[Reported specially for the Democrat], Tuesday morning (October 6th) as the sun gilded the hills in early morning at Bethel, the air was cool and invigorating, and the hearts of the trustees of the horse-breeders’ association and the agricultural fair beat quicker, and more hopefully.
Early in the morning teams were making their way to Riverside Park, laden with the fruits of the earth and orchard, the handiwork of the frugal housewife, and the fancy work of the thoughtful, accomplished maiden. Long strings of oxen, cows, young cattle, and sheep were being driven in the same direction. Horses and colts, from four weeks old and upward, were abundantly on hand and entered for the society’s premiums. 
	The portly form of the president, C.W. Wormell, and the bright smiling face of the secretary, E.M. Walker, welcomed the crowd to the grounds, while the sedate and methodical, Dr. F. B. Tuell, and the vivacious Miss Jennie Handley were in the hall to receive and arrange all the articles presented.  Soon the hall was covered on each side with quilts, comfortables and rugs, and the ends with beautiful paintings, and the tables groaned under the weight of apples, pears, squashes, pumpkins, potatoes, beets, onions, carrots, and traces of sweet corn in the agricultural department, and butter, jellies, carpeting, rugs, afghans, crochet work, decorated china, glass and crockery ware. 
Mrs. J.H. Carter presented a specimen of butter as did Mrs. D.W. Cole and Mrs. C. Fernald. These were all of superior excellence, but that of Mrs. Fernald attracted most attention, as it was put up in the form of pine cones after ripening by the frost, the leaves all separated. Mrs. F.B. Tuell, Miss Salome G. Twitchell and Mrs. L.W. Valentine contributed jellies. Mr. S. B. Twitchell, beets, onion, cabbages and celery.  M.E. Grover, cabbages and potatoes.  Charles E. Valentine, beans and Hubbard squash.  E.C. Rowe, four mammoth squash. Fred Bean, a variety of vegetables. Master Adrian L. Grover, 7 years old, peanuts upon the vines grown by himself. Master Robert Bisbee, 9 years old, a trace of popcorn. Dana B. Grover, traces of sweet, yellow and popcorn. E.P. Grover, potatoes, squashes, beets, carrots and turnips. Edgar Chase, beets, potatoes and turnips. Eli A. Grover, three mammoth squashes from one vine, the largest weighing 85 pounds. Oscar Grover, onions. J.R. Howard, pumpkins and squashes. N.C. Dudley, trace King Phillip corn, two varieties of beans. Washington Crooker, trace corn. W.H. Wight, 13 varieties of apples. Orin Foster, 12 varieties; J.D. George, 7 varieties; Pinckney Burnham, 6 varieties; Salome G. Twitchell, 4 varieties and crab apples.
	Addison Bean, potatoes and beets. G.W. Waterhouse, 2 varieties of pears and 11 of apples. A.G. Lovejoy, 8 varieties of apples. George Grover exhibited a variety of vegetables.
	The Bethel Chair Co. exhibited specimens of chairs, from the value of $1.50 to $13.00.
	H.H. Godwin exhibited a White sewing machine and specimens of work I hemming, stitching and plain sewing, and samples of sofa pillows, curtains, fans, etc., which were made with the machine.
	Mrs. Edwin Holt contributed a silk quilt, also an imported writing tablet and salad knife and fork. Mrs. E. M. Hall of Worcester, Mass., satin corset for a doll. Mrs. Amelia Matherson, tidy. Mrs. H.S. Hastings, Newry, embroidered dress, worked by Mrs. S.S. Daniels, 86 years old. Miss Salome G. Twitchell, rug made by her mother when 87 years old. Mrs. Alphin Twitchell, a beautiful patchwork quilt made by here when 70 years old, also silk sofa pillow and a throw. Mrs. E.C. Chamberlin, wrought curtains and towels. Lillian O. Grover, sofa pillow. Mrs. A.W. Grover, afghan. Miss Delia Gill, afghan. Mrs. H.R. Godwin, rug. Mrs. C.H. Watson, rugs. Mrs. J. R. Howard, rungs and carpeting. Mrs. W.R. Eames, rugs. Mrs. E.P. Grover, Miss Clara Twitchell and Mrs. F.B. Tuell, quilts and fancy work. Mrs. Philbrook, rugs. Mrs. Judge Foster, knit rug. 
