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Finding aid of the County Fairgrounds Collection
2011-004 and 2011-005  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: County Fairgrounds collection
    Dates: 1939-2009
    Collection number: 2011-004 and 2011-005
    Creator: Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
    Collection Size: Approximately 65 cubic feet
    Repository: Santa Clara County Archives.
    San Jose, CA 95112-2527
    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: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Archives can claim physical ownership only for some collections. Users are responsible for securing permission of the copyright holder for publication or quotation.

    Preferred Citation

    County Fairgrounds collection, 2011-004 and 2011-005, Santa Clara County Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was transferred from the County Fairgrounds to the Archives in 2011.

    Administrative History

    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.

    Arrangement

    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.

    Indexing Terms

    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.)
    County fairs
    Agricultural exhibitions
    Racetracks (Horse racing)
    Amusement rides
    Livestock