Shelburne Fairgrounds

Associations, Organizations, Non-profit, Charities Dufferin County Equine & Agricultural Events

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Shelburne District Agricultural Society is to promote the importance of agriculture generally through educational displays and competitions.

Membership

Membership is open to anyone who pays an annual membership fee and resides within 30 km. of Shelburne.

Directors

The Board of Directors consists of 18 members elected from the membership.
Secretary-Treasurer is appointed by the society.

History

Per John Rose “History of Shelburne”

Since 1867 – oldest continuing organization in Town. Older than the Town itself. Shelburne wasn’t
incorporated as a village until 1879! This year we are celebrating 147 years. Our Sesquicentennial
will be the same year as Canada’s.

1867 – was known as Melancthon Agricultural Society, with John Mills as President

1892 – The Dufferin Central Exhibition

The Dufferin Central Fair
Shelburne District Agricultural Society
Fair for Shelburne, Amaranth, Melancthon, Mono and Mulmer

First Fair: October 1868 on the roadside in Masonville – one day event

October 5, Mid 1880’s – moved to George Charters’ farm , on grounds of Shelburne Turf (horse

racing) Association across the railway tracks from the railway station (not successful – 4 inches of

Next year – moved it to the spring

Shelburne Turf Association became Shelburne Driving Club, and granted Fair use of grounds for

1887 – John Jelly (William Jelly’s younger brother) built grandstand for Queen Victoria’s Golden

Jubilee celebrations. Stood until demolished in an aircraft accident in 1922.

1888 Simon Jelly (William Jelly’s older brother – and the first of the Jelly family to settle in

Shelburne) gave 16 acres of his farm to the Driving Club, which is the location of the present

Fairgrounds, although it is smaller now. Contained regulation half-mile racing oval. Agricultural

Society paid $50 a year to use property at Fair time. William Jelly was President of the Ag Society at

1889 – horse races, Highland Dancing competition, John Jelly displayed his Mastadon skeleton

(Newburg Mastadon) in a tent, Shelburne Citizens’ Band, fireworks

1890 – Agricultural Hall built at cost of $1,100, with electric lights! Very tall building which resembled

an old grain elevator. Very large, with 10-12 ft gallery around interior walls. Demolished in 1947

when the CDRC was built.

October 6-7, 1891 Fair – John Jelly displayed and demonstrated first “talking machine”

(gramophone) seen around here for 10cents admission, and his second mammoth skeleton

(Highgate Mastadon) which was larger than the first, but not complete.

January 1892 – Agricultural Society purchased property from the Driving Club for $1,500

1916 – Horse Stable built – still in use today

Anniversary – no celebrations due to WWI. Large celebrations for 60th

September 20, 1958 – Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and Federal Member Earl Rowe attended

Fair. Mr. Rowe later became Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, and was a frequent visitor.

1972 – 6 member Executive Board, 30 member Board of Associate Directors, 35 member Ladies’

Board of Associate Directors. 200 entrants. 90 page Prize List.

2014 – 18 member board of Directors. 92 page Prize List.