In the fall of 1849, some citizens of Palmyra, New York decided to hold a horse racing competition and display of agricultural products for their area and surrounding towns in Hathaway’s grove. Little is written about what took place after that first fair until 1856. On April 13, 1856, seventeen men organized themselves as The Palmyra Union Agricultural Society and filed corporation papers; they held a three-day fair in October that year.
The original 18 plus acres on Jackson Street, at that time on the southern outskirts of the village of Palmyra, was leased to hold the annual fair. In 1863, The Palmyra Union Agricultural Society purchased it for $6,000. Today’s assessed value of the property is over $1,000,000.
As other “Fairs” of the time and area came and went, the “Palmyra Fair” flourished, adding new buildings from profits year to year. The Fair Building, known today as Floral Hall, was erected in 1856 and still is used today; many repairs & modifications have been made over the years, but Floral Hall is the only building still remaining since that time. 1875 fair records show a plus balance of $211.93.
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