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2024 Special Events

National Train Day

2024 Special Exhibits

All Aboard! Train Exhibit

A new All Aboard! train exhibit at the Museum of Fulton County will allow guests to journey back in time to explore the history of trains in this region. The interactive exhibit featuring train and depot artifacts, model trains, and hands-on activities will focus on the people who worked on and around the railroad. The exhibit opens to the public on Friday, January 26 at 10:00 am.

“Since 1852, electric trollies, steam and diesel engines have crisscrossed the county and helped each village to thrive,” shared John Swearingen, Jr., director of the Museum of Fulton County. “Our new All Aboard! train exhibit will share information about the four railroad company lines that ran through the county including the New York Central, Wabash, Detroit Toledo and Ironton, and the Toledo & Western and Toledo & Indiana electric interurban railroads (cable cars). We will also be telling the stories of local people involved with the railroad including passengers, depot employees and community members.

 Located in the Worthington Gallery at the museum, this temporary exhibit features a variety of railroad-themed artifacts from train depots across Fulton County including tools, signals, lanterns, telegraph machines, and uniforms. Thanks to the Swanton Area Railroad and Model Train Club, the exhibit also includes a working model train display. Guests will love watching the Wabash and New York Central model trains travel round and round the homes, barns and shops representing a typical Fulton County landscape. Other exhibit highlights include a playhouse switch/watch tower where kids can catch all the action on the model train display, a monumental-sized storybook about trains, and a toy train set for toddlers to enjoy. There is a telegraph morse code game and a variety of other hands-on crafts focused on the railroad history theme.

“Guests exploring the new train exhibit will be immersed in railroad history as they meet real people from our past including postmaster Bertha Emmons, Wabash crew member Grover Merillat, telegraph operator Esther Stone, signal operator Alva Shull, and many others,” Swearingen added.

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Meet Me at the Fair - Special Exhibit

Have you ever wondered about the early days of the Fulton County Fair? Stop by soon to explore the “Meet Me at the Fair” exhibit to learn more about the history of one of the best and biggest fairs in Ohio! This fun and interactive exhibit shares many unique artifacts, videos, and fun facts about the history of the Fulton County Fair! Guests of all ages will enjoy seeing 4-H projects and books, entertainment posters, promotional items, and fair photos from days-gone-by. By popular demand, this fun exhibit has been held over and will remain open through September 2024!

A Bit of Fair History . . .
The Fulton County Fair is 166 years old this year. The first Fair was held just east of Ottokee on ten rented acres. Everyone pitched in to prepare the grounds and construct some buildings. The site was too small for a racetrack, so the main forms of competition were plowing and wood chopping.

In 1865, thanks to Colonel Howard and friends, the Agricultural Society moved the Fair to its present location. The original plot was 40 acres and cost $500.00. It took a lot of work with oxen to fit the grounds and build a racetrack at the cost of $1,500.00, but the Fair opened on time in 1911. When the work was complete, the Agricultural Society deeded the land to the county commissioners.

The first Junior Fair was created in 1902, and the co-operative OSU Extension Office took over in 1918. The county fair has been the best venue for showing off new inventions designed by Fulton County businesses and promoting sales and services. From trapeze artists to famous music groups, the Fulton County Fair has been known for its top-notch entertainment. In 1957, barn dances and circus acts were replaced with Labor Day Grand Ole Opry shows, including Barbara Mandrel, Roy Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys and Alabama. Contests like horseshoe pitching, pulling competitions, and a demolition derby later filled up the week-long schedule. Rides have entertained children, and fair food favorites keep people returning year-after-year.  In 1949, games were brought to the fair, camping was started in 1964 and 15 rides were added in 1975.

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Meet Me at the Fair
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