Date in History: 1853-present

One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1853, a group of pioneer farmers in the county got together to form the Jefferson County Agricultural Society to encourage improvements in farming and animal husbandry. They held their first annual agricultural fair in September of that year on the land next to the Green Mountain House Hotel – now the Black Hawk Senior Residence – in downtown Fort Atkinson. This was particularly convenient for Milo Jones as both President of the Agricultural Society and as owner of the hotel.

In succeeding years the location of the fair rotated among the villages of Jefferson, Lake Mills and Watertown. Since 1867 the fair has been held at its present location in Jefferson.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 08/04/2003.