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enclosed, with appropriate buildings and fixtures neatly and tastefully constructed, and the whole sufficiently ample to accommodate the Society for many years. This movement of the Society, as its projectors and patrons anticipated, gave to its operations a new and powerful impulse in the right direction. Since that time, it is hardly necessary should add, its. career has been one of eminent success and usefulness.
The village of Keeseville is situated on both banks of the Ausable river, which is there the dividing line between the counties of Clinton and Essex. Of the funds raised for the construction of our show buildings, nearly all were contributed by the citizens of Keeseville, and a very considerable portion by those residing on the Essex side of the river. By this means an interest was awakened in the adjacent portions of Essex county, in the subject of agricultural improvement, which resulted, as early as March of that year, in the organization of an agricultural society for Essex county. The material aid thus rendered to our society by citizens of that county, in the erection of its show buildings, was very justly regarded as entitling them, on any suitable occasion, to the right of participation in their use; and by mutual consent the fairs of the two societies in 1849, and again in 1850, were held conjointly, and to the mutual benefit and satisfaction of all parties interested, at our grounds. The perpetuation of these combined fairs—by the consolidation of the two societies, or otherwise—was, up to the latter period, looked upon with favor by a majority of the members and patrons of both societies. But by the following winter, the rapid increase of members to the Essex society, in the southern part of the county, had so changed the tone of public sentiment in that society, in regard to the location of its fairs, that at its annual meeting in February last, a vote was passed for the permanent location of them, for a term of years, at a more central point.
Thus the Clinton County Society, after having held, by the aid of the Essex County Society, two annual festivals of extraordinary
character and interest, by which the expectation of the public, in regard to the character of her future exhibitions had been immoderately elevated, was now thrown back upon her own resources. With grounds and buildings ample in extent and adaptation for the accommodation of both societies, it was left to fill, as best it could, not only the portion which had before been occupied by her, but also the portion left blank by the withdrawal of Essex, or also to suffer the mortification of a reputed falling off in the amount of the show; a result which, in the estimation of the multitude, could scarcely fail to ensue, in the event of its failure to make the fair of 1851, equal to the combined fairs of the two societies the previous year. By this circumstance, therefore, the society was now placed in a position in which it was really more difficult for the time being to sustain its reputation, than if the fairs of the two societies had never been united. Aware of this, the managers, at an early day, determined upon the exercise of more than ordinary exertion, to promote an increased interest throughout the county in the objects of the society—to draw out a more extended exhibition of its products and resources—and in every practicable way to increase and improve the attractions of its annual show.
Immediately after the Annual Meeting the managers agreed upon and published a list of premiums to be awarded, amounting in the aggregate to $623.00; and at the same time issued an “appeal to the farmers and friends of agriculture in the county" setting forth the objects of the society, and urging its claims upon their confidence, and their active and united support. Preparatory to the annual fair, extensive improvements were made in the buildings, a range of covered stalls constructed for the accommodation of foreign stock, a building erected for the exhibition of machinery, and extra measures taken to secure the exhibition of stock and articles from abroad.
The Annual Fair was held at the show grounds of the society on the 24th, 25th and 26th days of September. Unfortunately the agricultural fair of Addison county, Vt., was held at the same
time; and during the same week, courts were in session in three other counties adjoining this. These circumstances doubtless prevented the attendance of many at our fair who would otherwise have been there. A violent rain storm which occurred on the 23d, was also another cause of hindrance, especially to the driving of stock from remote parts of the county; by reason of which seyeral of the towns were not represented at all at the fair, in any department of live stock, and from some others the number was
But notwithstanding all these circumstances, added to the absence of the former exhibition from Essex county, the show was at least fully equal in amount, and surpassed in the general quality of the stock and articles composing it, that of the Clinton County Society separately considered, of any previous year. The number of visitors in attendance was also very large, as much so or nearly as at either of the combined fairs of the two societies. The entire number of entries at the fair was 358—of which 245 were for premium and 113 for exhibition.
