Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 11: FARM
Series 16: EVENTS
FARM 1918 Community Fair Day

FARM 1918 Community Fair Day

Frances Lavender Album. Fair Day, Sept. 1918. “Green Cornett, the fiddler from Line Fork, and Bird Turner ‘beating.’ He is the school teacher on Big Laurel.” [lave025.jpg]

September 28, 1918

TAGS: 1918 Community Fair Day, Farmer’s Day, farmers, farming, Community Fair Days, fairs, Fair Day, Harlan County KY, Harlan County Fair, Katherine Pettit, May Stone, Doc Pratt, J.M. Feltner, C.N. Manning, Dr. Thomas J. Cooper, University of Kentucky, Hindman School, Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station

The Community Fair Day is one of many annual events that has a long history at Pine Mountain Settlement School. It started in 1917 as an extension of the Harlan County Fair and the School’s “Farmer’s Day.”

The 1918 Community Fair Day is mentioned in a letter written in the same year by Evelyn K. Wells (PMSS secretary 1916-1931) to Angela Melville (PMSS fundraiser, 1916-1920):

The fair was a great success from the standpoint of crowd and speaking. 3 people from State University, including Miss Mary Sweeny who has been in France nearly a year, also Germany, and made a corking good speech. Made me long to have had a part in it! She’s a splendid person. [Image: wells_e_corr_1918_nd_003.jpg]

While the fundamental program of the Fair has remained remarkably consistent, the scale and scope of the Fair have varied from year to year as interest in fairs has waxed and waned in the School, the community, and the nation.

GALLERY: 1918 Community Fair Day

CONTENTS: 1918 Community Fair Day Correspondence

[002] September 10, 1918. Katherine Pettit to May Stone. Requests that Hindman Settlement School share their farmer, Doc Pratt, to come to Pine Mountain for the September fair to talk to the community and if he would “tell just what he has done and how he has done it, to make your [Hindman’s] farm pay…” She advises Director Stone that she has written to Dean Cooper, the new Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station for the University of Kentucky,  “…explaining the work Doc Pratt did for the Station under Professor German’s direction,” and asking him if the Station would be willing to send Doc Pratt to us if he could come. She requests a report of expenses for sharing Pratt. She also invites May Stone to come to PMSS and bring along Miss Huntington [Ruth Huntington].

[003] September 10, 1918. Katherine Pettit to J.M. Feltner, Club Agent (4-H Club ?], London, Kentucky, asking him if he could come “to talk about your club work and farming and growing of stock to our neighbors?”

[004] September 10, 1918. Katherine Pettit to Mr. C.N. Manning, Security Trust Company, Lexington, KY.

Aren’t you and Mrs. Manning coming up to our fair the last Saturday in September? And may we count on you to make a speech? Please come if you possibly can, and let me know right away. Tell Mrs. Manning we are so anxious to have her come.

[005] September 10, 1918. Katherine Pettit to Dr. Thomas J. Cooper, Dean of the Experiment Station, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Pettit is responding to Cooper’s letter of August 7 that he will be coming to Pine Mountain. She invites him to come and stay for the fall of September 28th. She suggests that he get directions from Thompson Bryant for travel. She describes a recent visit by a man from the Experiment Station who

was an uneducated but practical and hard-working mountain man. By working under the direction of the Station, he became very efficient. He is now the farmer for the Hindman School and made their farm pay twelve percent last year. We have wished that he could come over and tell the farmers of this community just what he does, and how he does it. It seems to me that that would be more benefit than the inexperienced men from the Station. What do you think of it? Would the Station be willing to send him, instead of someone else?

She goes on to describe the funding issues of Pine Mountain Settlement School. She promises to determine the costs associated with his coming to Pine Mountain.

[006] September 21, 1918. Letter from Katherine Pettit to Dr. Thomas J. Cooper:

My dear Dr. Cooper: 
Thank you most heartily for offering to send us somebody to speak at our Community Fair. Pikeville is a long and expensive journey from here. We are very much nearer Lexington. We shall be glad indeed to have any of the three men you offer. Professor Mathews has often said he would like to come.

GALLERY: 1918 Community Fair Day Correspondence

Return To:
EVENTS Guide to Past Events
FARM Guide to Community Fair Days

See Also:
ART and CRAFT Guide
COMMUNITY – What is Community? – Post