The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Exploring the History of Maine's Agricultural Fairs

A goal of the Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center is to highlight the history of the early agricultural societies and farmer clubs that once existed in the State of Maine. The Cumberland Farmers' Club traces its roots to 1868. The posts and storyboards on the Cumberland Fair give you an idea of what the is today and through your imagination how it may have looked in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In several of the storyboards readers will find the names of officers and individuals who offered special premiums. Perhaps a search for the descendants of these individuals could enrich our knowledge and the images of the history of the Cumberland Farmers' Club.

Officers of the 34th Annual Exhibition of the Cumberland Farmers' Club -- September 23 and 24, 1902

Programme and Purses at the 1902 Cumberland Farmers' Club Fair

Horse Department at the 1902 Cumberland Farmers' Club Fair

1902 Published Regulations at the Cumberland Farmers' Club Fair

Special Premiums offered at the 1902 Cumberland Farmers' Club Fair

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Today as I drove to the Farmington Fair I listened to an NPR broadcast on Maine Public Radio. This show  focused on the extinction of birds and other animals on our earth throughout the last 30 years due to our environment and the fragmentation of ecosystems. The presenters questioned if anyone really cared.

One presenter brought up the concept of connecting -- connections. He wondered if the tiger would someday be extinct. He commented, "if a person had never gone to a zoo and looked a tiger in the eye, then why would this person even care if the tiger became extinct in the wild." As I listened I thought of the harness racing industry, the breeders, the drivers, the trainers, and the workers. Then I thought of the small yet loyal fan base attending the harness racing on the Maine Fair Circuit.  Within the next fifteen to twenty years how will this fan base be replaced.

The answer is one word -- Connections. However, connections are fragile and complex. However, if a child, a middle school student, or a high school student were to look into the eye of horse, would they care? Would they become connected? Who would become the industry's messengers to promote this complex and fragile process of connecting? My thinking directs me to the Horsemen -- the families and  the drivers.

In my work with the Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center, I have, in a manner of speaking, looked the horse in the eye. I have found work and a cause that brings me a great sense of meaning, value, and purpose. I believe that the work of the Center will create connecting opportunities for Mainers to remember the history and importance of the horse throughout Maine. This remembering is the first step to connecting -- a connection I hope brings new people to the industry and a fan base that will support the industry in future years.


End of Day for the Maine Horseman -- End of First Session at the Cumberland Fair

Images from the Opening Day -- Cumberland Fair -- From the Paddocks to the Track -- From the Top of the Grand Stand -- End of the Day!

The Farm of Healing Horses

I let the Camry's GPS set my path for home from the Cumberland Fairgrounds. Oddly I ended up in Bowdoin. As I drove I gazed upon a field filled with sunshine and horses.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Father and Son -- Dead Heat in the Sixth Race at the Farmington Fair in 1.59

In the Winner's Circle at the Farmington Fair -- Father and Son -- NF Beach Candy with Kevin Switzer Up and Regina Equorum with Kevin Switzer, Jr. Up -- A Dead Heat in 1.59

Perhaps the First Ever!

Friday's 50-50 Drawing at the Farmington Fair

On Friday at the Farmington Fair -- In the Paddocks

Uhlan, Earl, Jr. and Colorado E -- Contributions to the Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center

At the Oxford Fair, Wilbur Hammond contributed eight photographs to the newly formed non-profit, The Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center. Here are two of the three larger photos that measured 20" by 23". Right now the originals are being cleaned and new non-reflective glass purchased to preserve the images. It was wonderful to have Wilbur entrust the images of these great horses and their drivers to the Center.

Earl, Jr. was a pacer of great pacer who was bred in Illinois. In Maine, Earl, Jr. set track records in Augusta, Bangor, Lewiston, Waterville, Presque Isle, and Houlton. He was purchased in 1921 by Henry Feindel of Farmington. His best time was 2.01 1/4. During his best performances Earl, Jr. was driven by Walter Cox. Earl, Jr.'s Maine track records were set in 1913. His times ranged between 2.06 3.4 and 2.10 1/2. 

Uhlan with Doc Tanner Up

Earl, Jr. with Walter Cox Up