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Coastal Plains Fair Association Records, 1913-1931

Manuscript Collection #508

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Coastal Plains Fair Association Records
Creator: Coastal Plains Fair Association
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Records (1913-1931) including correspondence, financial records, clippings and photographs.
Extent: 3.04 Cubic feet, 1500 items , consisting of correspondence, financial records, clippings, and photographs.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

March 17, 1986, 2 cu. ft.; Records (1917-1930) of Tarboro, NC, agricultural fair. Gift of F. S. Royster Mercantile Company, Tarboro, NC.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Coastal Plains Fair Association Records (#508), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of F. S. Royster Mercantile Company

Processing Information

  • Processed by M. Boccaccio, March 1988

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The Coastal Plains Fair Association, previously known as the Edgecombe County Fair Association, was based in Tarboro, NC, and organized that county's fair from at least 1913 until the 1930s. Officers were elected annually. In addition to funds received from stockholders, an appropriation was received from the State Department of Agriculture. Clarence A. Johnson and L. D. Hargrove, both of the Royster Mercantile Company, were secretaries of the association through the 1910s and 1920s.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Correspondence mainly concerns the booking of acts which included balloonists, high-wire acts, acrobats, animal acts, bands, and fireworks. Correspondence with State Department of Agriculture Home Demonstration agents concerns exhibits and premiums, while that with school principals concerns school exhibits.

Fair management is a recurring topic. Correspondence in 1918 concerns the organization and running of a county fair, while a memo from C. A. Johnson (1919) urges the directors to keep the fair agricultural in emphasis. Later correspondence (1924) details Coastal Plains Fair Association holdings and management as does a 1927 memo. Correspondence with another county fair secretary (1927) discusses the political reasons for a large number of circuses coming through Edgecombe County.

Harness racing is a major topic throughout. Problems with the North Carolina Fair Circuit are discussed as are plans for the formation of a new circuit, the Short Ship Circuit, for eastern North Carolina (1918). Racing committee minutes, circuit minutes, and correspondence concern the number of classes, purses, rules, and admissions. ShortShip Circuit finances are given for 1927. Auto racing is discussed in 1927 and occasionally in 1929.

World War I influenced the fair in several ways. A 1918 flyer from the Internal Revenue Service gives war tax information for racing associations and fairs. In 1918 the National War Work Council of the YMCA presented an exhibit and the fair association decided to pay its premiums with war savings stamps. In 1919 Johnson requested a government thrift exhibit, and a military exhibit of German war relics was also arranged. Furnifold M. Simmons corresponded with Johnson in 1918 about exhibiting a government airplane and in 1919 about having the Navy Band perform. The fair was cancelled in 1918 due to the influenza epidemic.

A letter from A. P. Foxhall to W. A. Hart and George Howard, officers of the Fair Association, responds to a charge that intoxicants and prostitutes were used at the convict camp which was located on the fairgrounds during the 1923 off-season.

Stockholders lists are available for 1925, 1927, and 1930. Balance sheets are included for 1920-1929 while some miscellaneous financial records note partial payrolls. A journal lists bills, cash, expenses, rent, concessions, and gate receipts (1913, 1916-1924). Photographs are of acts.

A file on the N.C. State Fair includes reports, a pamphlet about running local fairs, and minutes of meetings (1928-1929). A file on other fairs includes the 1925 budget and annual report of the Kinston Fair Association.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Card Catalog Entries Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Reading Room's card catalog. This system is no longer maintained, but it is left in place to help on-site researchers locate particular topics in the collection.

Geographic Entries :

  • North Carolina, Edgecombe County

Autograph Entries :

  • Simmons, F[urnifold] M[cLendel] (6) 1918-1919

Subject Entries :

  • AGRICULTURE--Fairs--Edgecombe Co., NC
  • AGRICULTURE--Fairs--Kinston Fair Association
  • CRIME AND PUNISHMENT--Prisons--Edgecombe Co., NC
  • HEALTH AND MEDICINE--Diseases--Influenza
  • SOCIAL LIFE AND CUSTOMS--Fairs--1910s-1930s
  • SPORTS--Racing
  • WAR--WORLD WAR I--Homefront--Edgecombe Co., NC

Date Entries :

  • 1917-1919
  • 1920-1929
  • 1930-1931

Images below are listed alphabetically by subject. This list reflects only those portions of the collection for which negatives have been prepared.

Location: Roseboro, NC
Date: 1920
Call Number: p-508/9

Description: Ruth Law, aviatrix
Location: Edgecombe Co., NC
Date: 1919
Call Number: p-508/3

Description: Fair truck
Location: Virginia--Norfolk
Date: 1928
Call Number: p-508/5

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Box 1#0508.1
Correspondence, 1917 - August 1919
Box 2#0508.2
Correspondence, September 1919 - 1922
Box 3#0508.3
Correspondence, January 1923 - August 1925
Box 4#0508.4
Correspondence, September 1925 - September 1928
Box 5#0508.5
Correspondence, October 1928 - 1931
Box 6#0508.6
Coastal Plains Fair advertising, 1916-1928
Box 6#0508.6
Clippings; Agent's advertising; North Carolina Association of Fairs, 1922-1929
Box 6#0508.6
Other fairs; Stockholders, 1925-1930
Box 6#0508.6
Insurance, 1921-1930
Box 6#0508.6
Miscellaneous financial records; Balance sheets, 1921-1930
Box 6#0508.6
Journal, 1913, 1916-1924
Box 6#0508.6

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

What is this page? Click here to learn more abou this webpage
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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