© 2022
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Golden Valley County

9/24/2015:

North Dakota’s Golden Valley County wasn't officially formed until 1912; however, Beach, which would become the county seat, was established and settled some years earlier. In 1881, the Northern Pacific Railroad built a section house in Beach. Nine years later, settlement really began. In 1902, the post office was established. In 1908, the village was incorporated, and in 1909, Beach became a city.

Amidst all of this development, on this date in 1909, the Interstate Fair Association of Billings County concluded its first annual exhibition. This had been a three-day fair in Beach, intended to be "a good advertisement for the town and valley," and as the first of its kind, it was noted that "everyone should turn out and help make it a success."

Many preparations went into the new event, but it was a modest affair. A reporter for the Golden Valley Chronicle described it this way: "Necessarily everything pertaining to this first fair was somewhat crude, owing to the haste with which the grounds and buildings were licked into shape, but, for all that, older institutions of the same kind have put up less creditable fairs, and we predict that next year Beach will be enabled to invite the public to a fair which will be second to none."

The reporter, who had recently moved to North Dakota from eastern Iowa, was nevertheless impressed. He noted his surprise at the showing of grain, and the "almost endless display of the finest fruits and vegetables," including melons, peas, beans, tomatoes, cherries, apples, raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries, currants, beets, carrots, radishes, and potatoes of all sizes (except small). He reported that the livestock exhibits were good, though few.

Then there were the commercial exhibits. The Stone Piano Co. of Fargo had twenty pianos for sale. Other merchants included the Golden Valley Clothing Store; the Beach Implement Company; and the Singer Sewing Machine Company out of Bismarck. Other displays included cut glass and hand-painted china. And there was also an "art and fancy work corner," which the reporter noted was "replete with those dainty and fetching things so dear to the feminine heart, but which, to a man, are as so much Greek. ...The average male biped doesn't know a doily from a napkin." Perhaps more to the guys’ liking were the multiple horse races.

The reporter concluded, "The Golden Valley has the resources, the ability and the disposition to make the Interstate [fair] one of the really great agricultural shows of this great northwest."

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker

Sources:

The Golden Valley Chronicle, September 24, 1909, p1

The Golden Valley Chronicle, September 17, 1909, p1

"http://www.webfamilytree.com/North_Dakota_Place_Names/B/beach_%28golden_valley_county%29.htm" http://www.webfamilytree.com/North_Dakota_Place_Names/B/beach_%28golden_valley_county%29.htm