Fairgrounds - Port Royal

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This is an artists rendition of the first fairgrounds in an area commonly known as Moyer's Farm. The Tuscarora Creek can be seen behind the racetrack.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 1877

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JUNIATA COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY

The Juniata County Agricultural Society was organized in 1852. The second annual fair was held at Perrysville on the 12th, 13th, and 14th days of October, 1853. The attendance was large and premiums to the amount of $300 were awarded. The society, which numbered about two hundred members, purchased approximately eight acres of land along the Tuscarora Creek, on what is now (1950) the Moyer farm. On this they erected the necessary buildings for exhibition purposes, as well as, a half mile race track. The officers for that year were: Everard Oles, president; John Woodside, James Anderson, Dr. Joseph Kelly, John Watson, John P. Shitz, William Banks, Col. C. A. Thompson, and Hon. John Dunn, vice-presidents; J A. Christy, secretary-treasurer; Lewis Burchfield, corresponding secretary; John Kepner, Daniel Seiber, and Gen. William Bell, managers. In 1854, 100 shares of stock were offered for sale.

Annual fairs were held on this tract until 1887 when the old grounds were sold and the present fair grounds at the northwestern end of the borough were purchased from Smith Kepner. The following men met and planned the forward step in the affairs of the association: Noah Hertzler, Benjamin Jacobs, James Groninger.

The old fair grounds were sold to Dr. A. W. Shelley for $800, Floral Hall to W. T. McCulloch for $150, Agricultural Hall for $50, and the Band Stand for $7.50 to Dr. Shelley.

June 25, 1887 plans for a new Floral Hall, on the new grounds, were drawn up, the only specification recorded in the minutes was that it must have thirty-three windows.

July 16, 1887 the officers of the association met under an oak tree in the west end of the fair grounds when contracts for buildings were awarded as follows: Floral Hall, Joseph Brindle $800; fence, William McCachren $617.50; track, Dr. Graham $704; the grandstand to be built by W. T. McCullough and operated by him for six years, and then turned over to the association.

The association was incorporated Dec. 10,1859. At the time of incorporation the officers were: president, Hugh Hamilton; vice-president, George McCulloch; Abram Harshbarger, Jerome N. Thompson; secretary, John R. Linn; executive committee, James Gilliford, George W. Jacobs, James North; treasurer, Lewis Burchfield; librarian. William Hench; corresponding secretary, Noah Hertzler; committee on laws, Joseph Rothrock. E. S. Doty, G. W. Strouse.

The first fair on the new grounds was held October 4, 5, 6, 7, 1887. It was in August of this year that wines were put on the premium list (there is no record as to when they were removed from the list) and the first merry-go-round made its appearance at this fair, the owner paid twenty-five dollars for the privilege of selling rides.

In 1888 it was discovered that the deed was clouded and one hundred dollars was paid to Joseph M. Kepner to get a clear title.

In 1889 Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show: was at the Fair and a riot between the actors and the town boys took place.

Fairs have been held on these two grounds for well over a century and the Juniata County Fair is famous throughout the Commonwealth.

(From a HISTORY OF PORT ROYAL & VICINITY by Class of 1950, Tuscarora Valley High School)

FAIR STOCK SALE: "The top price for two shares of Juniata County Fair stock was reached at Mrs. Jacob Groninger's sale last Saturday. The “Dutch Auctioneer” seemed in his glory when $46 was bid, at which price the hammer fell. This is the record price to date. Snyder is bound to make good his prediction, made a few years ago, that two shares of this stock will sell for $50." (From Sept 12, 1907 issue of the Port Royal Times)

If you copy the address below and paste it into your browser you can see an early auto race at the fairgrounds racetrack. The race was recorded by John Leidy Sr and it was won by Dick Tobias in No 17.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulba4NVLHok

