I have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years. Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some are inherited, some were purchased at antique malls and thrift stores – all are precious to me. Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays. Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years. Each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post a COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.
My collectibles this week are from the Butler County (Hamilton, Ohio) Fair. This has remained one of our favorite fairs for over 50 years because it has never changed from being an oldtime county fair. My only complaint about the present-day fair is they no longer have harness racing.
One of my favorite collectibles from 14 years ago is a coverlet with all of the things I love about a fair – horses, farm animals, displays, the midway, fruit and vegetable exhibits. It comes out every year to display on the couch and usually winds up wrapped around one of the grandchildren.
Another favorite which I’ve had for about 20 years is an original photograph from the year they built a new grandstand – 1913. Click on pictures to enlarge.
In later years I received a gift of a copy of the complete panoramic photo of that glorious day in Hamilton.
I love the old touring car and all of the dressed-up clothes the people were wearing.
From about the same era, I have a Ruby Glass tiny cup with the inscription – Butler County Fair – 1915.
My older daughter and I visited the fair yesterday to check out the exhibits by her and the younger daughter. They accumulated a pile of ribbons including a blue ribbon for the younger daughter’s knitted shawl and a Best of Show for the older daughter’s crocheted doily. It’s the 164th year for the Butler County Fair and it’s still the best fair in our area.
I have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years. Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some were inherited, some were purchased at antique malls, gift shops or thrift stores – all are precious to me. Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays. Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years, so each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post a COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.
The first county fair of the year in our area is happening this week (Warren County – Lebanon, Ohio) and it’s time to bring out my fair collectibles. I have quite a few since I’ve been a fair enthusiast all my life. The top two vintage banners are for our local Cincinnati (Hamilton County) fair and the Ohio State fair, hanging on an old cane won many years ago.
Since my father trained and drove harness horses, fair time is synonymous with trotters and pacers in our family. I have a nice assortment of commemorative glasses and mugs on my kitchen shelf (along with a doll that won a prize for her pretty dress about 30 years ago and some small spoons).
Although they are not fair activities, I display my items from the Little Brown Jug (the World Series of pacers) ….
…and the Hambletonian (the World Series of trotters) along with a 1976 commemorative bottle from the Fairfield County (Lancaster, Ohio) fair.
I’ve exhibited many times at fairs in the past but this year have left it to my older daughter who took a few of her antiques to Lebanon. Can’t wait until tomorrow night to see how she did – and to watch a couple of harness races.
I’ve been wanting a Harker Hotoven rolling pin for a long time and finally found one at an antique store in Lebanon, Ohio, for a reasonable price.
When I got it home, I realize I already had a pie plate in the same pattern. It is quite discolored and crazed, which I don’t mind. It shows that it has been used to bake a lot of pies. My daughter found the rack at a thrift store for $4 and it’s perfect for displaying the two pieces.
Today, we visited a local thrift store and found a Universal water bottle with a beautiful marigold pattern. I love these vintage patterns for china and pottery.
I also found a lovely pale pink and green Hull vase which is perfect for displaying while I’m waiting for spring to arrive.
These two items were only $15 each – a bargain even with a few imperfections.
To add to a week of very nice collectibles, my daughter gave me this darling 2-inch high pitcher for St. Patrick’s Day.
It was a very good week for collectibles.
County fairs were the major source of summer entertainment throughout my childhood in the 1930-40s era and we went to as many fairs as we could manage on my father’s salary and his gas ration points during World War II. My favorite part of the fair was sitting around the barn before and after the afternoon’s races, listening to all of the “horse talk” going on around me and just sniffing – a horse barn is still my favorite scent in the world. Of course, a barn is always full of flies. My mother used to say that my little sister, who was so anxious to get to the midway and rides, would sit on a folding chair in the barn area and constantly wriggle, scratch, complain, and whine, while every fly in the county landed on her. Meanwhile, I sat very quietly, taking in all the sights, sounds and smells with not one fly near me.
In my childhood, the horses made up 90% of my interest in the fair, so all through my life, I’ve collected anything with a harness horse on it. I have quite a few items in my kitchen:
Although I always loved the horses the most, I was also anxious to see the baking and canning displays, the animals, and the quilts.
My kitchen shelf has a large silver tray on top that was won by my father for a race in 1969, and there are two silver bowls plus a brass tray that I won in pie contests in the 1980s.
All of the family competed and won awards in our county fairs and the Ohio State Fair.
It’s fair time again and although we don’t compete any more, I have a small county fair to enjoy right here in my own kitchen.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
On Friday, I pause and remember a single, wordless moment from the past week – inspired by The Warden’s Log.
Ready for the Kentucky Derby with items autographed by Gary Stevens
For information on Gary Stevens, famous jockey