Richmond Agricultural Society

Richmond (Ottawa), Ontario, Canada

 

The Richmond Agricultural Society was formed in 1841 as the Carleton County Agricultural Society.

In 1895, the Fair moved its operation from Bell's Corners to "Goodwood Park" in Richmond.  One of the reasons for moving to Goodwood Park was the excellent horse racing track owned by Hugh Reilly.  Racing events were very popular attractions for many years.  The Society leased the Park, for the duration of the Fair.

In 1927, the Agricultural Society purchased the property, 17.4 acres, for $2,500, making it the permanent site of the Fair.

In 1950, the Village of Richmond's Town Hall was purchased and moved on to the site. As the Dining Hall, it has been a social centre for the Agricultural Society and the surrounding community.  That same year a new community centre was dedicated to the fallen soldiers of two world wars.

In 1962, the Society purchased an additional piece of adjoining property, 2.4 acres, from Harold Oscar Brown for $2,000.

In 1979, the old Agricultural Display Building was replaced by a new curling rink, which is used for Homecraft and Commercial displays during the Fair.

Since the Agricultural Society's first Fair in 1844, the fall festival has been an opportunity for families to enjoy viewing the best of their neighbour's kitchens, crops, livestock, and machinery.  In early years Agricultural Societies pooled resources to improve breeds, to purchase specialized machinery, and to provide a place for the sale of products from the kitchens, gardens, dairy and poultry of members.  This cooperative spirit still exists.

The agricultural fair is no longer the main source of information about improved agricultural practices and new technologies.  However, with the development of urban and suburban communities near our villages, the fairs play an important role in exposing the general public to agricultural practices.  As people move away from the farm, the Fair is a way to remind them about where their food comes from.  All this still occurs each year at the Richmond Fair, the third week-end in September.