FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The Great Frederick Fair has been a community event for more than 150 years. Much has changed since that time. On Thursday, the fairgrounds hosted Old Fashion Day to highlight some of that history.
At the community tent, scores of visitors huddled around the 13 different historical society exhibits for History Day.
They were able to pick up on a bit of Frederick’s past, beginning with the area’s founding in 1745.
“Really, Frederick County starts out as an agricultural area. We start out growing wheat, and we eventually ended up moving into dairy especially with the civil war. and after that we moved into other industries,” explained Melissa Henemyer with Heritage Frederick.
Kids were hands-on, picking up bottles of grains that were originally harvested in the county and grasped at tools needed to spark a fire for candles.
For some adults, catching a glimpse of tools from a different era, displayed by the African American Resources, Cultural Heritage Society, ignited a sense of nostalgia.
“A gentleman here was showing me how to weight cotton. I had never seen one of those [tools], but some of the tools I had seen before because my great grandfather in Massachusetts had been a boat builder and used some of those same tools,” explained local visitor to the fair, Tom Frazier.
Exhibits like that from the Hagerstown and Frederick Railway History Society recounted the heyday of rail cars as a main source of transportation. On display, the H & F historical society had a copy of a railway ad that feature railway rides to the 1924 Great Frederick Fair.
Old fashion day continued with an antique car parade at the Grandstand. The fleet of vehicles ranged from models as early as the 1920s.
Chip Horn is one among the line of retro cars. This year he’s driving his 1928 Ford Roadster pickup truck.
Horn’s father bought it in 1962 for $1,800. He’s been showing it at the Frederick Fair every year since 1979.
“It’s fun, it’s my interest. It’s fun to drive, you always get looks. [This Ford] has been in the family so long for me it makes it sentimental,” said Horn.
Fair organizers say the history of the area, rooted in agriculture, and even a line-up of retro cars, reflects a sense of shared culture they aim to show off for years to come.
“This is a very important part of the county itself, the culture of the county. It brings everyone back together as one, regardless of your occupation or whatever else,” said member of the Great Frederick Fair Board of Directors, Jim Grimes.