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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
By the time you read this column, our Ripley parking lot will look so much better. It will have been leveled and several inches of asphalt laid down—no more potholes! New stripes! It is the day-to-day things that get improved that aren’t really exciting, but appreciated. In the near future we will be changing the access of the parking lot as well. Stay tuned….
Fair week. We generally are not very busy on fair week as even if you don’t exhibit at the fair, many of our patrons plan to go and watch, shop and eat (repeat…). Looks like, for the most part, the weather should be nice and fall-like.
The fair got us thinking about the ‘Industrial Association Annual Fair” which was a big deal in Ripley many, many years ago. The substantial grounds were where the elementary school is today, with a track, floral hall, stock bins and more. In our postcard collection, we have several advertising pieces from the early 20th century. Pulling up the 1857 winners, it is fun to see the family names that still are recognizable today. Rev. John Rankin won for his best salsify (a relative to turnips, but more carrot shaped–), Mrs. Geo. Snedaker for best salt-raised bread, Miss Wiles for best Catawba grapes, Mrs. B. Kirk for peach preserves and Mrs. A. Liggett won for pear preserves. Byington Salisbury for best side oats, and best maple molasses won a dollar for Miss Rebecca Devore. The clear winner for having the most winning vegetables was Alex. Campbell, winning premiums for best summer apple, basket of fruit, sorghum saccharum, (bicolor sorghum), carrots, okra, hominy, and greatest variety of vegetables raised by one exhibitor. A few other surnames of winners include Evans, Shaw, Dixon, Kirkpatrick, Stephenson, Moore, Martin and Caldwell. Perhaps not the most useful listing for genealogy, but fun to see if your relative participated in either making or raising a winning entry.