York Fair Grounds Particulars from 1877
The Authentic General Directory of the Boroughs of York, Hanover & Wrightsville in York County, PA was published for 1877 by Herman & Miller and Thomas in York, PA. The directory contains a sketch of the Grounds of the York County Agricultural Society, which I’ve blown up into two sections. Annotations on the sketch come from particulars about the York Fair Grounds of 1877, per page 26 of that directory:
York County Agricultural Society’s Fair Grounds.
This Society, incorporated in 1852, of which we have spoken in the history of the county, have their grounds in the southeastern part of the town. They contain about fourteen acres, inclosed by a high board fence. In the northwestern corner of the enclosure (the entrance) there is a fine two-story brick building used as the judges’ hall, ticket office, etc. The driving track, about the center, is one-third of a mile, and is generally in excellent condition. South of the track is the exhibition building, which is frame and built in the shape of a Greek cross. Around three sides of the ground, backing the fence are the live stock stalls.
Beside the buildings already enumerated there is a frame building used by the Managers of the Orphans’ Home as a Dining Room, where visitors to the ground during the fair can, at a reasonable price obtain their meals, the proceeds going to the Home; a Carriage Building, for the accommodation of coach makers; a Stove House; Grand Stand, furnished with benches for the accommodation of those persons who wish to view the races. The whole is laid off very conveniently and kept in good condition. At the time of holding the Fairs, if the weather is favorable, the enclosure is densely crowded with visitors.
Beach Nichols 1876 Atlas of York County, PA contains the location details about the York Fair Grounds in 1876. This atlas shows the “Office” (the entrance building from King Street) and the Exhibition Building; in the shape of a Greek cross. On the atlas, I’ve noted the direction of view associated with the 1877 sketch.
I’ve transferred the 1876 Fair Grounds boundaries onto the following 2014 Google Street Map of York, PA; i.e. the shaded area to the left of the white and blue dashed line. Since the original post, I was told to check Plate 14 of Fred’k B. Roe’s 1903 Atlas of the City of York. On that plate, the “Fair Ground Lots” extend further east; as indicated by the shaded area added to the right of the white and blue dashed line. I suspect that this was an addition to the fairground between 1876 and 1888 … revised on June 29, 2014.
In the street names of today, the “Office” would be located on the southeast corner of East King Street and South Fair Avenue. The York Fair Grounds were in existence at this location from 1856 until 1888. In 1888, the York County Agricultural Society moved the Fair Grounds to the site which is the present York Fair/York Expo Center property.
Related posts include:
- The Great Potato Chip Battle; Martin’s versus Utz
- College Football Games were played on the York Fairgrounds during the York Fair
- Birds Eye View of Original York Fairgrounds Site
- Cliff Satterthwaite artwork drawn at YORK FAIR
- Animals Run Wild at YORK FAIR
- Bingo Banned at YORK FAIR; Cliff Satterthwaite explains his Artwork
- Numbers Game at the YORK FAIR
- The Mighty Atom entertained at the YORK FAIR for over Five Decades
- YORK FAIR Finger Ring Mementos crafted by The Mighty Atom
- Red Lion Fair ran 8 Days in August of 1924