Old photo of Healdsburg Fair
FAIR GALS Barbara Basford and Kay Woodward in an advertisement for St. John’s Fair, held Fourth of July weekend in years gone by.

100 years ago – May 29, 1924

False Report of Purpose of River Dam Project

A threat to halt the building of the Russian River dam here, through a misunderstanding, was made Saturday, but the situation was cleared and work was proceeding on the Chamber of Commerce’s important project this morning. A false report, apparently emanating from Healdsburg sources, brought a delegation of representatives from the Russian River Chamber of Commerce to this city to protest against building of the dam. An injunction to stop work was all in readiness for serving.

Old dam on Russian River
DAM IT The seasonal dam going in at Memorial Beach, as it has for decades, to create a deeper swimming hole upstream. This year the dam is expected to be closed the first weekend in July.

Word had reached the resort section of the river resort that the Healdsburg dam plan was an irrigation project, and that the water to be backed up by the dam here would be diverted for irrigation purposes. As this would lower the water level at the river resorts, the Russian River Chamber of Commerce was ready to fight to the last ditch, they stated. The delegation represented Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Guerneville and other resorts in that section, which would be seriously handicapped if the river was lowered.

When it was explained that the dam here was mainly for the purpose of providing a summer pleasure lake, and that the only economic feature was that of backing up the water in the city springs, the delegation departed in peace and contentment. With that cleared up, the pouring of concrete for the bulkhead and retaining wall were resumed.

75 years ago – May 27, 1949

Television Sets To Be Exhibited at St. John’s Fair

Two television sets will be in operation as part of the extensive program of entertainment planned for St. John’s County Fair to be held over the July Fourth weekend. On Sunday and Monday, July 3 and 4, special activities for the children including contests and pony rides are slated, and many other events will provide for local residents and visitors a variety of fun.

A featured attraction at the fair will be an exhibit room in which art works and crafts, the creations of young people and adults of this community, will be displayed. Prizes to be given away at the fair are now on display at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s office on West Street.

50 years ago – May 30, 1974

Boy with pig
PORCINE PRIZE A future farmer tends his market hog at a Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair some 50 years ago.

Largest Auction in Fair History

A quarter century of unparalleled success was recorded last Saturday night when the bank accounts of 4-H and FFA livestock youngsters were padded with a record smashing $45,278 offered by generous bidders in the fabulous four-hour junior livestock auction which climaxed the Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair.

The total was $8,669 higher than the previous record of $36,609 set last year, and the sale averages for hogs and lambs were above fondest expectations. However the beef prices were down from last year but still far above the market support price of 40 cents a pound. The average for 13 steers was 79 cents, compared to 92 cents a year ago.

Last year 137 lambs averaged an all-time high of $1.50 per pound, and even though the last 66 woolies were sold in pen lots of two, the average skyrocketed to an almost unbelievable high of $1.74. The prices paid for 28 market hogs also were staggering. The average was $150, compared to the previous record last year of $107. Highly inflated prices were paid again for fryer pens of three market rabbits, with a top bid of $180.

The Healdsburg Museum, 221 Matheson St., is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11am to 4pm. No admission, donations welcome.

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