Several rides at the Oregon State Fair in the early 1900s. 0082.002.0022.051 (Courtesy/ Willamette Heritage Center)

The Oregon State Fair is a time-honored tradition that boasts carnival rides and blue ribbons.

The fair has been taking place at its current location since 1862, the year after the Oregon State Agricultural Society and Oregon Fruit Growers Association held the first fair near Gladstone.

"Oregon was overwhelmingly agricultural in the 1800s and the State Fair offered farmers and ranchers an opportunity to share ideas about crops, new techniques and new equipment. They could show off their prize pumpkins and race their fastest horses," the Oregon Secretary of State website reads.

The Willamette Heritage Center provided historic photos to the Salem Reporter to give readers a glimpse into the past before this years. The captions include the inventory numbers.

A Holstein Cow sold for $25,000 at the fair in the late 1950s or early 1960s. 1998.010.0030 (Courtesy/Willamette Heritage Center)

On the back of the postcard is a note from Sept. 9, 1911 that reads "Elliott, Printer, Salem, Oregon" and a message written to "Mrs. Percy Willis, Key West Barracks, Florida". 1995.010.0020 (Courtesy/ Willamette Heritage Center)

People posing for a photo booth at the fair in 1908. 2011.006.0781 (Courtesy/Willamette Heritage Center)


The 100th birthday of the Oregon State Fair was celebrated on the front steps of the State Capitol in 1962. 1998.010.0035 (Courtesy/Willamette Heritage Center)

Canvas wall tents set up in wooded area west of 17th Street and east of Silverton Road in 1905. 1986.003.0012.022  (Courtesy/Willamette Heritage Center)

A crowd poses in front of State Fair Pavilion Building in 1906. 1998.012.0077 (Courtesy/Willamette Heritage Center)

Oregon State Fair postcard. 2011.006.0050 (Courtesy/Willamette Heritage Center)

Champion sunflower at the Oregon State Fair sometime between 1935 and 1945. 1998.010.0004 (Courtesy/Willamette Heritage Center)

Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250 or [email protected]