Photos & Additional Comments

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Contributed by rkohler3 on 6/1/12 - Image Year: 1865
This is believed to be a photo taken at the first fairgrounds in (Perrysville) Port Royal. If so, it was taken between 1853 and 1887 and is very rare. The persons in the photo are unidentified. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 1905
The Fairgrounds as it appeared about 1905. The small building in the foreground was an eating stand operated by the Mexico United Presbyterian Church. The grandstand and floral hall are the main structures. The racing kiosk appears in the right of the picture.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 1908
A colorized photo of Fairgrounds from about 1908.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 1910
A view of the front stretch of the race track. A band shell has been added at the racing kiosk. Merril Fry in a note to the Juniata County Historical Society says that he remembers many of the bands playing Sousa's Marches and especially the Pennsylvania Railroad Band from Tyrone, PA
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/6/10 - Image Year: 1910
BALOON ACROBATS AT THE FAIR Baloon by Marsh Brothers of New England Baloon Company at 51st Annual Fair, September 1910. Balloon ascensions by the Marsh Brothers were a big drawing card. George Runkle (later editor of The Port Royal Times) boarded the Brothers for the week of the Fair. After the ascension, Charlie Andrews, the drayman, followed the Brothers in their balloon by wagon to pick them up-and transporting them back to the Fair in time for their next launch.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 1913
This is a view looking down the front stretch of the race track. The band shell can be seen facing the grandstand. The elementary school, Lutheran Church and parsonage are visible to the left of the picture. The northern end of the grandstand is on the right. It appears that some event is occurring in front of the grandstand.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 1915
Folks are dressed in their finest as they attend the Fair. The south end of the grandstand is visible in the picture. The floral hall is toward the left.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/27/10 - Image Year: 1915
The view is of the south end of the race track. The grandstand and band shell are visible to the right.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/1/13 - Image Year: 1920
The view is of the south end of the race track. The Floral Hall and Grandstand are visible in the center right of the photo. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 1917
This photo is of poor quality, still the crowd can be seen watching the horse races.
Contributed by ray on 11/7/11 - Image Year: 1920
Horse Racing on the track at the fairgrounds.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 10/7/11 - Image Year: 1930
HORSE RACING DURING THE FAIR:
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/14/11 - Image Year: 1990
Horse Racing on the track at Port Royal.
Contributed by ray on 8/31/11 - Image Year: 2011
HORSE STABLES: These deteriorated buildings were used as stables for the horses that raced on the track. During Fair Week the stables were full. At other times during the year trainers would use the stables so that they could use the track to train their trotters. (Photo submitted by Jonathan M. Wert, Jr.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 1/25/12 - Image Year: 2012
HORSE STABLES: These buildings are being demolished. Obviously the stables are no longer usable. (Photo submitted by Jonathan M. Wert, Jr.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/15/13 - Image Year: 2012
HORSE STABLES: These buildings are being demolished. Obviously the stables are no longer usable. (Photo submitted by Jonathan M. Wert, Jr.)
Contributed by ray on 5/16/14 - Image Year: 2013
FOURTH (FAIRVIEW) STREET: an aerial view of the southern third of Fairview intersecting with Milford Street to the south as represented by Google Maps.
Contributed by ray on 10/20/12 - Image Year: 1898
FARM IMPLEMENT PARADE: Next Saturday will be a gala day in this place, on the occasion of the delivery of several carloads of Deering farm machinery. The cornet band will turn out in their brand new uniforms, and addresses will be made by Rev. John W. Speedy, of this place, Hon. L. E. Atkinson, Mifflintown and R. S. Seeds, of Birmingham, in the fairgrounds immediately after the parade. A royal good time is expected. Come one, come all. (Port Royal Times - April 15, 1898)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 10/25/10 - Image Year: 1918
