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Over the years the building known now as the Rabbit Building has served many uses from Poultry to Livestock and others. It is one of the older buildings on the grounds. In the book “Topsfield Fair America’s Oldest” there are pictures of this building from different angles. The best one of its past shows it use as a poultry building in 1929. In itself is a plain well build barn with clean lines inside and out. This allows easy use and additions as needed. In the early 70’s it housed rabbits and other livestock at the same time. A decision was made by the fair to turn the barn into a rabbit only building. At this time the Rabbit Department was being operated by the Essex County Rabbit and Cavy Breeders. This club started sometime in the 30’s and was chartered by the American Rabbit Breeders Assoc. in 1944. After nearly 75 years they are still partnered with Topsfield Fair in providing the complete fair experience for visitors. After being offered the whole building the amount of caging needed to be increased to a workable layout to fill the area. There were many leftover cages that could be used so more tables were built and cages added. Now there were plenty of rabbits for all to see. A few years later the rabbit building was in for many changes for the good. First was the decision to pave the floor with asphalt to make it level and easy to clean as the floor was made of stone dust before. The next big change was to cover the walls inside to help cut down on the wind passing through building. The club did this with help of the members that had a building background. The Fairground crew then covered the outside which improved the look inside and out. As time went on other improvements or additions were done. An office and storage building was added just inside right by front door. Later on we built a stage next office which we use for spinning demonstrations. Then a Bunny Nursery was added in the back of the barn. This display of newborn babies delight, to this day, hundreds of visitors each year at the fair. At the front of the building inside then was built a Cavy Room for the display of cavies ( guinea pig ). They needed a warmer area than rabbits during the fair. A time later this was improved by turning the Cavy Room into the Club Booth and a new better Cavy Room next to it with more lighting, cages and glass front area. In time the rabbit cages and tables were replaced with a much better design. While visitors are walking through the building they will find many displays of Information on rabbits and cavies. There are pictures of building improvements done in the past along with old time members at the fair. There are instructional signs on the top of rabbit cages denoting breeds and the info about them. As time went on the Fairgrounds replaced the barn’s main lighting inside with a better more efficient system. The outside was improved and repainted. In 2017 an outside stone patio area was built with much needed seating. At night this area lights up and welcomes fair goers to the barn entrance. Through the efforts of the Topsfield Fair Origination and workers with the support of the club this building now looks and feels more enjoyable and inviting than ever. This fits the needs of young and old fair visitors for that great Topsfield Fair experience.

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