Dutchess County Fair at Washington Hollow

Then, Agricultural Hall and Canoe Hill
Post Card from Dieter Friedrichsen's collection

Now (2003), Photo by Teddi

The Dutchess County Agricultural Society was organized in 1841 at Washington Hollow. The first Dutchess County Fair was held there on the first Wednesday and Thursday of October 1842. Total prizes awarded for livestock, fruit and vegetables at this fair amounted to $294.00.

In 1843 the fair was held in Poughkeepsie, in 1844 in Washington Hollow and then alternated between Poughkeepsie and Washington Hollow until 1852, when Washington Hollow was chosen as the permanent site of the Dutchess County Fair.

By 1867 the site had grown from 7 acres and 1 building to over 30 acres, several buildings and a half mile race track. This picture shows one of the buildings at the fair site, the exhibition hall.

Also located near the site were the Washington Hollow Inn or “Wheeler House” as well as a Turkey Farm. Today the Headquarters of Troop “K” of the New York State Police is located at the site.

Information provided by Dieter Friedrichsen