Watch This Short Film of the 4-H Club Showing Off Their Cattle at the Fryeburg Fair in 1938
Did you know that the Fryeburg Fair is Maine's largest agricultural fair, and the second largest in all of New England? It didn't start out that way during its humble beginnings in 1851 with just a few farmers getting together to show off what they had from the harvest. According to the official Freyburg Fair website, William Walker of Lovell won $3 for the best acre of corn and William Spring of Brownfield earned $1 for the best seed wheat.
In 1851, photography was in its infancy so you'd be hard-pressed to find any photos that far back. However, by the 1930s motion picture film had been invented and events like the Fryeburg could be captured and viewed today, almost 100 years later, on a 21st-century invention called YouTube.
Northeast Historic Film is a nonprofit archive that is dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing vintage films shot around New England. They have a YouTube channel where many of these videos in their archive are free to watch.
One, in particular, was shot in 1938 at the Fryeburg Fair. That's 82 years ago!
There aren't any rides or fair food to be seen here. It focuses on the agricultural side of the fair with 4-H boys and girls showing their beef cattle at the Fryeburg Fair with the boys wearing shirts and ties and the girls wearing dresses with bows in their hair. All the men are wearing caps, Fedoras and Homburg hats.
Think about the time this was filmed for a moment. 1938 was 84 years ago. The 4-H kids shown in this film would be in their mid-90s today, grandparents, great-grandparents or even great-great-grandparents of today's generation. Maybe some of the 4-H kids at the Fryburg Fair today are descents of these kids, keeping the tradition going for years to come.