About Us

The Eastern Rhode Island 4-H County Fair was originally called the Newport County 4-H Fair.  It was held the first two years on Quaker Hill, were the current day Fire and Police stations now exist. The first elected fair president was Frank Coelho.  Today's current day fair president is held by Louis Escobar. 


For more information about RI 4-H Programs please visit http://http://web.uri.edu/4h/


Below are some of the first articles written about the start of the fair and those volunteers we have to give thanks to.  As the fair ran back then by volunteers, so does the present day fair. 

1968

 Newport Daily News January 22, 1968 page 18.

This was the first announcement that has been found that was printed about the plans for the fair.  It reads:      4-H Leaders Plan Event

Plans were made for the first annual Newport County 4-H Fair and Horse Show at a meeting of 4-H adults last week at the home of Mrs. Duncan M Wilkey of Portsmouth.  Frank Coelho was named general chairman for the event, with William Barber county 4-H agent acting secretary, and Mrs. Winifred Briggs, treasure. Also named to the committee are Michael Conroy, leader of Aquidneck Riders Club, as head of horse show; Manuel Enos of Tiverton Livestock Club; Floyd Capps, Little Compton; Manuel Silveria, Middletown; Domingoes Roderiques and Emmet Sconyers, Middletown Livestock Club; Miss. Linda Martin, Mrs. Ellse Hopper and Peter Sandham of Portsmouth; Miss Anna Neilson and George Bottomley, Newport.

Miss Mary Reise will serve as coordinator for all 4-H Clubs participation on the food booth.

The affair will be held in the spring at a date to be determined, at the top of Quaker Hill on the town own lot. The Riding 4-H Clubs of Portsmouth and Tiverton will produce the horse show.  The committee will meet again on Feb. 19 at the Town Hall.

 

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Newport Daily News June 21, 1968 page 13

 

 

 This seems to be one of the first announcements about the fair and events. It reads:  Tractor Operating Contest, Dairy, Horse Shows Slated 

Newport County 4-H members will hold a dairy show and tractor-operating contest on Saturday and a horse show on Sunday.  All three events will take place north of the Portsmouth Town Hall on Quaker Hill on town-owned property.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday dairy animals will be shown by 4-H members and non-members. Winner of the afternoon tractor contest will complete in the state contest.

The horse show starting at 9:30 a.m. Sunday will feature 30 classes, 24 of which are open. The show is under the direction of the Aquidneck Riders 4-H Club, Michael Conroy of Portsmouth and Manuel Enos of Tiverton.

The dairy show is in charge of the Newport County 4-H Dairy Club and Domingoes Rodrigues of Middletown. In charge if the food booth will be Mrs. Rodrigues, with Mrs. Elsie Hopper and Miss Mary Reise, both of Portsmouth.  Frank Coelho, chairman of the Portsmouth Town Committee, is fair-manager.

Volunteer helpers are needed in the food booth and at food tables. Anyone interested in helping may call Miss Reise at ------. There are no entrance fees and the public is invited to all events.

 

 

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 Newport Daily News June 26, 1968 page 6

 

 This was a clipping taken from an article about the Portsmouth Town Hall meeting.  It reads:  A letter of commendation will be sent to Frank Coelho, who was in charge of the Newport County 4-H Fair last weekend.  Councilman Hubert E. Little said the event was worthwhile and offered a challenge to young people participating. 

 

1970

In 1970 the Town of Portsmouth purchased Glen Park.  With little time Frank and the fair committee made the glen grounds acceptable for the fair.  They Built a sheep barn that was located between the apple orchard and livestock building.  It was then moved to its current location and renovated as the current day Exhibit Hall.

The Livestock building started out as a portable building.  Being to much to handle the fair committee members Bill Smith, John Martin, and Domingoes Rodrigies with help from several volunteers built the current Livestock Building. 

Other buildings built and renovated by the committee included the Secretary Booth and Kitchen, through Jim Wilkinson.  Newport Creamery donated the grill to 4-H which was put into the kitchen.  The stoves, refrigerator and freezers were either bought or donated to 4-H.

 

 

 

 More to come!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These clippings came from ancestrys.com

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