Charlemont — The Deerfield Valley Agricultural Society

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      The movement which led to the formation of this society originated at a cattle show held at Charlemont, Oct. 13, 1870, when the following gentlemen were appointed to give effect to the purpose of founding a society "whose object shall be the attainment and diffusion of scientific and practical knowledge of the cultivation of the soil, and all the departments pertaining thereto; and to encourage the mechanic and fine arts and domestic manufactures:" Charlemont, R. H. Leavitt, John A. Winslow; Hawley, W. E. Mansfield, Willis Vincent,; Buck-land, Samuel Ward, E. D. Bement; Heath, John Reed, E. M. Vincent; Rome, Charles Demons, William Hicks; Monroe, David Goodell, Joseph E. Hicks; Coleraine, R. Smith, O. J. Davenport; Plainfield, Joseph Sears, Francis Joy; Savoy, Ebenezer Ingraham, N. B. Baker.
      This committee appointed agents in the above towns to solicit life members for The above society, and it was resolved that when 100 had been secured the organization should take place. A meeting for this purpose was warned by Justice Tyler, Nov. 26, 1870, when a constitution was adopted, and R. H. Leavitt, A. L. Tyler, and S. P. Everett were appointed to secure a proper charter from the State. Having secured recognition from the State authorities, the following were elected as the first board of officers: President, R. H. Leavitt, of Charlemont; Vice-Presidents, Willis Vincent, of Hawley; E. M. Vincent, of Heath; Josiah Trow, of Buckland; Jesse B. Kemp, of Florida; Secretary, W. E. Mansfield, of Hawley; Treasurer, C. H. Rice, of Charlemont; Auditors, M. M. Mantor, of Charlemont; Sylvanus Clark, of Florida; Wm. Hunt, of Heath.
      In 1872 the society had 435 male and 21 female life members, the fees from whom, and the liberal donations received from various sources, enabled it to carry out the designs of its founders. Seventeen acres of beautifully located land at Charlemont village had been inclosed, for fair purposes, a half-mile track located, and appropriate buildings erected. Here was held, Oct. 10 and 11, 1871, the first annual exhibition of the society. The address was delivered by the Hon. George B. Loring, of Salem, and the fair throughout was very successful. Nearly $600 were awarded in premiums. Since that period the society has held annual exhibitions, which have been attended with unabated interest. The grounds have been substantially improved, and are now valued at $8000.
      The officers of the society in 1878 were: President, David L. Smith, Coleraine; Vice-Presidents, C. B. Mayhew, Charlemont; R. W. Field, Buckland; N. B. Baker, Savoy; C. C. Wheaton, Rowe; Secretary, M. M. Mantor, Charlemont; Treasurer, H. N. Warner, Charlemont; Auditors, L. H. Richmond, Charlemont; Dennis Canedy, Heath; F. M. Simpson, Hawley.
      The society meets statedly for the discussion of all questions of interest pertaining to the farmers and mechanics of this part of the county, and much benefit has been derived from the knowledge disseminated by this means.

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