[Cover of Orange County Agricultural Society, 70th Annual Exhibition]

About the Exhibit

An Orange County Fair Premium Book was issued each year to list rules and regulations for the exhibitions, including livestock, food, flowers, sewing, etc. It also included advertisements for local businesses. We have included an example of an Orange County Fair Premium Book from 1910.

According to the "Historical Sketch of the Orange County Agricultural Society" by D. H. Morrison ( Historic Wallkill Valley, 1901, pp.26-54), on May 5,1841, the NYS Legislature passed an act entitled "An Act for the promotion of Agriculture, Horticulture, the Mechanic and Household Arts." The NYS Legislature passed a law "devoting $8,000 per annum, for five years, to the promotion of Agriculture, to be apportioned among the different counties for the purpose of aiding the formation of Agricultural Societies." (p.26)

The first Fair in Orange County was held at Goshen on November 17, 1841. It was held in different communities. After the Fair of 1896, the Agricultural Society members sought a permanent location for the Fair, and they purchased the Campbell tract at Middletown in April 1897. Buildings were erected, and the fairs have continued at this location to the present.

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