at the entrance to the Community Centre. The gates serve to remind us of the dedication and foresight of former Presidents and Directors. A Provincial grant of $1,000.00 was received for this purpose. The unveiling and dedication service was held in conjunction with the 1958 Fall Fair.

Over the years, the Fair has seen many changes and challenges. In 1995 an "Evening Out" was introduced featuring a delicious roast beef dinner and entertainment by the Paul Brothers and Shirley. This event was established in order to raise funds for the Society and with its success it has become an annual event held in May of each year at the Community Centre. This is a function that many people look forward to. It also serves for the unveiling of the beautiful homemade quilt that to be raffled in the Annual Quilt Draw for the Fall Fair weekend. Each year, as we celebrate another Fall Fair and another anniversary of the Durham Agricultural Society, we look back with pride and gratitude to all those who served the Society diligently. It is from their dedication that our Society today is healthy and active. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Fair!

President's Message

This year marks the 159th Durham Agricultural Society Fall Fair and also Canada’s 150th birthday!!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who have been working countless
hours all year long to make this fair a memorable one. Thank you to everyone who has assisted in
making this fair such a success.

Sponsors and exhibitors are a huge part of the fair and without them none of this would be possible. So, thank you!

We have 4 days packed full of events for you and your family to enjoy. Starting with the teen dance on Thursday night, opening ceremony and ambassador competition Friday night, Saturday is
packed full of fun events for young and old and finishing with the Tractor Pull on Sunday afternoon.
There is something for everyone.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact me. Thank you for your support in advance.

Dave Lawrence


PAST PRESIDENT: Dave Arnett, 369-3894
PRESIDENT: Dave Lawrence, 375-0733
FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT: Deb Tucker, 369-2267
SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT: Andrea Watson, 369-5807
SECRETARY-TREASURER: Carolin Banjavcic, 378-6562


Gladys Foster, Sharon Carmount, Sally Hyett, Elizabeth Milligan, Susan Zammit Melissa Harrison Donna Clark, Debbie Tucker, Jack Milligan, Dave Arnett, Carolin Banjavcic, Dave C. Lawrence, Andrea Watson, Wayne E. Pfeffer, Cris Pagett, Robin Gingerich, Alanna Tucker, Jeanne Leese, Cory Tucker, David Tucker.


Junior Ambassador - Hannah McCarrollJulia Marshall

We have a long and rich history of helping, which can be seen by the events that are hosted by our towns clubs and organizations, especially the agriculture society, which has been supporting our rural community for 159 years. People all over come to the Durham fall fair, either for the first time or as an annual experience, not realizing that it’s not just a fair to us, but a Way of living. As a town as rural as Durham, the fall fair plays a large role in engaging with farm animals and learning more about what we have come from. For our community, the fair is about preserving our traditions, a marking of history, from which our ancestors came from. I have been given the amazing privilege and opportunity to be Durham's 2016-2017 Senior Ambassador. Without the Agricultural Society and generous volunteers, I would not be able to take on the many endeavors as the Senior Ambassador receives. So a huge shoutout and thank-you to the Durham Agricultural Society for putting on the Fall Fair, and for dedicating their time and effort throughout each year into planning this event. It truly is a blessing, the community and I are blessed that so many of you give up your time and invest it into making the Fall Fair an Amazing Family Fun Weekend. So here’s to another amazing time at the Durham Fall Fair! I hope to see you all there!

- Julia Marshall


Junior Ambassador - Hannah McCarroll

Taylor Draper

I would like to thank the Durham Agricultural Society for having this great opportunity to be a junior ambassador. I have been able to travel to the District 10 meetings. I have also been able to make friends with other ambas- sadors from other areas. I have enjoyed going to the agriculture meetings to get updated on things happening in the community and within the fair board. While attend- ing the Durham bridge lighting I enjoyed mingling with the public. I attended Spruce Ridge Community School to hand out Awards, for the school work on display at the fair. Holstein Maple Fest was an exciting time, there was so much fun and involvement being Junior Ambassador. Like the Evening Out, Canada Day 150 parade, which were very fun to be a part of. I will very much miss being Junior ambassador, it was an amazing experience. I wish I could do it all over again. Everyone has really helped me become a better leader in my life. Thank you so much to J. E. Trim for being my sponsor, and having the faith in me and believing in me that I could do anything, without them this couldn't have been possible. Thank you to the Durham Agriculture Society for helping me become a better public speaker. Thank you to the whole Community for your support in this past year, it was a fantastic experience and well worth the butterflies. Hope to see you all attend this year's Fall Fair, Pioneer Days to Modern Ways.

- Taylor Draper