Today marks the opening of the Oregon State Fair, which takes place in Salem through September 3.
We have the Oregon Fruitgrowers Association to thank for the state’s first unofficial fair, which took place in 1858. Two years later, the association joined with agricultural societies to form the Oregon State Agricultural Society. The society hosted Oregon’s first official state fair in 1861 on four acres of property along the Clackamas River in the Gladstone/Oregon City area.
Fast forward to 1912 and the big push for woman suffrage. Take a look at this paid ad in the state fair program. Yup, that says it all. Thank you, Oregon men, for listening.