Nevada Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society

Nevada Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society

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Nevada Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society
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Beautifully engraved unissued certificate from the Nevada Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society dated 187X. This historic document has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man with a sledge hammer. This item is over 122 years old.
Certificate Vignette Nevada had been a state for less than ten years and Reno was a newly established railroad town when what would become the Nevada State Fair was first held on a warm fall afternoon in 1874. Far on the other side of Nevada, the first classes were being held at the new University of Nevada, one of the few other entities that can trace its roots so deeply in the history of the Silver State. And while it was a far cry from the bright lights and crowds of the 2002 Nevada State Fair, scheduled August 21-25, it still had a number of things in common with today's expositions. Organized by the Nevada State Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Society, the first fair was held in a location well south of Reno, near what is now the busy intersection of Plumb Lane and South Virginia Street. Back then, it was on the main road linking Reno with Carson City and Virginia City and you can be sure that families came from miles around to enjoy the festivities. In fact, that first fair had many things in common with what you might see at the 2002 Nevada State Fair, including exhibits of locally grown produce, livestock and homemade items ranging from knitwear to jams and jellies. Just like today's there was musical entertainment, including a joint concert featuring the Winnemucca Brass Band and the Reno Cornet Band. There was also a marksmanship competition between local militia organizations such as the Emmet Guard from Virginia City and Company C of the Reno Guard. In addition, the Women's Christian Temperance Union had a "Temple of Temperance" on display and Sacramento furniture dealer John Breuner made the arduous journey over the Sierra with a large exhibit of his wares. The Fair was held in just about the same location until 1887, when the Nevada Legislature appropriated $10,000 for the purchase of a track of land northeast of Reno, the present fairgrounds location on Wells Avenue. The next year, local supporters erected livestock sheds, put in a racetrack and built a grandstand. Political deal-making in the Nevada Legislature resulted in the Fair being moved to Fallon in 1913 and it remained there until returning to Reno in the early 1930s. For more information about the Nevada State Fair, contact us today!


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