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Animals, Cotton Candy and the Bicentennial Train. Time for the Indiana State Fair!

Annabel and prize colt, 1941
A young girl named Annabel with her prize colt at the 1941 Indiana State Fair.

August is one of my favorite months! Why? The Indiana State Fair!

My daughter and I have gone to the fairgrounds every year since she was 18 months old; it has become our tradition. We love it – the food, the animals, the rides – we enjoy every part.

Since the Indiana State Fair is my favorite part of August, it should come as no surprise that I enjoy the Indiana Historical Society's J.C. Allen and Son image collection which is available for viewing online.

The sharp, vibrant photo collection contains images of the Indiana State Fair taken from 1926 to 1952.

The photographer John Calvin Allen started his business in Tippecanoe County in 1912 and his son, Chester, joined him in 1929. The Allens became known for their agricultural subjects and superb photography. 

Kenneth and Richard North, 1930
Brothers, Kenneth and Richard North, enjoy cotton candy at the 1930 Indiana State Fair.

Two of my Indiana State Fair favorites from the J.C. Allen and Son collection are: 

  •  Annabel and her prize colt, 1941. My daughter loves animals, and has a passion for horses. She wants to live on a farm and raise horses when she's older. This photo reminds me of her. 
  •  Kenneth and Richard North, 1930. This photo is timeless to me. Cotton candy is a staple of any fair and my daughter and I cannot go to the fairgrounds without buying it.

The 2016 Indiana State Fair will be held August 5 through 21 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. IHS members can get free tickets to the fair by contacting Sarah Sankovitch at ssankovitch@indianahistory.org

 This year being Indiana's 200th birthday, IHS will have the Bicentennial Train located behind the Family Fun Park. Climb aboard and explore three box cars full of Indiana History.


Melissa BrummettMelissa Brummett is a Marketing Intern at the Indiana Historical Society. She enjoys photography, reading, sports and history.

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