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Mechanical Society will echo, “Yes.” This society is doing a great work in promoting the interests of agriculture, and, while striving for that object, should receive the bounty of the State. The visit of your delegate to this fair was a very pleasant one, and he is not unmindful of the attentions given him by the officers and members of the society, and also of the gentlemanly treatment of the landlord of the Summit House, who was caterer for the society on this occasion.
A. A. SMITH, Delegate.
I was assigned to attend the Twenty-fifth Annual Fair of the Worcester North Agricultural Society, and report on the same. The exhibition was holden this year, for one day only, on the 25th of September. It was one of the most lovely days of that beautiful month. Every thing conspired to make it a success. The officers did all in their power to make the day such. Their work was well done; and they should be congratulated that their efforts were successful and appreciated. The entrance-fee to the grounds and tickets for the dinner were reduced; and this called out more people to the fair, and called in more people to dinner, and more funds to its coffers. This reduction was a gain in the finances of the society.
The exercises of the day opened at nine o'clock, A.M., with the ploughing-match. There were nine entries, – four ox-teams and five horse-teams. Hon. E. Torrey, nearly eighty years old, held the plough of one of these teams through one round ; and Deacon Shepley, a member of your Board, drove the team. The old men, the young men, and the boys, thought this a rare sight; and, as the team made its round, these “old boys’’ were greeted with cheers that made the welkin ring; and, as these veterans wiped the sweat from their brows, they seemed to feel that young blood was again coursing through their veins. But, when they ascertained that a gratuity was awarded them, it is said that it took the rheumatism all out of the squire's shoulder, and the old deacon forgot for the time being that he ever had a disease of his heart. After the exhibition of the ploughing-match came that of working-oxen. Here the competition was small. H. A. Wood took the first premium.
The Jersey herd of John F. Brown of Lunenburg, who takes the place of Deacon Shepley on this Board, was the largest and most marked of any on the ground. The Shakers' herd of Jerseys and the Durham cows of Lyman Nichols gave evidence of good breeding. Many cows, thoroughbreds and native, looked like good milkers; but, on the whole, the dairy stock did not equal that shown in some sections of the State. The herds of Messrs. Whitman and Miles have for a long time been prominent in this locality; but this year they were absent. The one would yield his stock, and pass over his broad acres to another; while the other has passed over where he heeds not the lowing of his herds, nor the bleating of his flocks. The show of sheep, swine, and fat cattle, was not a prominent feature of the occasion ; but some good specimens were on the ground. The poultry was fine, and put in high claims for excellence. Hen-dom was represented by light Brahmas, Natives, Plymouth Rocks, Bantams, Games, and Hamburgs, each claiming that they were better fighters, better layers, better mothers, better broilers, or excelled in some department of the hennery; so that every other breed could not hold a candle for this breed even to go to roost. The show of grapes was excellent; and the fruit premium was awarded to Dr. Jabez Fisher of Fitchburg. When the doctor enters this list as a competitor, all others may as well come down at once, as were wont the coons of Kentucky when Daniel Boone brought to bear his rifle on them. The show of pears was magnificent; but the doctor's Jewett and Fisher carried off the palm. Many of the apples were appetizing, good to look upon ; and, although they were not in such profusion as in the even years, yet we think no one could cast the first stone at Mother Eve for yielding to the desire to taste the delicious, blushing fruit, and thereby obtain a certain knowledge whether it was good or evil. The ladies did themselves credit in their exhibition of dairy products, and their flowers, natural and artificial, and also in their works of art, embroidery, and needlework. Many received notice by premiums. But time would fail me to tell of all the sellers of purple, the Lydias, the Tabithas, full of good works and alms-deeds; or even mention the coats and garments made by the Dorcases, scattered from Joppa to Thyatira through the whole district. The dinner of the society was holden in the upper hall, provided by the ladies, and graced by their presence. Every seat was filled ; and many had a standing one, or waited for a resetting of the tables. This social sit-down was the most enjoyable part of the entertainment. John B. Proctor presided ; and, after the invocation of the divine blessing, all fell to with appetites like tillers of the soil, and did ample justice to the viands spread. Here every one seemed to feel at home, and enjoy the festivities of the occasion. A good dinner, a social time, a friendly meeting around the festive board, are the best features of a cattle show, and tend to wake up and keep up a lively interest in this holiday of the yeomanry. After the inner man had been filled, the president spread the feast of reason, and set in motion the flow of soul, by calling up the mayor of the city, the member of the tenth congressional district, the delegate of the Board, State senators, representatives, and other dignitaries of the vicinity. These all extemporized their ideas, and received the plaudits of their peers, as they breathlessly hung upon the lips of these agricultural orators unfledged, fledged, and full-fledged, as they poured from the storehouse of thought their words of wisdom and experience. Although the horse department of the show was not the allabsorbing topic of interest, as at some fairs, giving one or two days to this feature of it, yet we fear, that, with few exceptions, through the State the interest in the horse, compared with that in stock, is too prominent. Here were exhibited many fine family and driving horses; but those for speed commanded the greater interest. Horses are bred for speed instead of