|1913 Program for Troy Fair. Note at bottom says that the Luken's folks failed to get to the fair (The Wild Animal Act)
This Indenture, made the thirtieth day of December in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety Seven, between John A Parsons of the Township of Troy County of Bradford and State of Pennsylvania of the first part, and the Troy Agricultural Society of the Borough of Troy, county and state aforesaid, of the second part.
Witnessed: That the said party of the first part hereby lets and leases unto the said party of the second part all that certain lot, piece or parcel of land, situate, lying and being in the Township of Troy, County of Bradford and State of Pennsylvania and bounded and described as follows, viz: Bounded on the north by lands of H.C.Gernert, on the east by lands of the Northern Central Railroad, on the south by the public highway leading from Troy to Elmira, and lands of Geo. Dillon and W.F.Baker and on the west by lands of George Dillon, George O. Holcomb, Floyd Baker and Ernest Baker. Same known as Alparon Park and containing Sixty-Two acres of land be the same more or less.
To have and to hold the said premises, with appurtenances, unto the said party of the second part, from the first day of November 1897 for and during the term of fifteen years thence next ensuing, fully to be completed and ended; the said party of the second part yealding and paying for the same unto the said party of the first part, the yearly rent or sum of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) on the first day of November succeeding each year of said terms. First payment to be made November 1st, 1898.
The said parties of the second part to have a right of way from the north end of the lands above described to the public highway leading from Troy to Elmira across the lands of H.C. Gernert being the same right reserved by the said John A Parsons in deed to said H.C. Gernert dated the 25th day of March 1893 as by reference being had thereto will more fully and at large appear. Also the right reserved in said deed by said Parsons to take water from the lands of the said H.C. Gernert for the use of the premises herein leased to the said parties of the second part. Said parties of the second part to lay and maintain all necessary and proper water pipes to supply said premises and leave the same thereon at the termination of this agreement or lease.
The said land being always subject to the rights of George Dillon and his assigns to maintain a dam and mill race on said lands where the same now are for the use and benefit of his will with the right to enter on said lands for the purpose of building and repairing the same.
It is expressly understood and agreed by the parties hereto that the said lands are held by the parties of the second part on the following terms and conditions,viz: That they shall not permit or sanction the sale, disposal of or use of intoxicating liquors in any form upon the lands herein leased; That they shall not permit the carrying on or any games of chance, any species of gambling, betting or pool selling or any business or amusement contrary to law to be carried on upon said grounds except with the consent of at least two thirds of the directors of the Troy Agricultural Society and in no event shall such public dance be conducted after the hour of six o’clock PM. That the said Troy Agricultural Society shall use due care and diligence for the preservation of all trees and growing timber on the said premises from injury from animals or otherwise and said Parsons to have the right to enter upon said premises and take therefrom for his own use all dead and dying timber on said premises. Said society to use all reasonable care to protect so that water shall not overflow the said land. The soil or loam not to be drawn from said land nor stones to be removed from the bed of the creek. The said parties of the second part to build and maintain all necessary fences on the premises between the said land and adjoining owners. The said second parties to have the right to erect and maintain upon said premises such buildings as shall be proper and necessary for them to carry on their business with the right to remove the same therefrom at any time within four months after the termination of this agreement. The said grounds to be kept in a neat and orderly manner, and at the expiration of the term of this lease, or the sooner determination of the same the said second parties will, without further notice, quietly and peacefully surrender and yield up the premises in as good order and condition as the same now are reasonable use and wear and unavoidable casualties only excepted.
And in case the said rent is not paid when the same becomes due and the said conditions herein contained faithfully performed on the part of the said parties of the second part, then and in that event the same shall become void at the option of the said party of the first part and the said party of the second part hereby authorized and empowers any practicing Attorney of any Court of Record in Pennsylvania to appear in said Court and confess a judgment in an amicable action of ejectment for the premises above-described and authorize the immediate issuing of a writ of Habere Facias Possessionem with a clause of Fieri Facias, for the costs, without asking leave of the court,
In testimony whereof the said John A Parsons has set his hand and seal and the said Troy Agricultural Society have hereunto affixed the common seal of the said corporation at Troy, the day and year first above written,
Signed by John A Parsons and Jno E Dobbins, Pres.