	Mrs. Jennie Handley, a lady form New York, boarding with her children in Bethel, showed two quilts in patchwork which she received as presents when visiting England in 1870. The design and workmanship are beautiful. The following inscription is copied from the silk quilt: “This patchwork quilt is the 24th completed hand sewed by Mrs. Robinson, Prospect Terrace, Burnley, and presented to her daughter, Mrs. Wm. Handley of N.Y. City, upon occasion of her visit to England, May to August 1870. Miss Helen Handley, 7 years old, a knit skirt; and Master Wm. Handley, 11 years old, a silver Masonic trowel, presented Mm. Handley, Esq., Shan Hill, Rochdale, England as a memorial of his generosity in laying the corner stone of a New Wesleyan Chapel, Rochdale, Standard good Friday, April 15th, 1870, now the property of Master Willie. 
	Miss Laura C. Hall, a case of decorated China of exquisite workmanship, and a large case by Miss Edith Philbrook of equal beauty and excellence. Miss Hall would be happy to fill orders for Christmas or Thanksgiving, or would teach a limited class. Miss Mildred Tuell, 7 years old, doll’s apron and crochet work. Mrs. Alice  Merrill, lace, and child’s skirt. Miss Ruth Andrews, Mexican embroidery and point lace.  Miss Edit Philbrook, Mrs. E.P. Grover, Mrs. C.G. Cloudman, Miss Alice Billings and Miss Alice E. Purington, oil paintings; Miss Purington , a scene in the Adirondacks, 3x3 feet, a scene off the coast of Maine and roses and magnolias. Miss Purington, a year rug.
	Mr. W.C. Valentine had on exhibition an engine he made while a member of the agricultural college.
	Mr. L.L. Briggs exhibited a coop of chickens.
	Neat stock premiums awarded:
	Freeland Bartlett of Upton, drawing oxen 6 feet and 6 inches and 6 feet and 8 inches, $5 and $2.50; Clarence Hall, 6 feet 8 inches, $3.
	Best flock of sheep, J.M. Philbrook, $4.; best mutton, Wm. C. Chapman, $1. J.M. Philbrook, 50 cents; best buck for wool, J.M. Philbrook, $1; Wm. C. Chapman, 50 cents. Best boar, Farwell Bros., $3.  On cows and heifers, Edgar Chase carried off $9 in premiums. 	Best bull for stock, Polled Angus, Wm. C. Chapman, $3; best for dairy purposes, Moses Cummings, $2, H.T. Upton, $1. Three year old steers, F. Bartlett, $2; best yearling steers, best matched steers, best calves, best town team, Master Edward M. Carter, son of A.M. Carter, Esq., carried off about $10. R.J. Stearns took first premium on best trained steers; Freeland Bartlett, first premium on matched oxen. 
	The second day was devoted to horses and colts, and there were a large number of fine animals on the grounds besides those entered for premiums. Whitney Brothers exhibited a pair of nice stone grays; A.S. Bean, a pair of bays; Ceylon Rowe, E.M. Walker, G.P. Bean, J.U. Purington were on the grounds with horses that do credit to any town, while Lawyer Aston of Shelburne, N.H., drove a tandem team richly dressed upon the grounds.
Those entered for the society’s premiums were: stallions for general use, Redwood Knox, by H.S. Hastings; Gene Gideon, by J.A. Twaddle; Victor Patchen and Wilder Patchen, by O.P. Farrington; Ehrlacher, by L.A. Hall; three year-old Gloucester, by O.M. Bartlett; four-year-olds Sir Roger and Sir Philip by Smith Brothers (Nelson stock). W.R. Eames entered brood mare, one-and two-year old colts. H.F. Upton, three-year-old weighing 1,200 pounds. J.A. Twaddle, mare and foal and two-year-old, mare by Hebron, colts by Prescott; mare and foal by Robert Bonner; mare and foal four weeks old. Chelsea Stearns, mare and foal by Gideon. A.A. Young, mare and foal by Victor Patchen. J.G. Lary, mare and foal; mare sired by Prescott, foal by Smith’s Sir Philip. Mrs. Carrie Sanborn, mare, foal and yearling by Victor Patchen. Joseph Beam, four-months-old colt by Éclair. Charles Davis, yearling colt. L.A. Hall, filly by Ehrlacher, two-year-old by same. J.M. Philbrook, mare and foal by Ehrlacher. John Gill, mare and foal. C.H. Hall, yearling, also mare and foal.