service; but, if the breeding was reversed, much more money would be realized by the masses than is at present. The fleet ones are few and far between ; and the breeder may spend a lifetime, and yet fail to produce a single one that goes among the twenties. There were eight entries of gentlemen's single driving horses, four entries of matched horses, and four entries of family horses. These did credit to their exhibitors, and were, we are inclined to think, of more real service and more intrinsic value than the nags, which, by dint of what to the uninitiated appeared breaking and running, but by the craft was pronounced square trotting, succeeded in reaching the goal in 2.40. Of this exhibition there were two specimens. In the class that had never made better time than 2.50 there were four entries; and the several heats were trotted in 2.50, 2.50, and 2.51. In the other class of 2.40 there were four entries; and the time announced for these heats was 2.41, 2.40, and 2.41. This square even trotting received the huzzas of the crowd and the cheers of the populace; and yet, to one outside the ring, it does seem passing strange that horses can be so trained that they can be brought to make the exact time, not varying a single second from that made under the most favorable circumstances, and when driven for a record. There were six entries in the class of slow trotters. This heat was trotted with no fouling, no running, no breaking, in a slow measured, safe, and steady gait, and was won by Nyms: time, 6 minutes, 43 seconds. One of the neatest and prettiest exhibitions of the day was the riding of Miss Willard. She, with her male attendant, passed round the track in her flowing robes, the observed of all observers, in a horsemanlike manner, and yet with eminently maidenly grace. The total receipts of the society the past year are $2,852.85. Total expenses, including premiums, $2,492.85. The receipts exceeded those of last year more than three hundred dollars. The appraisal of the property, real and personal, exceeds the indebtedness by $4,769.66. One pleasing feature of this exhibition to your delegate was the courtesy shown, and the entertainment afforded him, by Deacon Shepley and Dr. A. O. Hitchcock and his lady. HoRACE P. WAKE FIELD.
The Fair of the Worcester South was held on Sept. 13 and 14. Although near the middle of our first autumnal month, the summer's heat had not passed, the weather was excessively hot, and clouds of dust greeted everybody by the way and on the park. Everybody was good-natured, feeling that dust was the natural element from which we all come, and to which we must all return. The exercises commenced with the ploughing-match. I did not arrive in season to see the beginning, and but very little of the actual work. I saw the result, and noted the great interest taken in this feature of the fair, not only by competitors, but by spectators. I learned that the society had adopted a new method of awarding premiums, which was this: they offered a hundred dollars in premiums, and those competing should pay ten per cent entrance-fee. The man who paid his ten dollars for the privilege of trying his skill at ploughing meant business. He knew beforehand, from long practice on his own farm, that he could plough well, and was willing to try his hand with his brother-farmers in this class. There were eight entries for the match ; and therefore the society really paid twenty dollars in this class. To say that the work was well done is not enough : it was perfect, and it must have been difficult for the committee to award the premiums. The trial of working-oxen came next; and perhaps this is one of the most prominent features of the show: indeed, it is a specialty at this fair; therefore considerable time was spent with this class. Never has it been my pleasure to witness such an exhibition. The oxen entered in this class were mostly Devons and grades, although there were one or two pairs of grade Shorthorns. The rich mahogany red, the long, smooth horns, the bright, intelligent eye, the quick elastic step of the Devon, clearly showed its adaptability to many kinds of farm-work. Its quick attention and obedience to the word of command testified to its thorough training. In the afternoon trained steers were exhibited upon the track in front of the stand. The tricks and gyrations which were performed by this class, from calves to four-year-olds, would be a suitable exhibition for a gymnasium, and showed remarkable patience and perseverance on the part of the trainer; and that intelligence in the bovine race, when developed, can be made useful. The exhibition of other stock was very creditable indeed,— some fine specimens of thoroughbreds of the various breeds, namely, Shorthorns, Devons, Jerseys. The Devon predominated, both in bulls and cows, and consequently in the young stock. The sheep on exhibition were only fair in numbers, and small in size, and the specimens only good, not best. Of swine there was a good exhibition, with many fine pigs, some approaching that youthful period in which they are denominated shotes. The poultry were arranged near the hall. There was a long line of coops; and many and various were the breeds, all having their merits according to the fancy of the exhibitors. Of the beauty and utility of these I am unable to judge, and will only remark that the show was very creditable in this department. Farm implements were shown near the hall, and were such as are generally exhibited at our fairs, consisting of ploughs, mowingmachines, horse-rakes, &c. The exhibition in the hall was very good, as a whole, although, from the general scarcity of fruit, there was not a large collection, but very good specimens of the several varieties. The vegetables were only fair, and would not compare with exhibitions where market-gardening is a principal industry, as it is not in this region. The exhibition of manufactured articles was quite large; consisting of sleighs, harnesses, creamers, and various other useful articles. There was quite a large show of bread, and considerable sharp competition, which was due particularly to the ladies. All the varieties common to our tables were exhibited, and it was all apparently good to eat. There was an exhibition of butter and cheese, – not a large display, but of first quality.