Monday, September 1, 2008

New York State Fair

I wrote about the "Big 5" and the "Big 6" - both 4-H Fairs where children showed handmade or raised items and animals in competition for ribbons and prizes. The best of the best was selected to go on to the NYS Fair in Syracuse, NY.
As long as I can recall the State Fair is held at the end of August, and today is the final day of this year's State Fair.
I didn't attend this year, but when I do I always visit the 4-H areas; the buildings with horses, cattle, pigs, chickens and rabbits; vegetables, flower arrangements, baked goods, and so much more.
A lifelong Scipioite and former 4-Her, now retired, recently shared a copy of the 1890 NYS Agricultural Society Catalogue with me. At a price of ten cents, it is the catalogue of entries for the fiftieth annual Cattle Show and Fair of the NYS agricultural Society at Syracuse, held on September 11, 12, 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of 1890.
The booklet is stamped H. Wait Cigar and News Room, Leland Hotel, Syracuse, NY and was created by the press of Moser, Truax and DeGolia of 216 Clinton Street, Syracuse. According to the booklet, the Leland was located at Fayette and Franklin Streets, opposite the NYCRR Depot.
There is an ad for the West Shore Railroad, describing their buffet drawing room cars with revolving chairs as a special feature. West Shore trains ran for the NYS Fair at Syracuse; excursion tickets ran folks directly to the entrance and included admission.
The contents of the Catalogue are amazing. Prizes were awarded from fifty cents to a few hundred dollars, in subdivisions of categories ranging from watercolors or painting on porcelain to various livestock, poultry, farm produce, art & domestic departments and implements and manufacturers.
So far I have only found a few mentions of Scipio. In the section on Percheron horses, for stallions 4 years or older I find Elwood S. Akin, of Scipio, with Favori. If I am reading this correctly, Favori was a gray Percheron stallion, 16.2 hands and 7 years old.
A John Akin showed in the same category a black Percheron stallion named Tongleur, at 16.2 hands and 6 years of age. And Howell & Slocum of Scipio showed Brin D'Or; a black, 17 hand 4 year old.
Elwood and John must have raised Percherons; we find them again in the 3-year old stallion section with Joseph and Aristida respectively. In the 2-year old stallion section, they are showing Harod and Joyeux, while Howell & Slocum offer up Planton. Elwood also shows against one other fellow a one year old stallion named Emett, then he and John show L Amie and Angele in the Percheron Brood Mare with foal at foot section. They continue to show in fillies and foals, French coach stallions and Farm or Draft sections.
There is a surname index, making it easy to find someone if you know they showed that year. If you want to check a name, post a comment!

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