History

the GrandstansIn 1892, $2800 was spent by The Deerfield Valley Agricultural Society to construct the Grandstand, 1/2 mile track, calling tower, stock pens and fences. The last fair of the Deerfield Valley Agricultural Society was held in 1934. In 1952, The Lions Club of Charlemont created what we have come to know today as Yankee Doodle Days.

In the Springfield Union Newspaper, David Malcolm wrote, “On August 8, 9, and 10, our valley plans to go Hollywood in a pastoral New England manner. A beauty contest and a country auction, a chicken barbecue and a square dance, a church bazaar and roast turkey supper, a street parade and the appearance, in person of Yankee Doodle himself, are among the attractions. There will be three gigantic, colossal, tremendous, fun-packed days of cooperative community activities with emphasis placed on the simple pleasure of a lot of people having a pleasant time in a small town, making their own fun.”

“Each event is sponsored by a separate organization and yet the general affect of the program as a whole is that of a single unit. The Ladies Aid of the Federated Church will retain all profits made at the bazaar and turkey supper. The Order of Redmen will retain the fines paid at the Pillory for their lodge. The Charlemont Volunteer Fireman's Association is sponsoring and directing the country dance on the Covered Bridge. 4-H girls keep money made by the sale of feathers. The Legion Auxiliary profits from the sale of food at the auction. The Franklin County Poultry association has charge of the chicken barbeque and the Lions Club is running the country auction. The Lions Club is also acting as general coordinating agent for the entire project.”

After not being held for a period time, Yankee Doodle Days was recreated and revived in 1996 by two young fathers, Vaughn Tower and Todd Gerry, who were instrumental in its rebirth.

The information gathered above was obtained by Joanne MacLean, Director of The Charlemont Historical Society Museum. If you have additional interest or information about the Fairgrounds and Yankee Doodle Days, please submit your worthy information or questions to Joanne.