It’s 1 a.m. on a Tuesday and Lucas Fralick sits alone at a conference room table sorting through piles of old photo albums and scrapbooks on loan from local families, the Campbell County Cattlewomen, and the Wool Growers Auxiliary, among others.
“There’s quite a lot here,” Fralick said, turning the pages of a handcrafted, leather-bound journal. “Each photograph has a story to tell.”
Fralick has been contracted to compile the history of the Campbell County Fair over the past 100 years as part of a commemorative book that will tell its story. A historian with a flair for bowties and an MA from the University of Wyoming, Fralick is a Campbell County native who once participated in fair and who now works with the Wyoming Humanities Council as the Museum on Main Street Coordinator.
“The book will take a handful of snapshots and stories from each decade starting in 1921 through 2021,” Fralick said. “My hope is that it will be a fun guide to the Campbell County Fair’s past and serve to help us find its future.”
The story of the fair is in many ways the story of agriculture in Campbell County, according to Fair Coordinator Liz Edwards, who is spearheading the project.
Edwards and her team are on the lookout for photos and artifacts to help tell the story, she said. What community members share will be scanned and photographed for the effort and, if the community members are willing, the goal is to display some of the historical artifacts at fair this year.
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum has already pulled almost 150 photos from their archives to assist the team and any photographs that are scanned or artifacts that are photographed will also be provided to the museum for inclusion in their collection.
“This story can’t be told without placing focus on the families who have been in Campbell County and whose influence can be seen in the fair and local agriculture since the first fair in 1920,” Edwards said.
In addition to the story of the fair, one-half of the Campbell County Fair commemorative book will be devoted to telling the stories of families who have been in Campbell County for at least 100 years and who have had consistent involvement in the fair.
“Prior to energy becoming the dominant force in Campbell County, agriculture was the main industry for the area,” said Mark Christensen, who is assisting with the project. “We’re going to share the stories of these families with photos and recognize them as Campbell County Fair Centennial Families.”
The first application has been received, from former State Senator John Hines, whose family originally got involved in agriculture in Campbell County in 1901.
“If your family has been in Campbell County since 1921, remained involved in agriculture, and regularly participated in the Campbell County Fair, we want to hear from you and we want to tell your story,” Edwards said.
Follow the link to become a Campbell County Fair Centennial Family and be included in the commemorative book.
Only a limited number will be printed, Edwards said. To reserve a copy, click here.