Of cattle, there were 69 entries-54 for premium, and 15 for exhibition; the whole comprising 77 individnals, of which 21 were thorough-bred animals of the different breeds, chiefly Durhams, Herefords and Devons, including specimens of each that would be hard to beat anywhere. Several of the thorough-breds have been imported since the fair of 1850. The show of horses was a splendid affair. In point of number it was certainly quite respectable, there being 62 entries for premiums, and 35 for exhibition, while in quality it was second to no exhibition of the kind which I have ever seen. The show of brood mares and sucking colts, in particular, was both very extensive and very fine.
Of sheep, swine and poultry, the show was meager; but the specimens exhibited were very superior. The show of dairy products, and of manufactured articles, was also quite limited, and by no means such as to represent correctly the condition of these pursuits in the county.
The exhibition at floral hall would have done credit to the fair of any horticultural society. The show of fruit comprised 225 plates, and included nearly 200 distinct varieties; although with us the fruit crop this year was pretty much a failure—in some departments, as plums, entirely so. of green house plants and cut flowers, there were on the stands 170 species and varieties. Of vegetables, 57 samples were entered for premium.
The plowing match came off on the morning of the last day. The competition was very spirited, and the work emphatically well done, though done in “double quick” time. The performance elicited a greater degree of interest, and attracted a larger attendance than usual; a circumstance to be attributed to the somewhat novel fact that the plowmen engaged in the contest were all (save one,) at the time vice-presidents in the society.
The annual address was delivered by the Hon. Winslow C. Watson, of Port Kent, the indefatigable President of the Essex County Agricultural Society, in a speech of great ability and eloquence, for which a vote of thanks was returned by acclamation, with a reqnest that he furnish a copy for publication ; a request to which I am sorry to say he has not yet found it convenient to respond.
The premiums awarded at the fair amounted to, ..... $326 00 Awarded at the annual meeting of the Executive committee, on the 25th of November, on crops,
Total amount of premiums awarded,...
... $338 00
It will he observed that the competition on field crops is light. The premiums offered by the Society for this object amounted to nearly $90, while the amount awarded is only $12. An explanation of this deficiency is to be found in the fact, that while the premiums of the Society are offered to encourage the most economical and profitable modes of cultivation, and while this can only be ascertained by the requisition of accurate statements from competitors, regarding the cultivation of the crops; very few of our farmers are in the practice of keeping farm accounts, and of those
who do not keep such accounts habitually, fewer still are willing to be at the pains of preserving with a view to competition, the requisite memoranda of their management in the culture of any particular field, lest, in the event of a failure, they should, as they would esteem it, only "get their trouble for their pains.”
The crops to which the premiums were awarded were the following:
Spring Wheal—Robert E. Keese, of Ausable, yield, 271; bushels per acre.
Winter Rye.—Eleazer Arnold, of Ausable, yield, 35 bushels per acre.
Peas.Samuel H. Moore, of Peru, yield, 25 bushels per acre.
Buckwheat.-Samuel H. Moore, of Peru, yield, 29 bushels per acre, and the same ground also produced 60 bushels of apples.
Carrots.-A. J. Moses, of Champlain, yield, 392 bushels, of 52 lbs., to the bushel, on one half acre; at the rate of 784 bushels per acre.
The above crops being the best that were offered in competition, were awarded premiums. Larger crops than these, I am confident have been grown this year in the county, and it is to be regretted that they were not presented to the notice of the society. The Oat crop was this year unusually heavy; in many instances the average yield of fields embracing several acres was as high as 60, 70, and even in some instances as high as 75 bushels to the acre.
The largest yield of oats in a single acre, which has come to my knowledge, was raised by Sidney Arnold, of Peru. An account was kept with the crop, and it was Mr. Arnold's intention to have offered it for the Society's premium; but being misinformed in regard to the day of the meeting at which the premiums on crops were to be awarded, he did not attend it, and failed of entering the crop. Since the meeting, he has kindly furnished me the following statement respecting it.