In 1921, Unionville was a very rural, agriculture area and a “new” school had just been built. It served all 12 grades (the building now serves as Unoinville Elementary). Vocational Agriculture and Vocational Home Economics were two major courses in school.
In 1924 the Fair was started , under the direction of teacher John Corman with the help of the Vocational-Agriculture boys and a committee from the local granges. Four tables were put up in the hall in the school one for each of the 4 classes – Vocational home economics, Fruit, Field Crops and Poultry. It turned out to be a “Corn Show” because those were the only received entries.
In 1925 there were a few more exhibits in the other classes, and thus it all began. Although there was a Chester County Fair at that time, it beginning to fail, and didn’t make it through the years, which is why the Unionville Corn Show
was important. The Fair was then renamed the Unionville Community Farm Products Show. Local Granges, the People’s Bank of Unionville and the Avondale Bank offered financial aid to the Fair and the first prize was given for the “heaviest corn” entry. The winner was Chester Chandler for 70 ears weighing 59 pounds.
Soon the ladies of the community wanted to be involved and brought in their handiwork of knitted, crocheted and sewn items as well as heirloom quilts etc., so classes were added for these items as well.
The ladies also offered to put on a turkey dinner as a way to make money for the Fair. They donated and prepared all the food. Faculty set the tables and served the food. The turkeys were grown locally at Cloudland Turkey Farm, located on Unionville Lenape Road .The Future Farmers of America (FFA) – a school organization for boys was instrumental in helping to put on the Fair each year.The local granges – Doe Run, East Lynn, Marshallton, Kennett and Brandywine all had individual booths which became the highlight of the Fair each year showcasing their beautiful displays. It was always a big competition to see which one would get the blue ribbon. These granges would long be strong supporters and participates of the Fair.
1931 – Fair was cancelled due to an outbreak of Polio. Two local children contracted the disease.
1933 –The senior class, looking for a way to make money for their Senior Class trip decided to serve hamburgers, hotdogs and coca-cola. This tradition continued until 1960. A few years in, the International Club took this on as a fundraiser for the exchange student program, which was then discontinued in the late 90’s.
1934 –The first known “catalog”/Fair booklet was printed, it had 28 pages including the cover. There were 10 rules, all of which are still incorporated in our current rules. Although there are mentions of a premium booklet as early as 1925, there are no known copies of any until the 1934 version.
1934 - There were 8 departments with a total of 113 classes – which compares to 22 departments with over 1300 classes currently.
1936 – First Harvest Queen was chosen and crowned. She was chosen by audience applause.
1939 – The first “Mother’s Club” booth – which sold “aprons of character” and homemade baked goods. Over the years the items sold changed to fit the times,there was a “fish pond” where children “fished” for small toys, always homemade goods, candy etc. This evolved into the Calico Cupboard that lasted throughout the years.
1942- The Fair was cancelled due to World War II
1943 - The Fair was held again as an example of the community’s efforts toward the country’s call of “Food for Victory”. The booklet did not have advertisements because the businesses were already “making every possible contribution to the war loans”.
1965 – The Fair moved to the “new” High School. Until 1966 all the teachers and school board members were listed in the catalog.
1974 – A contest was run to find a logo for the Fair – Tom DeMott – a Unionville graduate – won. It is the logo we still use today.
1984 - First Pancake Breakfast by the Kennett Rotary Club, which continued until the move to the Landhope property.
2008 – the Fair moved to the Willowdale Steeplechase property, donated by Dixon Stroud and Landhope Farms.
2009 – The revitalized catalog was printed by Ad Pro, with color pages and a different look from the past 33 years. It went to print with three times the previous quantity. Ad pro is owned by Randy Lieberman – a Unionville alum, who donates his services to print this catalog.
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