The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1980, Volume 26, Number 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Managing Editor


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Livestock judging

Page 196. Livestock judging — a popular event at the San Diego Fair

Frank A. Kimball

Page 198. Frank A. Kimball, and his wife Flora, headed the first San Diego County Fair in 1880. It was held on a site now occupied by Kimball Park in National City. He remained active with the fair for a number of years serving as agricultural commissioner.

visitors crowd the fair

Page 198. Throngs of visitors crowd the fair in the 1920s.

Irwin & Company exhibit

Page 199. A 1920s exhibit by Irwin & Company (hay, grain, feed and fuel) promised new branch offices in Chula Vista and El Cajon.

El Cajon Valley exhibit

Page 200. The theme of an El Cajon Valley Fair exhibit was a place where “Dreams Come True.”

Farm Bureau's display of a 4-H Club Camp

Page 200. The San Diego County Farm Bureau’s display of a 4-H Club Camp. In the immediate foreground is a model of a future camp.

Wyatt Earp

Page 201. Wyatt Earp judged horses at the San Diego County Fair when it was moved to Escondido in the late 1880s. Admission was “15¢ and 25¢ for grown ups.”

Early beauty contest at the Fair

Page 203. Early beauty contests at the Fair were the forerunners of the current Fairest of the Fair pageant.

Pat O'Brien of Del Mar and Bing Crosby

Page 203. In the 1930s local residents Pat O’Brien (left) of Del Mar and Bing Crosby of Rancho Santa Fe agreed to put up the funds needed to complete construction of the fair’s permanent buildings and grandstand. In exchange they received a 20-year franchise for thoroughbred racing.

Bing Crosby, Mrs. John Burke and Mrs. Bing Crosby

Page 204. Bing Crosby, Mrs. John Burke and Mrs. Bing Crosby (right, wearing dark hat) watch the races from the Del Mar grandstand.

Fairgrounds race

Page 205. Horses speed to the finish line during a Fairgrounds race.