I, John A Parsons of the Township of Troy, County of Bradford and State
of Pennsylvania in consideration of the covenants and agreements contained
in the foregoing lease do hereby agree, to sell and convey unto the Troy
Agricultural Society, its successors or assigns all the land and premises
mentioned and fully described in said lease together with the right of
way across the lands of Henry G Gernert and the right to take water from
his lands as is therein fully specified and subject to the rights of George
Dillon therein mentioned to maintain a dam and mill race on said lands
and the rights of the American Telegraph and Telephone Company to erect
poles and maintain their lines on said lands, for the sum of Five Thousand
Dollars ($5,000.00) to be paid on or before the lst day of November 1906
and upon the payment of said sum I will make, execute and deliver unto
the said Troy Agricultural Society a good and sufficient deed of said premises
in fee simple, from all encumbrance and dower, or right of dower; such
conveyance to contain the usual covenants of general Warranty. Witness
my hand and seal this thirtieth day of December 1897.
Signed John A Parsons
|Troy Fair To Celebrate 100th Birthday
This is what happened just outside Troy 100 years ago, an event that
has been happening ever since.
The club grew and by early 1875 it was decided to hold a Fair.
The McKean place was chosen as a temporary site as it had extensive outbuildings,
large, neatly fenced-in-enclosures and plenty of places to park the buggies.
The property is occupied by the Earle Terrel family today.
Expenses were kept at a minimum and a report was made at the September 23 meeting, just before the Fair, on expenses incurred. “Lumber, $13.00; Ribbands and Postal Cards, $4.00; Printing, $7.35; Police, $1.50; Nails, $1.00; for a total of $26.85.” The minutes went on to state that some remaining lumber was sold for $7.35, leaving the cast cost of the Fair to the Troy Farmers’ Club at $19.50. There were no premiums awarded that first year, but “certificates of merit were provided to be awarded to meritorious articles.”
At that time there were no other fairs in northern Pennsylvania or southern New York except for the one in Elmira. As far as is known, the Troy Fair, which this year celebrates its 100th birthday, is the oldest continuous local Fair in the area. It has been presented every year since 1875 with the exception of four years during World War II when it was considered unpatriotic to use precious supplies for entertainment purposes.
A more permanent site was needed, and the following year the club accepted the Joralemon lot on Canton street for 10 years free, with Troy Township and Borough paying the club $800 for the purpose of erecting buildings, fences and other needs, Joralemon was a dairyman and butcher. His lot was at Armenia Road, now Fallbrook Road, and the second Fair was even more successful than the first.
No program exists of the first Fair, if there was one, but a copy of the 1876 Fairbook is well preserved. A. H. Thomas was the first president. He was the grandfather of Alonzo W. Thomas, Porter Road, Troy, the current Fair’s vice-president. G. M. Card, Sylvania, was secretary, and, according to his great-nephew Wendell Card, he “kept the books well and with meticulous care.” John McKean was treasure. It was his last Fair as he died in March, 1877.
Premiums were given for many categories during the early years that are forgotten today. There were premiums for working oxen, matched mules for farm use, dog or sheep power for churning, a collection of six scythes and snaths, and all kinds of manufactured articles such as wagons, sleighs, carriages, stoves and leather articles.
The ladies were not forgotten. They competed for prizes for such
things as 10 yards of rag carpet, knitted wool stockings, chair tidies,
ornamental penmanship, hairwork, waxwork, and agricultural wreaths.
“A good substantial track was laid out under the direction of William S. Dobbins” in time for the 1877 Fair, and people flocked to see many improvements. There was a room for art and archeological miscellaneous and horse pulling matches for both teams and single horses and mares. The largest attendance in one day was 2,345.
The Women’s Pavilion was added in 1878 and the following year there was a premium for the best equestrian display by a lady, and one for a girl 12 years old or under. Ladies also exhibited such mysterious articles as wool java canvass tidy, pair van mats, air castle, moss work and pie plant jelly.
By 1882 a committee was canvassing the area looking for suitable grounds. The Fair had outgrown the Joralemon property and the lease was running out. After “some variety of opinion,” they finally settled on the grounds known as “Alparon Park” on the farm of John A. Parsons, one mile northwest of Troy village. The property had been bought in 1839 by Dr. Alfred Parsons, for whom it was named, and the house he lived in at the north end of the park is now owned and occupied by the Budd Mitchell’s.
The buildings on the old site were carefully dismantled and rebuilt on the new property, a road in was built and a half-mile track laid out. There was no horse racing, but there were trails of speed. Parsons, in leasing the grounds to the club, had so stipulated, saying, “that anything that would induce betting and the assembling of jockeys and gamblers should be discouraged. The standing reproach of so many Fair,” he added, “that they are but ‘agricultural horse trots,’ has been carefully avoided in the Troy Fair.”
New buildings were added almost yearly – a judge’s stand, poultry house, a dining hall and grandstand, which would seat 600 persons. It was well-filled that tenth year for a band contest and the Fair’s first Baby show. Crowds pressed in to see “sixty-two of the darlings laughing, crying, shouting or sleeping.” It was a successful season with crowds reaching 7,000; over 1200 teams hitched around the grounds, and $1,050 the best day’s receipts.
The Philadelphia Press reported that Fair, said “its exhibition of cattle and horses is unsurpassed in the State,” and that Troy Farmers’ Club “has the unique distinction of being the only farmers’ club in the state, composed in its working material wholly of farmers.”
There were good facilities on the fairgrounds for out-of town reporters in those days, and they likely stayed at the Troy House where you could get a good meal for 25 cents and a room for one dollar. By 1892 the Troy House was proudly advertising, “Lit by elect5ric Light and Heated by Steam.”
The next year the grandstand burned down, but was quickly rebuilt.
A popular entertainment, which drew crowds a number of years, was a Public Wedding in front of the grandstand. Names of the participants were a closely-guarded secret until the moment of the event and there was much local speculation.
A highlight of the 1892 Fair was the Ladies’ Harness Race. The poor girls had to work hard for an $8 First Prize. Instructions in the Fairbook read: “At the word, horse to be harnessed, with complete buggy harness, hitched to a four-wheeled wagon and driven half mile heats. Best two in three.”
Another innovation in 1894 was the new Babcock Butter Test. Dairymen were invited to test the amount of butter fat in the milk of their stock over a two-day period with tests made under the direction of Lucien Loomis, East Troy.
There were many other innovations through the years, but basically it has always been a show by and for farmers. A more complete history of 100 years of the Troy Fair, written by Pat Barber, will be available during Fair week, July 21-26. It has many pictures of those early years when the train stopped right at the Fairgrounds and people came from many miles around to share the excitement, to watch the speed trials or the grandstand show, or to hope for a premium for a cherished bit of needlework or jar of preserves.
|Alparon Park Blaze
Troy firemen prepare to battle the raging inferno that totally consumed the grandstand and attached buildings at Alparon Park, Troy, Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses said an explosion at the oppoosite end of the grandstand touched off the fire at about 5:30 p.m. approximately 55 Troy and Canton firemen battled the blaze with six pieces of equipment. The value of the building and the amount of insurance covering the loss had not been determined last night. (See other pictures on page 14)
In 100 Anniversary book: The Club suffered a setback on July 5, 1886, when the still new grandstand was burned to the ground.
I also have a clipping from Star Gazette dated Sept 5, 1971 stating:
When the grandstands burned at Alparon Park last week, they carried with them a lot of memories for many people in the area. Tuesday it took 40 minutes for the 85 year old structure to burn.
|1916 Photo from Troy Fair sent in by Thomas Byrne (son of Thomas Byrne,
former Chemung County Historian).
Troy fair picture with Theodore Baxter driving the vehicle (seven passenger Reo) filled women of the Troy Progress Club ("The Pen is Mightier than the Sword".)
|This is a Troy Fair Card with information
on the back side. (No Year)
A fine dairy exhibit.
From Edward P Ballard Collection - JPO