The Fryeburg Fair kicks off their 2016 season on October 2nd. This heritage fair is a staple for the fall season and has been for over 160 years. The fair has changed a lot since it's first opening day. These photos from the Maine Historical Society and Fryeburg Historical Society show how Mainers of the past enjoyed the fair festivities.

Early Fair Photo, ca. 1889 Historical Society


The photograph shows a parade at the track and the judge's stand at the "old" Fryeburg Fair, prior to 1885. For its first seven years, the fair rotated between Fryeburg, Brownfield, Porter, Denmark and Lovell. On Oct. 6, 1885 the Society bought the present-day Fryeburg Fairgrounds and since then, the fair has been held in Fryeburg.

Horse & Buggy, ca. 1885 Historical Society


A man with his horse and buggy at the Fryeburg Fair taken after 1885 showing the original judge's stand.

Kickapoo Medicine Show, ca. 1900 Historical Society


John Healy and Charles Bigelow brought a band of "full-blooded Kickapoo Indians" (Sioux, Pawnee, Mohawk, Iroquois and Blackhawk) to the Fryeburg Fair ca. 1900 to put on a medicine show to sell Kickapoo Indian Remedies. Their remedies were considered "authentic" because they used herbs and not doctored up alcohol as some companies did.

Cattle Barns, ca. 1900 Historical Society


The cattle barns and the ox teams at the Fryeburg fair, ca. 1900.

The fair looks just a little different and a lot more colorful today. We'll see you at the fair!