History of the Columbiana County Fair
In 1845, citizens of Columbiana County met to discuss organizing a county fair. On April 16, 1846, a constitution and by-laws were adopted and the Columbiana County Agricultural Society was established at New Lisbon, Ohio. The purpose of this organization was to promote interest in scientific farming practices.
To the best knowledge available, the first fair location was on vacant land next to the planning mill and across from the Thomas & Sons Pottery along East Washington Street in Lisbon.
On March 5, 1851, the Society was reorganized; and in 1853 the present grounds were purchased from John McClymonds. The plat drawn shows 7.5 acres in the piece retained by the Society and 5 acres and a fraction in the tract known as the Jesse Holmes Seminary, which was sold to R.D. Hartshorn. A small piece was also bought of Joseph Strawn and right of the Society to use water from the spring on the Holmes place, and right of that place to use the driveway to the street were reserved.
The sale was consummated for $1,800 for the entire tract. Several tracts of land have been added to the original purchase.
In the spring of 1853, plans were made for buildings and fences. Workmen started in April and worked through the summer months completing buildings, making fences at 55 cents per lineal rod and getting the 1/2 mile racetrack ready, all in time for the first season of the county fair at its handsome new grounds in late September 1853.
There were few winners at the first fair, and premiums totaled less than $17. Some of the winners were for best one-horse buggy, best set of chairs, top of the list boots, best yoke of oxen, farm implements, outstanding saddle and finest quilts.