On March 4, 1861 Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as the 16th President of the United States.  On April 12, 1861 at 4:30 a.m. Confederates opened fire with 50 cannons on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina marking the start of the Civil War.  July 21 the first Battle of Bull Run took place, the first major battle of the Civil War.  August 5, 1861 President Lincoln signed the first personal income tax law requiring a flat tax of 3 percent from incomes over $800.  It would be rescinded later.

It is also the first year a fair was held in Goodhue County after beginning organizational efforts in 1859.  The first several fairs were in Red Wing, then a few were held at Hader.  In 1864 the State Fair was held in conjunction with the Goodhue County Fair.  In 1915 the present grounds were purchased. 16.37 acres for $3,270.  In 1890 half of all crop land in Minnesota was planted to wheat.  The census of 1890 showed there were 2,200 farms in our state.

William Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic was born June 29, 1861 and James Naismith, the inventor of basketball was born November 6th of that year.  Naismith was born in Canada.  He did work for a period of time at Carleton College in Northfield as their recreation director.  Presidential candidate Stephen Douglas died June 3, 1861 and served in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois from 1847 until his death.

The reason I enjoy the Goodhue County Fair is the fact they embrace their rural roots.  It is a family oriented fair with activities for people of all ages to enjoy.  There are a number of terrific shows featuring animals.  Dairy and meat goats, sheep, beef, dairy cows, swine, poultry and rabbits.

Tuesday is Open Class Entry Day with a free Grandstand show at 7:00 p.m.  The people come from miles around to watch the Lawnmower Derby with Junior Lawnmower Division and Special Kids Power Wheels Contest.

Wednesday is Day Care Day with an Agricultural Marketing Meeting in the Entertainment Tent from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and special activities for registered day cares.  A Demolition Derby is the Grandstand show at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday the Goodhue County Farm Bureau celebrates 100 years.  The Goodhue County Commissioners meet Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m.  A Tractor and Truck Pull takes place 6:30 p.m. in the Grandstand.

Friday is Senior Citizen's Day with the Ray Sands Polka Band entertaining people in the Beer Garden starting at 5:00 p.m.  At 7:00 p.m. the Goodhue County Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award will be announced.  New in the Grandstand an Autocross takes place at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday is Kid's Day  with Ms. JaZee the Balloonologist strolling the grounds from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The Grandstand features the second Demolition Derby.

Other features of the year's fair are the All American Lumberjack Show and the Granpa Cratchet puppet show.

More details about all the events can be found at www.goodhuecountyfair.com.

KDHL Radio will be broadcasting AM Minnesota Tuesday through Friday from the Zumbrota Fairgrounds courtesy of the Security State Bank of Kenyon.  The show is from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

KDHL will also  be enjoying Breakfast at the Goodhue County Pork Producers Food Building Wednesday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.  I will be there Wednesday and Thursday and Jerry Groskreutz will stop by Friday and Saturday.

Jerry will also bring us reports from the 4-H Livestock Auction Saturday morning.  The auction breakfast is 8:00 a.m. and the auction begins approximately 9:00 a.m.

Goodhue County Pork Building. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld