History

Roxborough Agricultural Society History

The Roxborough Agricultural Society was incorporated in 1858. In October of 1860 the society held its first exhibition, on the streets of Avonmore, or Hough’s Mill’s, as it was known at the time. The Exhibition moved around, spending some time in Moose Creek, Avonmore, Gravel Hill, and Warina.  During the early years it was frequently held in conjunction with the annual ploughing match also sponsored by the society.

In 1886 it was held in Gravel Hill on Thursday September 30th. It is reported that upwards of 3000 people attended the show (held on the Begg and Crawford’s farms) in bright sunny weather. The Cornwall Standard Newspaper reports: “Mr. Runion’s photographic gallery…did a tremendous business…having their features transferred to glass, as a lasting memento… Stalls laden with cider, ginger ale and candles surrounded the fair grounds, and were also greatly patronized…and it was generally remarked by those who attended from Cornwall, that the Gravel Hill show was a long way ahead of the county towns. We are of the same opinion. At the Roxborough Show there was life, enterprise and considering the surroundings, a deal better management…”.

In 1888 Oscar Fulton, Avonmore Businessman and former M.P. offered a special prize of $20.00 providing the show was held in Avonmore. It has been the Avonmore Fair ever since, but at four different locations. The first two locations were leased, while the last two have been owned by the Society. The Avonmore Driving Park was home to the Fair from 1888 to 1911, the park was located just east of the Payne River on the south side of what is now Centennial Drive.

In 1891 the Fair was expanded to a two day event. In 1907 the society was officially designated the “Roxborough Agricultural Society with Headquarters in Avonmore”. By 1902 the C.P.R. was running special Fair Trains at reduced rates on its line between Dalhousie and Winchester.

In 1912 the Fair moved to the other end of Avonmore, to the Shaver Farm, on the west side of Main Street, just north of the tracks (and the Grist Mill), the yearly rent was $55.00 and a new exhibition building was built. The Hall cost $250.00 to build, but by 1914 the society was out of debt and in 1918 it had 225 members.

In 1919 the society purchased land east of the village (where Morningside Place is) and moved the Hall to its new home. By 1921 an addition had been built and a well dug. By the 1930 the Fair was attracting good crowds by train, from Cornwall via the New York Central to Finch and via the C.P.R. to Avonmore.

In February of 1948 the Society purchased its present home, a larger site for the sum of $1,800.00. The Fair Building was moved by sleigh to its new home. In 1960 the centennial of the Fair was celebrated with five thousand people witnessing the dedication of the “Centennial Gate” and the plaques that are attached to them.

The Fair had been held in late September/early October, but often encountered cool weather, (a snowstorm in the early 1930’s) prompted a move to an earlier time in the month and in 1968 the Fair was moved to the third week of August. Again in 1983 the Fair moved ahead another month to July, where it has remained.

Throughout all these 145 years, the Fair has relied on its volunteers, who have made it what it is today. It is the only Fair in the township and a chance for the Community to come together each year to celebrate our rural lifestyle and agricultural in this province.

 

Roxborough Agricultural Society Presidents

1884 R. W. Duff

1885 James Montgomery

1886 Duncan McKinnon

1887 Josaphalt Labrosse

1888 Felix McLaughlin

1889 Alex R. McDonnell

1890 John McPhail

1891 Alexander McIntosh

1892 Duncan McKinnon

1893 John Crawford

1894 William Hough

1895 Sherman Hough

1896 Felix McLaughlin

1897 John Hill

1898 Duncan McKinnon

1899 Wm. S. N. Hough

1900 Victor Begg

1901 Samuel McDonnell

1902 R. W. Duff

1903 D. H. McDiarmid

1904 John M. McGregor

1905 Felix McLaughlin

1906 Philip McDonald

1907 Wm. L. Mongomery

1908 R. W. Duff

1909 D. Blair

1910 Sherman Hough

1911 Alexander Barker

1912 Archie McMillan

1913 Philip McDonald

1914 D. H. McDiarmid

1915 John H. Wert

1916 Angus H. McMillan

1917 A. J. MacIntyre

1918 D. M. McDermid

1919 George Canham

1920 E. E. Hough

1921 David Campbell

1922 Lloyd Hough

1923 D.F. Campbell

1924 J. W.  Shaver

1925 James Blair

1926 D. D. McLeod

1927 A. Aube

1928 Alex Robillard

1929 J. F. McRae

1930 Allen MacKinnon

1931 John Morrison

1932 Edward Cameron

1933 George McIntosh

1934 Walter Robinson

1935 Earl Miller

1936 Boyd Johnston

1937 Jack Hough

1938 George  L. McIntosh

1939 E. L. Filion

1940 B. C. Lang

1941 David Ritchie

1942 J. Hanbe

1943 W. E. Flanagan

1944 John G. McElheran

1945-46 J. F. McRae

1947-48 William Legault

1949-50 John D. Ferguson

1951-52 Hugh Morrison

1953-54 W. M. Campbell

1955-56 E. L. Blair

1957-58 W. S. Fraser

1959-60 W. J. Beauchamp

1961-62 J. L. McIntosh

1963-64 Gordon McRae

1965-66 R. Bert Steele

1967 Charles E. Blair

1968 Calvin S. Grant

1969 Stewart M. Crawford

1970 Glenn McIntyre

1971 Maldwyn Watkins

1972 Donald Cummings

1973 Earl Canham

1974-75 John McIntyre

1976-77 Murray Blair

1978-79 Earl Canham

1980-81 Ralph MacKenzie

1982-83 Dr. James Wood

1984-85 Bill Veenstra

1986 Sesel Wert

1987-88 George Hollingdrake

1989-90 Volker Loos

1991-92 James Wert

1993-94 Stanley Goodman

1995-96 James MacIntyre

1997-98 Catherine McRae

1999-00 Beth Lapierre

2001-02 Sheila Duchart

2003-04 Bryce Robinson

2005-06 Neil Robinson

2007-08 Allison Papineau

2009-10 Brent MacIntyre

2011-12 Bryce Robinson

2013-15 Linda Holland

2016-17 Neil Robinson

 

ROXBOROUGH AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY

ONTARIO AGRICULTURAL SERVICE DIPLOMAS

Awarded by the ROXBOROUGH AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY

1941 D. H. MacDiarmid

1941 A. J. MacIntyre

1943 Wm. D. McDiarmid

1944 Wm. E. Flanagan

1962 Grant Tinkess

1978 Calvin S. Grant

1981 Wilfred J. Beauchamp

1986 Glenn McIntyre

1987 Gordon McRae

1988 Hubert Delaney

1989 Sesel Wert

1990 Jack Bush

1992 Stanley Goodman

1993 Clifford MacRae

1994 Mrs Calvin (Grace) Grant

1995 Rutherford & Dona MacIntyre

1996 Eunice & Clarence (Buster) Henderson

1997 Jack & Doris Brown

1998 Earl & Jean Canham

1999 Volker & Ingeborg Loos

2000 Noble Villeneuve

2001 Bryce Robinson

2002 Lily  Worrall

2003 James MacIntyre

2004 Bonnie Niederkorn

2005 Cathy McRae

2006 Linda Holland

2007 Mavis Wert

2008 Earl & Anna Robinson

2009 Murray and Pilar Barkley

2010 Hilda Provost

2011 Neil Robinson

2012 Charles and Winona Patterson

2013 Don and Miriam Vallance

2014 Brent MacIntyre

2015 Wendy Trenholm

2016 Robert and Joyce MacIntyre

2017 Christine McDonald