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Community Living

August 1, 2012

Historic Photo of Grady County Free Fair

Grady County Historical Society Spotlight

Through the efforts of the first Grady County Home Demonstration Club Agent, Nettie Coryell, 4-H Clubs and Home Demonstration Clubs were established.  Included in the collections housed at the Grady County Museum are the records of Nettie Coryell’s career.  According to 1929 and 1930 records, she had established 4-H clubs at most of the schools and home demonstration clubs in twenty-two communities.  In 1930 there were community fairs at Arcadia, Friend, Meridian, Little Washita, Rush Springs, and Tuttle.

When the clubs began to exhibit at the Grady County Free Fair, the items were housed in a tent.  The next year, these exhibits were moved into the “large Fair Building”.  The space needed to showcase the exhibits increased thorough-out the years.

The clubs focused on gardens and canning, dressmaking, budgets with emphasis on economical buying, home improvements, and poultry.  The day-long monthly meetings included recipe exchanges and demonstrations of new methods and equipment such as pressure cookers.  Yet, not all was work.  The clubs frequently scheduled club picnics at parks with their families.

Photographs of the exhibits from 1929 and 1930 are on view at the Grady County Museum.  During 1930, twenty-three 4-H clubs and twenty-two Home Demonstration Clubs exhibited at the County Free Fair.  The home demonstration clubs had to exhibit four house dresses and provide a “canning budget exhibit”.  A budget exhibit consisted of food for a family of five for one week. Twenty-one of the clubs had canning exhibits.   It was noted in the records that the weather in 1930 prevented the members from having the desired exhibits.  

The photographs will be on display in the outside east display window along with other items from Fair history.   On the wall behind the items hangs one of six panels of award ribbons won by the late Hermina Novotny.  

The Grady County Museum is located at 415 W. Chickasha Avenue, Chickasha, OK and is open M-F 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Due to the annual summer vacation and repair week, the building is closed July 30th to August 3rd.  The outside display venues are still available for viewing.  To schedule group tours contact 405-224-6480 or gchistorical@att.net.  Visit gradycountyhistorical.org for additional historical information.

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