Garden Club trophy 1931In honor of the upcoming Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, this week’s artifact is a silver trophy cup awarded to the Community Garden Club of Rockville at the 1931 Rockville Fair.  The prize was awarded by the Washington Evening Star newspaper for the best display at the Flower Show.  Here’s the full text, as inscribed in a nice early-1930s font: “Rockville Fair Flower Show / The Evening Star Gardens Club Cup / Aug 18-21 1931 / Winning Club / Community Garden Club of  Rockville Md.”  The Rockville Garden Club had a good year; we also have their trophy awarded by the Fair Association, again for “winning club” at the flower show in 1931, as well as their winning Evening Star Cup for the previous year, 1930.  The Rockville Garden Club donated these three trophies to us in 1973. 

The Rockville Fair – essentially the County Fair – was held at the fairgrounds in Rockville, where Richard Montgomery High School is today. The Montgomery County Agricultural Society began the annual fair in 1846; it moved to the permanent fairgrounds in 1856, and continued there every year (with a few breaks during the Civil War) until 1932. At that point the Agricultural Society, like much of the country, was having financial difficulties, and the fairgrounds were sold to the Montgomery County School Board; that was the end of the first incarnation of the County Fair. In 1949, after several years of planning, local 4-H leaders held the first revived County Fair in Gaithersburg; today it is the largest County Fair in Maryland.

I do realize that this is the second fair-related item on this blog (and it’s only, what, the seventh post?) but what can I say, I’m in a summer mood and am ready for the Fair.  Bring on the pig races, Bunny Barn, funnel cake, Home Arts show, and random vendors!  (You can have the rides.)

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