This site hasn't been vacant for 90 years, but while the livestock barn was a mainstay of the Washington County Fair, a study last year revealed it needed to be replaced. Last year's seemingly non-stop heavy rains may have been the final straw.
"The structural part of it we thought was in good shape was dry rotted," says Steve Sprague, a member of the fair's livestock committee. "It's coming down rather easily and it should have condemned 10 or 12 years ago".
As difficult as it may seem to bring down this structure, a replacement will be needed within six months. In fact, about six months from now is when the next Washington County Fair takes place.
Over the years, thousands of youngsters migrated to the fairgrounds over the Labor Day weekend. They've displayed their livestock at an auction where local businesses, residents, and even some local officeholders bought them.
A fundraising campaign was announced just last week for a half-million dollar replacement for the aging barn. That means this ending for one landmark may be the beginning of another.
The new 42,000 square foot arena will have space for nearly 500 livestock, and will be used for other types of shows when the fair isn't in session.
Anyone interested in donating can contact the Washington County Fair Board Office at 740-373-1347, or any member of the fair board or the building committee.
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