Piscataquis Valley Fair

A group of men wishing to start a County Fair met at Sangerville Village on he the 9th day of April to agree to the provisions of 2d, an act to incorporate the Piscataquis Agricultural Society. This was sent to the Maine House Of Representatives, passed and recorded by the Secretary ‘s Office on March 7, 1840.

The first fair was held at Joseph Kelseys in Guilford, 1/2 mile from Guilford and Sangerville on the first Tuesday in October in 1841. The fair in 1842 was held in Sangerville Village on the 4th day of October. There was no record of a fair in 1843. In 1844 the Fair was held in Dover Village. The exhibits were at the Universalist meeting house and the Village school house. In 1845 the Fair was held in Sangerville Village. In 1846 the Fair was held in Foxcroft Village on the 7th of October. From 1847 to 1852 there is no record of any fair.

In 1853 an act to incorporate the Piscataquis County Central Agricultural and Horticultural Society was enacted by the Maine House of Representatives. The first Fair was held on October 5, 1853 in Dover Village. In 1855 the stock exhibition was held on the lot of Mr. Samuel Ricker on High Street. This lot was leased by the Society. From 1895 to 1900 there is no record of any Fairs, except in 1899. In 1901 the first Fair of the Piscataquis Agricultural Society was held. From 1918 to 1923 no Fair was held. In 1921 the society met and sold the Park land to the spool factory. After paying bills the remaining money was given to the town for a playground at Fairview Avenue. In 1924 the Fair was held at Fairview Athletic Field. In 1926 Col Mayo paid for a new hall and stock sheds.

In 1927 a group applied to the State to rename the Fair ” The Piscataquis Valley Fair Association” From 1932 to 1935 there was no fair, undoubtedly due to the Great Depression. In 1936 the American Legion revived the Fair. In 1939 there was no fair, but a horse pulling contest was held before the other fairs started. In 1944 and 1945 there were no exhibits in the halls because they were used to house Jamaicans who were here to pick potatoes. In 1947 $1,000 was spent for a new horse pulling ring. In 1956 a new grand stand was built next to the horse pulling ring. It was an icon of Piscataquis Valley Fair until safety regulations pushed the Fair to demolish it in the late 1980’s. At that time the pulling ring was moved to the other side of the hill.

Over the years many changes have occurred with the growing PVF. With the acquiring of more land, now including 50 acres, many more entities were possible. More Cattle and horse barns were built and a Cattle Show Ring in the 1990’s.

An Ice Cream Parlor was rebuilt from another building and continues to be extremely popular. In 2008 a new building will be constructed by Fair time in August.

The Milking Parlor, first in the state at a fair, was built beside the Ice Cream Parlor and is an excellent draw and learning experience for all ages. With state inspection the milk is allowed to be sold to milk distributors.

About 1990, due to safety reasons and needed space, the Horse Show Ring was moved to a spacious area behind the cattle barns. An attractive building was erected by the Dirigo Horsemen’s Association to house equipment and a snack shop.

The Fair Office was relocated to “The Hill” in the late 1980’s. It is easily located and a good vantage point for Fair viewing. The Fair then built a Snack Shack beside the Fair Office which has seen several expansions and is a busy and popular eating spot.

In the Spring of 2005 an arson fire fortunately only cost us one barn; which with generous aid and donations was replaced in time for the fair in August.

In 2003 we built a new and much needed bathroom, including showers and in 2007 another horse barn was built. Our horse pulling population has grown greatly and is always a popular event.

In 2011 Piscataquis Valley Fair is proud to present our new Milking Parlor. It sports an inside walkway for better viewing of the daily milking demonstrations (6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) and an extensive display of Maine milk bottles and antique milking equipment.

Many people have contributed in many ways over the years to our completely volunteer fair. It is with the dedication of many that our little family oriented, country fair is such a success.

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