Long before the holiday season falls upon us, we assemble together in our community and celebrate the summer and fall harvests.
The tradition of celebrating the harvest is nothing new to county residents.
On the 26th of September 1861, the Tooele Branch of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Society held their third annual fair in Tooele, which was well attended by people from all parts of the county, according to Tooele County resident Lysander Gee.
Gee also wrote the stock department plainly indicated much interest had been taken by the farmers and ranchers in raising improved breeds of horses, cattle and sheep. The products of the soil showed many had not been idle during the past season. The fruit department could not be excelled in Deseret.
Home manufactured cloth of almost every description plainly set forth that the inhabitants of Deseret could be well clad without foreign importations, and fine needle work manifested people might easily be adorned with the workmanship of their own hands. There was a long list of premiums awarded by the various committees. On the day following the fair, county residents prepared a race track near Bates’ Ranch and people from all over the county came at high noon to watch horse racing.
The mile race was run in the short space of 1 minute and 43 seconds, using a group of 3-yearold colts. Quarter and 300-yard races were also run, proving that horses can be raised in Tooele almost equal to the fleetest.
Among other sports of the day, local county residents Adam Smith and Archibald Shields ran a sack race of 100 yards, with Shields being the victor.