The trotting horse races included five classes with purses ranging from $40 to $150.  Eighteen horses ran. 
 	The weather was all that could be desired, the attendance large, the exhibit satisfactory. Some 2,500 tickets were sold at the gate. Your reporter (Abiel Chandler, Jr.) would tender his thanks to the President and 
Secretary, and to Dr. Tuell and Mrs. Jennie Handley, for their courtesy and kindness.

The Bethel Journals

Donald G. Bennett

PO Box 763

 Bethel, Maine 04217


AUGUST 8, 1891
OCTOBER 6, 1891

Rectangular Callout: Location of church building and entrance to the fair grounds.  In 1891, the Northwest Bethel road intersected with Route 2 here, it was moved to the current path years later.



Land of Moses A Mason in 1891



July 21, 1893.   Oxford County Advertiser.


The sale of the Mason farm, Bethel, on which the Riverside Trotting Park, has been made. Three years ago a company was organized in this village and leased of Mr. Mason the right to build a track on his land. The conditions were that the company should build the track and give him 25 percent of all the gate money and all he could make outside, and at the end of ten years the track should revert to him or the owner of the farm.

        Saturday Mr. Mason sold his entire farm and track to Charles Ryerson of Upton for $10,000. Mr. Ryerson is a large lumber operator and has bought this for his future home. He will continue his lumbering during the winter season. He intends to convert the large two-story house into a hotel.

 In the year 1791 Moses Mason, grandfather to the recent owner, came from Dublin, New Hampshire, on horseback bringing with him 1000 silver dollars which he gave for his farm. The farm contains about 200 acres including timberland, and all in one lot. His son Aaron was three years old when his father bought the place , and always lived here.




The recent owner will be 68 years old next April, and is unmarried. As soon as the writings can be done he intends going to the World’s Fair; from there to Washington to visit his nephew, and if he doesn’t find a place that he likes better than here, he intends to return and settle down in the same neighborhood. This place just sold has been owned by the Masons for 102 years and there never was a mortgage on it.


Photo left:  the Mason M weathervane. Cupola and weathervane still top the former Mason barn in Mayville—now the Norseman Inn Motel.


Saturday, August 8th, 1891 - The Grand Opening Trot of the Riverside Trotting Association opened at Riverside Park with a large crowd, much excitement, and plentiful self-promotion among the owner’s of trotters entered in the biggest Bethel event of the summer. Over $100 was taken at the gate. The Bethel Coronet Band provided fanfare, rhythms of enjoyable music and a lively atmosphere.  Along with the trotting races, the Congregational ladies Fair at the Riverside Park were also very successful with over $100 being realized.  Entries in the trotting program were as follows.


Green horses; $15.00 purse:

General Gideon owned by Dr. Twaddle

John F. owned by Charles Farrington

Lady Chapman owned by Prof. Chapman

George K. owned by George King

Sir Pryor owned by Smith Brothers

Butcher Boy owned by C.C. Bryant


2:55 Class Purse $25.00

Ehrlacher owned by L.A. Hall

Tom P. owned by Prof. W.R. Chapman

Redwood owned by H.L. Hastings

Mollie owned by Smith Brothers

Victor C. owned by E. Howe


Free for All.  Purse $35.00

Owasso owned by G.P. Fernald

Fanny W. owned by Sheriff C. M. Wormell

Bell Boyd owned by H.L. Hastings

Wilder Patches owned by Charles Farrington


Riverside Trotting Association and Riverside Park—The Bethel Fair


Race Track Outline

Above photos of fair activities courtesy Bethel Historical Society



In July 1890 the members of the Riverside Trotting Association had leased land from Moses A Mason for the purpose of constructing a one-half mile trotting track and work started immediately. In October 1890 a week of fair weather at Bethel convinced the farmers and horsemen to hold an exhibition and fair on Tuesday, October 7th. They have an excellent track on the land of Moses A. Mason where the horses, sheep and cattle were exhibited; the dairy and fancy work will be exhibited in Pattee’s Hall (on Spring Street in Bethel Village.)

The following year in August of 1891, the Grand Opening Trot of the Riverside Park Association was a grand success last Saturday. A large crowd came and over $100 was taken at the gate (at 25 cents per ticket, about 400 people came to the trot). The Congregational ladies Fair at the Riverside Park were also very successful with over $100 being realized

Two months later, The “First Annual Fair” excited, pleased and fulfilled all expectations of Bethel fair-goers. It was the first time in Bethel that a fall fair could be held within one area and with the added attraction of trotting races and the church fair to interest the ladies.  Since the 2nd Congregational Church society had been dissolved in 1890, the church building could be used as the fair’s exhibit hall.