NEW LONDON FAIRGROUNDS
Thern Farm is located on the former site of the New London fairgrounds. The fair was held from 1891 - 1912 and in its heyday, thousands of visitors walked, came by horse and buggy, or rode the train to come to the fair. The fair was a celebration of agriculture with thousands of community farmers attending to compare notes and share ideas regarding crops, gardening, and advances in farming. Displays of machinery and livestock were prominent. Local business displayed their goods while premiums offered in a variety of categories encouraged participation from the community. Attendees of the fair could expect to encounters fakirs eager to part them from their money but it was generally seen as good fun and part of the fair experience. In 1897, 3,000 fairgoers stood in the rain to hear Wisconsin politician Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette promote the primary election. The highlight of the last New London fair was the airplane that was on the grounds that year. The biplane awed its audience as it made two flights daily taking off and landing in front of the grandstand. The farmhouse that stands today was built as a dining hall for fairgoers. During the 22 years the fairs were held, the grounds were privately owned by James Henry Cannon, the leading organizer and a zealous promoter of the fair.