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Historic Ox Pull at Keene Agricultural Fair

Humanities to Go: NH’s Agricultural Fairs

August 22, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

NH’s Long Love-Hate

Relationship with

Agricultural Fairs

Sponsored by NH Humanities Council

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

7:00 pm

Enfield Shaker Museum is hosting Steve Taylor for a “Humanities to Go” presentation on New Hampshire’s Long Love-Hate Relationship with Agricultural Fairs.

The talk will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22. Made possible by a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

The first agricultural fair in North America was held in what is now Londonderry in 1722. It would become a wildly popular event lasting for generations until it was so dominated by gambling, flim-flam, and other “scandalous dimensions” that the legislature revoked its charter in 1850. But New Hampshire’s agricultural fairs have always had strong supporters and eventually the state came around to appropriating modest sums to help them succeed. Temperance groups and others would continue to attack the fairs on moral grounds and their close connection to horse racing was a chronic flashpoint. Taylor will discuss the ups and downs of NH’s agricultural fairs through the years and how public affection for rural traditions helps them survive in contemporary times.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information call the Museum at (603) 632-4346 or email education@shakermuseum.org.

Meet Steve Taylor:

Steve Taylor is an independent scholar, farmer, journalist, and longtime public official. With his sons, he operates a dairy, maple syrup, and cheese making enterprise in Meriden Village. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor, and served for 25 years as New Hampshire’s commissioner of agriculture. Taylor was the founding executive director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council and is a lifelong student of the state’s rural culture.


Enfield Shaker Museum
447 NH Route 4A
Enfield, NH 03748 United States
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(603) 632-4346