Scope and Content of Collection
Title: County Fairgrounds collection
Collection number: 2011-004 and 2011-005
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
Approximately 65 cubic feet
Santa Clara County Archives.
Abstract: The County Fairgrounds Collection consists of materials pertaining to the County Fair and Fairgrounds ranging from 1939 to
2009. These materials include: Fairgrounds' Board meeting minutes, financial reports, programs, premium lists, administrative
files, photographs, slides, negatives, video and audio tapes, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, blueprints, press kits/books,
Fairgrounds publications, Senior Expo records, and ephemera.
Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Archives staff.
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
The Archives can claim physical ownership only for some collections. Users are responsible for securing permission of the
copyright holder for publication or quotation.
County Fairgrounds collection, 2011-004 and 2011-005, Santa Clara County Archives.
The collection was transferred from the County Fairgrounds to the Archives in 2011.
The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds has held the annual county fair since 1941. While a fair was held in San Jose during the
late nineteenth century, Santa Clara County did not have a fair during the early 1900s, despite the county's prominence in
agriculture and livestock. Therefore the Santa Clara Valley Fair Association was created in 1937 in order to create a fair.
On October 28, 1940 the County Board of Supervisors purchased the 97 acre Macomber Ranch on Tully Road for $35,000 from H.
Kirk Macomber. On March 12, 1941 the County authorized the renamed Santa Clara County Fair Association to run the fair.
The first fair was held October 7th through 12th in 1941. The next fair was not held until 1946 due to World War II. A fair
has been held annually since then. The annual fair included horse and car racing, carnival rides, an exposition hall, livestock,
displays of flowers and agriculture, arts and crafts, live entertainment, merchant displays, and competitions of all sorts.
Over the years building were added, such as horse barns, the sheep and swine building, the rabbit and poultry building, administrative
buildings, the Exposition Hall, the Pavilion Building, a large blue arch over the entrance to the fairgrounds, a reproduction
of the original capital building, grandstands, and arenas. The "Cheery Farmer" became the mascot, and the official slogan
was "Hi, Neighbor!"
While the Fairgrounds have shrunk in size since its heyday, and the horse track and many of the buildings no longer exist,
the Fairgrounds still hosts an annual fair and many events year round. The Exposition Hall and Pavilion Hall still stand,
and the Fairgrounds now has an off-track betting parlor. The Fairgrounds is currently run by the Fairgrounds Management Corporation.
Scope and Content of Collection
The County Fairgrounds Collection consists of materials pertaining to the County Fair and Fairgrounds ranging from 1939 to
2009. These materials include: Fairgrounds' Board meeting minutes, financial reports, programs, premium lists, photographs,
slides, negatives, video and audio tapes, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, blueprints, administrative records, press kits/books,
Fairgrounds publications, Senior Expo records and ephemera. Please see the container for more details for each series.
This collection is arranged into fifteen series: Fairgrounds' Board Meeting Minutes, Financial Reports, Programs and Premium
Lists, Photographs, Slides, and Negatives, General Information and Memorabilia, Video and Audio Tapes, Scrapbooks, Newspaper
Clippings, Blueprints, Administrative records, Press Kits/Books, Fairgrounds Publications, Pamphlets and Posters, Senior Expo
records, and Ephemera. These series are arranged in chronological order.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Santa Clara County (Calif.)
Racetracks (Horse racing)