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Glencoe & District Historical Society

Preservation of Local Heritage

Glencoe Spring Fair Glencoe Spring Fair, Glencoe, Ont. Early 1900's at the site of the current fairgrounds. Facing North where the swimming pool is today. The race track can be seen on the left. Photo is likely taken from the Crystal Palace. Photo from G&DHS archives.

The Glencoe Agricultural Society annually hosts the fall fair for Glencoe and the surrounding community. It is an event that dates to the mid-nineteenth century when each township had their own fairs which then united in the 1870's into a common fair held in Glencoe. Today the fair is always the third full weekend following Labour Day.

Local fairs have a long history in the Glencoe area*:

Glencoe's First Town Hall Glencoe's first town hall was a two story wooden frame structure built in 1871 on McKellar St. across from the current municipal building. The property on the west side of the town hall was an open field and the site of Glencoe's first fairs, and the hall was used for displays and activities. A fire destroyed the town hall in 1893 and a large brick town hall was built on the East side of Main St. in 1898. In 1962 the current municipal building was built and the previous brick town hall was demolished. Image courtesy of H. Carruthers, Glencoe Historian.

Racing Track Property owned by John McAlpine had a race track and park known as Recreation Park. When the fair aquired the adjacent property in 1891 the grand stand was built on the fair grounds overlooking the track. The Recreation Park was leased by the Union Fair Board until 1910 when the track and property was purchased by the Fair Board. The grandstand was destroyed by fire in 1954. A new stand was built for the 1955 fair. Photo courtesy of H. Carruthers, Glencoe Historian. Date before 1955.

Glencoe Memorial Arena Glencoe Memorial Arena, opened in October 1972 and the previous Glencoe Arena* was later dismantled. During the annual Glencoe Fair the arena is used for agricultural displays and competitions. Photo by N. Jackson, 2012.

* The Carman Arena was built in 1922 on the South-East corner of McKellar and Currie St. where the current ambulance dispatch is located. The Carman Arena offered skating, hockey, and curling. Originally financed by local residents it was a municipality operated building. The building was dismantled in 1980.

Agricultural Plaque The stone gates at the fair ground entrance were built in 1967 celebrating Canada's centennial. Photo by N. Jackson, 2012.

Glencoe Fair GroundsA view of the current fairgrounds. The race track (blue) and items A-E no longer exist. (A)Crystal Palace; (B)Grand Stand; (C)Band Stand; (D)Judges Booth; (E)Livestock Pens; (F)Agricultural Building; (G)Curling Arena; (H) Arena. Google Satellite Image, 2012

Glencoe Fair 1908 Glencoe Fair, Sept 30 1908. Race track in foreground, Crystal Palace top right. Photo courtesy of H. Carruthers, Glencoe Historian.

Fair Grounds 1942 The Crystal Palace converted into World War II POW barracks. In 1961 the building was sold and removed from the fair grounds. Photo from Transcript Free Press June 1, 1942.

Glencoe Agricultural Building The Glencoe Agricultural Building was built in 1961. Originally it was a 120x40 building designed to house exhibits. Heating, offices and washrooms were added later, the kitchen was added in 1966 enabling the building to be used for banquets and community functions. A curling arena was added to the building, leased by the Glencoe & District Curling Club for six months of the year. The stone gates were added in 1967 as a project celebrating Canada's centennial year. Photo by N. Jackson, 2012.

Glencoe Map The first Glencoe Fairs were held at the town hall (A). The fair was moved to the Graham property South of Glencoe in 1879 (not on map). In 1891 the fair was moved to its current location (B). The original town hall burned and a new brick town hall was built in 1898 (C). The Carman Arena was built in 1922 (D). The current municipal building (E) was built in 1962 and the old town hall was demolished. Atlas of Middlesex County, 1878.

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