Manitoba Heritage – Carberry Agricultural Society Display Building

Reid Dickie

 Agricultural Society Display Building, Fairgrounds, Carberry, MB

The high point of many small town summers was, and still is the annual agricultural fair. Usually one or two days long, depending on the size of the town and the surrounding population, country fairs bring a diversity of rural people together in a spirit of pride and competition. Gardeners show off their best produce and blooms, cattle and horse producers groom and display their prize animals in various formats, riders demonstrate their prowess, farm machinery dealers show off the latest equipment and usually a small midway offers a few rides and carny games.

The fairgrounds was and still is a place unto itself. Even though it is used for a short time each year, large, well-tended acreages are devoted to it. This picture shows the gate leading into Carberry fairgrounds with commemoration of its hundredth anniversary in 1983. Among the permanent fixtures in many fairgrounds are a grandstand in front of the display ring and several small buildings where the competitive displays of agricultural products are shown. You can see these structures in the above picture. (Click pic to enlarge)

These display buildings could be rather fanciful creations, befitting their specialized function. One popular design was the octagon, an eight-sided structure that was both eye-catching externally and spacious internally. This picture shows three completely different designs of display buildings in Carberry.

In the Carberry Fairgrounds, you will find an octagonal display building constructed in 1893 and used continuously by the local agricultural society ever since. This rare building, remarkably, retains all its original design and construction features right down to the ornate hand-carved display shelves. Even the original carved brackets are still in place. You can how well the exterior is maintained with its coat of fresh paint. Carberry has another octagonal building – a wooden grain silo. Read my post about it here.

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Filed under Carberry, Heritage Buildings, Local History, Manitoba Heritage

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