August 6, 2009

History on display at Wis. State Fair

Organizers of the Wisconsin State Fair said memorabilia from the event's history, including an 1859 visit by Abraham Lincoln, is on display at the fair.

Jerry Zimmerman, 81, who has been accumulating programs, badges, fliers, pennants and postcards dating as far back as the fair's first year in 1851, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the display opened with the fair Thursday in the event's horticulture building at the fairgrounds in West Allis.

I find it fascinating, Zimmerman said. The entire state of Wisconsin loves its state fair, and the people have a history very worthy of preservation.

Zimmerman said events commemorated by the items in the collection include the 1859 appearance by then-presidential candidate Lincoln as well as a landing at the fair by flier Arch Hoxsey in an early Wright Bros. plane in 1910.

The neat thing about the State Fair is that there's something there for everybody and it is something, if you were there as a child, some of those early things you did as a youngster with your family stick with you, Zimmerman said.

The fair runs through Aug. 16.