The Boonville Fair Association was incorporated in the year 1888 under Chapter 248 of the Laws of 1872, as amended. The incorporators were H.W. Bentley, C.C. Tharratt, J. J. Hoyt, F.A. Willard, W.W. Roberts, W. Ray Tanner, George H. Beck. Charles E.Thompson, F. W. Owens, Charles Kilkeney, and R. R. Roberts, and the same persons were named in the certificate of incorporation as directors of the first year.
At a meeting of the Board of Directors held at the Hulbert House at Boonville, New York, June 12, 1888, the following officers were elected: President J.J. Hoyt; vice-president, C.E. Thompson; secretary, F.W. Owen; treasurer, R.H. Roberts.
Boonville Fair HistoryMr. Hoyt continued as president for three years and was succeeded by B.C. Tharratt, who was president for the year 1891. Following Mr. Tharratt, E.B. Austin was president for four years. He was followed by Charles E. Thompson, who was president during the year 1896. B.A. Capron was president for the years 1897 and 1899; Frank W. Smith, president during the year 1898; G.A. Willard, 1900, 1901, and from 1906 to 1913; Fred M. Woolley, 1902 and 1903, Henry McClusky, 1904 and 1905. C.R. Sperry was elected in 1914 and continued in that capacity to 1933, when Tharratt G. Best was elected. Mr. Best served in 1933 and was followed by C.A. Musser, 1934-1935. In 1936, C.R. Sperry took the presidency until his death in June 1936. Since then, Mr. Musser capably served until 1940, and Romeyn Vaughn 1940 until his death in October 1961. Walter Flint served from October to December 1961. E.R. Hargrave was president at that time and served until November 1964. Newell F. Wagoner has served as President siSince 1964. Mr. Wagoner served as President of the N.Y. Association of Agricultural Fairs 1978-1979.
Boonville Fair HistoryThe first secretary was F.W. Owen, who held office for two years. He was followed by C.D. Kau in 1890. Henry McClusky was secretary for the years 1891, 1892, 1893, 1895 and 1899. In 1896 Charles J. Lewis was elected secretary and served for one year. He was followed by W.H. McClusky, who served for two years. In 1900, H.B. Belknap was elected secretary and served one year. He was followed by Charles G. Cavanagh, who served for one year. In 1902, George L. Birdsey acted as secretary for one year and in 1903, H.J.Vollmar was elected and served until 1914, when F.A. White was selected who served until his death in 1932, when Perley S. Babcockwas elected. Ronald Ryder took over for 1934-1935-1936 and was followed by Romeyn Vaughn who served until 1940.
E.R. Hargrave served as grounds manager and midway secretary in 1937, 1938 and 1939 and has served as general secretary, 1940-1945; Charles Fickbohm, 1946-1961; Howard Teal, 1962-1966; E.R. Hargrave. 1967-1968; Marion Sattler, 1969-1994; Phyllis Pfendler, 1995-1998; Dianne Hendrickson has served since 2001.
Boonville Fair HistoryThe following persons have acted as treasurer; R.H. Roberts, 1888; B.C. Tharratt, 1889; E.B. Austin, 1890-91; G.H. Beck, 1892; B.A. Capron, 1893-1896 and 1921 to 1928; E.G.Palmer, 1897-1899; A.J. Schweinsberg, 1900; H.R. Tobbs, 1901-1902; J. Howard Jackson, 1903; Charles G. Cavanagh, 1904; E.B. Palmer 1905-1906; F.A. White, 1907-1908; C.J. Lewis, 1909-1920; Jackson Capron, 1929-1934; D.K. Merrill, 1934-1945; E.R. Hargrave, 1946-1961, 1969 and 1972-1973; Albert South III, 1962-1964 and 1966-1968; Helen P. South, 1965; Reginald Porter,1970-1971; Phyllis Pfendler, 1973-1974; Peter Parrish, 1975-1976; Jane Bellinger, since 1977.
Prior to the organization of The Boonville Fair Association, the Boonville Union Agricultural Society, which was organized in 1871, held fairs for a number of years with a reasonable degree of success on the grounds leased by it of the Boonville Driving Park Association. This society gradually declined and finally went out of existence and was succeeded by the present association.
The first Fair held by the Boonville Fair Association was on the dates of September 11, 12, 13, and 14, 1888, on the grounds leased by the Driving Park Association, which is the present location, except that considerable land has been added since that time.
In 1905, the Association purchased the lands, which were at that time known as the fair ground property and which included what was known as the Avery house and lot of W.R. Tanner. This consisted of about 17 acres of land. Later, about 10 more acres of land was purchased. In 1970, three acres of land was purchased from the Adirondack School District. Extensive reclamation was necessary to utilize this property. Also extensive improvements have been made throughout the various years from the proceeds derived from the operation of the Fair.