200 Years of the Topsfield Fair

A day at the fair: Could there be a more classic slice of Americana? And when it comes to fairs, you won’t find one that offers more history, tradition, or educationthan the iconic Topsfield Fair in the North Shore region of Massachusetts.

The Seeds of this seminal event trace back to 1818 in Essex County, which had survived two drought-related famines in a five-year period. In a classic example of “community,” a group of 20 farmers gathered to trade ideas and information– and in the process formed the Essex Agricultural Society. As its founders wrote, the society’s goal was “to promote and improve the agricultural interests of farmers and others in Essex County.” Starting with it’s early cattle shows, the Society has done just that.

Now, as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of it’s founding, the Topsfield Fair stands as a reminder of the importance of–and hard work behind–agriculture and farming. At today’s fair, you’ll see everything from oxen and horse pull contests and a vibrant flower show to a giant pumpkin contest and the biggest beekeeping exhibit in America. Yet you’ll also see the types of attractions that draw us in; midway rides, games, concessions, entertainment, and more.

In this richly illustrated, well-researched book you’ll get a closer view of the Topsfield Fair–and its fascinating history– than ever before. It’s the next-best thing to being there.

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