@ElizaBTweetin: September 6, 1872: Fruits of the Earth
Posted on September 6, 2013
Many of us spent the Labor Day weekend harvesting and preserving the last of our vegetables, just as in 1872 Eliza Wheaton canned tomatoes. She also harvested fruits, and sent George Wild to Boston to sell her grapes (he collected $5.20 for eight pounds of grapes) and cider vinegar.
She paid Mr. Wild's expenses ($4.78) for attending the New England Fair in Lowell, a precursor to the New England States Expositions now held in West Springfield. It was an important gathering, including everything from women's handiwork to a horse race track. The Cambridge Chronicle reported on the fair in its 31 August issue:
The New England Fair. — The grounds of the New England Fair, which is to be held at Lowell, September 3d, 4th, 5th, and 6th, are the finest ever occupied by the Society. They embrace more than forty acres of land, well grassed over so as to prevent any annoyance from dust. There is an abundance of water in all parts of the grounds both for man and beast. The horse stalls and covered cattle pens are built of dressed lumber, and are the best ever provided by the Society. A large Exhibition building, three stories in height, containing more than one-half acre of available space, will be used for the display of carriages, stoves, furnaces, hardware, vegetables, etc., on the first floor; fruit, flowers, and miscellaneous articles on the second floor; sewing machines, needle work, paintings, fancy goods, etc., on the third floor. The largest tent in New England, 80 by 200 feet, will be provided for the exhibition of agricultural implements and farm tools. A tent 50 by 100 feet will be devoted to the poultry show. A covered grand stand, capable of seating 3000 people, has been built, from which a view of the track and entire grounds can be had. The press head quarters are ample, and conveniently located near the centre of the grounds, and are in charge of an efficient Committee.
The Boston and Lowell and branches; Concord and branches; Northern; Boston, Concord and Montreal; Fitchburg; Fitchburg, Clinton and Boston; Framingham and Lowell railroads will sell round trip tickets at reduced rates. The entries are large, and everything indicates one of the most successful and interesting fairs ever held by the Society.