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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

Welcome to the 161st Durham Agricultural Society Fall Fair. Since 1858... a long time to serve in this community... we still love it and are still here!

We are excited about this years theme "Fun for the Whole Herd"!

Consider this our invitation to you, to make plans to visit every day of our three day fair! We have many shows, events, displays, games and surprises waiting... We know that it will be lots of fun for your whole family!

None of our plans would be possible without the generous support of our Sponsors, Exhibitors and many many Volunteers. WE THANK YOU!!!

We have worked hard with our amazing Town of Durham and wonderful surrounding community. We have listened to your hopes and dreams for our Fair, and have done our very best to make it a fun for everyone event. Check out the book - it says it all!

If you are an active participant in our Fair - Welcome Back! If you haven't visited us before, we'd love to have you!

Come! Bring YOUR Herd! Visit! Enjoy! Let us show you we care and we'll see you at the Fair!

Debbie Tucker
Durham Agricultural Society


PAST PRESIDENT: Dave Arnett, 369-3894
PRESIDENT: Debbie Tucker, 369-2267
FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT: Andrea Watson, 369-5807
SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT: Donna Clark, 519-369-5848
SECRETARY-TREASURER: Carolin Banjavcic, 378-6562
RECORDING SECRETARY: Donna Murphy, 519-369-1274
HONORARY DIRECTORS: Jeanne Leese, Jack Milligan


Dave Amalt, Sharon Carrnount, Donna Clark, Janice Dick, Sarah Dick (Junior Director), Taylor Draper (Junior Director), Gladys Foslar, Robin Gingerich, Sally Hyett, Corrie Marlin, Faith McCarroll (Junior Director), Natalie Nixon, Cris Pagett, Wayne E. Pfeffer, Ally Spielmacher, Alanna Tucker, Cory Tucker, David Tucker, Debbie Tucker, Andrea Watson, Susan Zammit


Senior Ambassador - Hannah McCarrollAlly Spielmacher

Growing up in the town of Durham has given me the opportunity to experience all of the amazing things that can come from a rural community. 4H has been one of those experiences, and the Durham Fall Fair has given me a place to express and show my passion for 4H for as long as I can remember. Last September the Fall Fair provided me with another incredible experience when I was chosen as the Senior Ambassador.

During this past year as the Durham Fall Fair Senior Ambassador I have learned many new things about myself and about my goals in life. Being the Ambassador has pushed me to go out of my> comfort zone and seize every opportunity. I have had the honour to meet many wonderful new people and fellow ambassadors. To learn what agriculture and local fairs mean to other youth my age is eye opening, as well as a huge learning experience to discover new< ideas that we can bring to our local fair.

As the Ambassador I attended our agricultural society meetings and have the honour of being a committee member. I have been fortunate enough to attend the OMS Convention, our District 10 meetings and have represented the Durham Agricultural Society along with my Junior Ambassador Faith McCarroll at several other events. As I write this, I am looking forward to the Miss Midwest and CNE Ambassador competitions .

I would like to thank the Durham Agricultural Society for all the support this past year during my journey as the Durham Fall Fair Senior Ambassador. As well as my Junior Ambassador, Faith McCarroll, I couldn't have asked for a better partner in crime to share this title with.
I cannot wait to spend many years to come being a part of something that has always been near and dear to mine and my family's hearts.

- Durham Fall Fair Senior Ambassador 2018-2019 Ally Spielmacher


Junior Ambassador - Hannah McCarroll

Faith McCarroll

Time flies by fast when you are having fun and wow, did the time pass quickly when I was spending time with the Durham Agricultural Society, meeting new people and spending time with old friends. As some of you may know my name is Faith McCarroll and I was the 2018-2019 Durham fall fair Junior Ambassador. It has been my pleasure to be your Junior Ambassador and I have enjoyed my roll. My year spent representing the Agricultural Society has given me many opportunities to meet other Ambassadors and meet new people. I was happy to represent Durham at both the Dundalk and Neustadt fairs and I had a fun time chatting with the Canadian National Exhibition Ambassador when my family visited the C.N.E. in Toronto. I found that there is a lot of organizing and work. to run a fair but I was happy to help pass out ribbons to those participating in the various activities of the Durham fair. I spent time talking with people, playing games with children, attending the community church service and serving at the lunch afterwards. It was also my pleasure to work alongside our Senior Ambassador Ally as we sold burgers at the tractor pull. We had fun together when we attended the district 10 meeting and learned how to line dance for the first time. Ally's family kindly made beautiful and wann capes for Ally and I to wear on the Christmas float and I felt like royalty wearing our capes. It was a special moment when a little girl was following us around because she said she wanted to spend time with "princesses." I have to admit it is pretty fun wearing a crown and sash. These are just a few of the many opportunities that I have had because of being the Junior Ambassador. I have felt that my time spent with the Agricultural Society has been fun but also a great learning experience and responsibility. I have gained more confidence in myself and feel like my time as Junior Ambassador has been well worth my time. This has been an experience that I have been challenged, encouraged and welcomed where ever I have gone. I would like to thank Ally for being so great to work with. I felt very at ease working with Ally and I know some people in the community commented that they thought we might be sisters. I would also like to thank the Durham Agricultural Society for this opportunity and for all the work they do to make each fall fair a success. Lastly, I would like to encourage anyone interested in running for Ambassador to go for it. You will enjoy your time and I look forward to seeing you all at this year's fall fair. Thank you to the Durham community for all your support.

- Junior Ambassador Faith McCarroll