7 things to know about the 168-year history of the Warren County Fair

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Warren County Fair, which has marked more than 160 years of 4-H projects, candied apples and carnival rides, begins Saturday.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The 2018 Warren County Fair will mark 168 years of 4-H projects, candied apples and carnival rides.

The event celebrates a long history of agriculture and community. Here are seven things to know about the fair:

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A 1925 view of harness racing at the Warren County Fair in Lebanon. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

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A 1925 view of harness racing at the Warren County Fair in Lebanon.  DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

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A 1925 view of harness racing at the Warren County Fair in Lebanon. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

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Credit: none

1. The first Warren County Fair was held in September of 1850 at a farm owned by John Osborn located at the end of East Main Street in Lebanon. A newspaper story from the period deemed it a "respectable exhibition."

2. The first fair brought in $354.50, of that $214 came from membership fees, $25 from the Shaker Society and $115.50 from the county treasury, according the Warren County Fair website. The membership dues in 1850 were $1 a year.

3. Soon after the fair moved to the present location on North Broadway Street. In 1852, the society leased 10 acres of ground and put up a fence and building on the property which is part of the current fairgrounds. Admission to the fair was 15 cents.

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An advertisement for the 1899 Warren County Fair, encouraging visitors from near and far to attend to make the fair "the greatest and grandest success of the age." DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

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An advertisement for the 1899 Warren County Fair, encouraging visitors from near and far to attend to make the fair "the greatest and grandest success of the age." DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Credit: none

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An advertisement for the 1899 Warren County Fair, encouraging visitors from near and far to attend to make the fair "the greatest and grandest success of the age." DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Credit: none

Credit: none

4. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, harness racing drew crowds to the fair hoping to see pacing and trotting records broken on the regulation track. A purse of $5,000 in prizes was available to the champions.  An advertisement from 1899 described the fair as "the greatest and grandest success of the age."

5. In the early 1900s, visitors traveled by streetcars to the fair. As automobiles became more common, the fair board charged 50 cents to park because they feared the autos would harm the grounds. That fear was short lived, and in 1917 the fair held an automobile show featuring Hudsons, Hupmobiles and Franklins.

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The family and exhibitor's ticket to the Warren County Fair issued to the family of Edward C. Jeffrey in 1891. His son, Robert Jeffrey, was a longtime board member and fair president. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

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The family and exhibitor's ticket to the Warren County Fair issued to the family of Edward C. Jeffrey in 1891. His son, Robert Jeffrey, was a longtime board member and fair president. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Credit: none

Combined ShapeCaption
The family and exhibitor's ticket to the Warren County Fair issued to the family of Edward C. Jeffrey in 1891. His son, Robert Jeffrey, was a longtime board member and fair president. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Credit: none

Credit: none

6. Not only are traditional livestock competitions still held today for beef, sheep and poultry held but alpacas and llamas also take center ring.

7. The original wooden grandstand, the centerpiece of the fair, burned in 1947.

Another was built, and in 1964 an addition was added and enclosed in glass. The grandstand has been torn down and plans call for a $3 million event center to replace them.

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