A band on the racetrack of the fairgrounds, May 5, 1918. (Photo submitted by Jill and Ralph Perez.)
Contributed by ray on 10/25/10 - Image Year: 1918
A band on the racetrack of the fairgrounds, May 5, 1918. (Photo submitted by Jill and Ralph Leonard-Perez.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/22/11 - Image Year: 1930
A band on the racetrack of the fairgrounds. (Photo from by Steve Freeman Collection.)
Contributed by ray on 2/28/13 - Image Year: 1930
EARLY AUTO RACING ON THE TRACK: Because of the size of the crowd, it appears that the race was being held during the week of the fair. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/14/13 - Image Year: 1945
Folks are watching some type of activity in front of the grandstand. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 2/28/13 - Image Year: 1949
AUTO DAREDEVILS AT THE FAIR. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 10/25/10 - Image Year: 1918
FRENCHMAN LANDS IN FAIRGROUNDS: A Frenchman by the name of Lieut. George Fleshaire, flying from New York to Pittsburgh was forced to land at Port Royal Fairgrounds, about 3 o'clock on account of rain and fog in the air. He made a short speech on the war in France at a War Entertainment held at the Academy Sat. Evening. Was to leave Sunday morning at 9 o'clock, but on account of thunder Lieut. did not leave until about 2 o'clock. (Photo submitted by Jill and Ralph Perez.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 1/19/11 - Image Year: 1918
FROM DIARY OF GEORGE MCCLURE: This is an entry from the diary of George McClure dated May 4, 1918 and mentions the landing of the airplane at the Fairgrounds. (Submitted by Dorice McClure Pontius)
Contributed by ray on 10/25/10 - Image Year: 1918
An airplane visits the fairgrounds, May 5, 1918. (Photo submitted by Jill and Ralph Perez.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 10/25/10 - Image Year: 1918
A airplane visits the fairgrounds, May 5, 1918. (Photo submitted by Jill and Ralph Perez.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/25/10 - Image Year: 1960
CLYDESDALES VISIT THE FAIR: The Budweiser Clydesdales were first introduced to the public on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. August A. Busch, Jr. presented the hitch as a gift to his father, August Anheuser Busch, Sr., who was guided outside the brewery by the ruse of being told his son had purchased him a new car, but instead was greeted by the horses, pulling a red, white and gold beer wagon. Since then the horses have become one of the symbols for Budweiser.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/25/10 - Image Year: 1960
TUSCARORA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND on the race track on Band Day at the Juniata County Fair (abt 1960) (Photo submitted by Bud and Eddie Bryner)
Contributed by ray on 2/27/13 - Image Year: 2012
ORANGE BARREL: This truck would come to the Fair each year and dispence an orange drink. It was built by Sam Fetterhoff in the 1920s. Later it was owned and operated by George Collier in the 1950s. Albert Swank owned and operated it during the 60s and 70s. In the 80s, MacBarneys owner Barney Gray purchased it from Swank. Although it has limited use these days, during the middle of the 20th century it would travel to fairs in Port Royal, McClure, Bloomsburg, and York. Thierwechter Photo
Contributed by ray on 2/27/13 - Image Year: 2012
ORANGE BARREL: The back of the Orange Barrel truck. At the Juniata County Fair, the truck would be accompanied by a french fry stand. The truck and fry stand were positioned between the Floral Hall and entrance to the Grand Stand. (Orange Barrel photos from "Common Ground" by Nathaniel Thierwechter)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 6/4/11 - Image Year: 1980
THE ORIGINAL GRANDSTAND before it was dismantled. From the appearance of the track, it seems ready for racing.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/23/09 - Image Year: 1995
The main entrance to the Grandstand. Not sure when the picture was taken, however the weather must have been cold since most of the people have heavy coats. Renninger's food stand can be seen to the right of the photo.
Contributed by ray on 10/14/12 - Image Year: 1960
A view of the race track from the original grandstand.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/9/12 - Image Year: 1972
BLEACHERS REPLACED: In 1972 the bleachers at the Port Royal Speedway were replaced. In the photo the plank bleachers were replaced with concrete ones. A new metal hub rail fence would be installed next. [Photo courtesy of the Juniata County Historical Society]
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/5/12 - Image Year: 1987
OVER 50 YEARS OF WHITEWASHING has been done by Landis family men at Port Royal Speedway. In the photo (Juniata Sentinel), Terry Landis Sr. is pictured whitewashing the stone wall in front of the old wooden grandstand prior to the fair in 1987. Terry Jr., who is in the truck but can't be seen, took over when his father stopped whitewashing in 1998. Prior to Terry's father's whitewashing the fences, his grandfather, Ken Landis, began the job in 1957 at the Port Royal oval.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/29/10 - Image Year: 1990
THE ORIGINAL GRANDSTAND before it was dismantled.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 2000
This is a photo of the original grandstand shortly before it was demolished November 7, 2000. Over the years it had been used to watch horse and auto races, political events, stage shows and marching bands.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 2000
Seats on the original grandstand. Both the seats and steps were well worn.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/11/11 - Image Year: 2011
MODEL OF ORIGINAL GRANDSTAND: Built by Greg Gray, Plans and Pictures by Bill Gilliland, Roof by Dan Stong, Painting and Lettering by Barb's Arts and Crafts.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/25/10 - Image Year: 1995
HORSE RACING DURING THE FAIR - The bleachers are in the background and the trotters are visible on the track. (Photo submitted by Donna Brothers)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/25/10 - Image Year: 1995
HORSE RACING DURING THE FAIR - The Judges Stand is on the right side with the grandstand in the background. (Photo submitted by Donna Brothers)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 2000
DEMOLISHING THE OLD GRANDSTAND: The old structure finally gives way. This photo was taken looking toward the main entrance to the grandstand on November 7, 2000.
Contributed by ray on 2/28/13 - Image Year: 2000
DEMOLISHING THE OLD GRANDSTAND:
Contributed by ray on 2/28/13 - Image Year: 2000
DEMOLISHING THE OLD GRANDSTAND:
Contributed by ray on 2/28/13 - Image Year: 2000
DEMOLISHING THE OLD GRANDSTAND:
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 2008
May 26, 2001 was the first day that the new grandstand was available for watching auto racing. It is an aluminum structure with a larger seating capacity than the structure that it replaced. (This is a view of the structure from the infield.)
Contributed by donholton on 3/26/10 - Image Year: 2008
View from North side of race track. (June 2008)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/22/09 - Image Year: 2009
The Juniata County Fairgrounds and Speedway during the 2009 fair.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 10/23/09 - Image Year: 2009
The Floral (Horticultural) Hall. (Photo taken from the south.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 1/27/12 - Image Year: 1961
CERTIFICATE: Representing two shares of stock in the Juniata County Agricultural Society. These shares were owned by Darwin and Margaret Kohler.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/20/13 - Image Year: 1999
STOCK CERTIFICATE: This Juniata County Agricultural Society Stock Certificate was issued to W. Ray Kohler from the estate of his parents: Darwin H. and Margaret (Ard) Kohler. The certificate represents two shares of society stock.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 10/23/09 - Image Year: 2009
This picture represents a view of the Fairgrounds from the Sixth Street entrance in the Fall of 2009. The Floral Hall is on the left and the grandstand on the right.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/31/11 - Image Year: 2011
Cattle Barn at the 8th Street entrance to the Fairgrounds.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/1/11 - Image Year: 2011
Vinnies Food Stand at Fairgrounds (Photo submitted by Jonathan M. Wert, Jr.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 1/25/12 - Image Year: 2012
TICKET OFFICE: This Ticket Office sits at the Sixth Street entrance to the Fairgrounds. At one time it also housed the administrative offices of the Juniata County Agricultural Society. (Photo submitted by Jonathan Wert)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/17/12 - Image Year: 2012
MEN'S TOILET: Located near the 8th Street entrance to the Fairgrounds. (Photo submitted by Jonathan Wert, Jr.)



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