Warren County Fairgrounds
353 Schroon River Road,
Warrensburg NY 12885
The home of the Warren County Youth Fair, an annual 4-H exhibition sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension Service of Warren County, is located on the banks of the Schroon River, just off Schroon River Road in the Town of Warrensburg. Known locally as the Warren County Fairgrounds, the site boasts a long and interesting history in farming and agriculture.
In 1826, the County of Warren purchased two parcels of land, one being Lot 34 of the Hyde Township from James Dunham, some 70 acres for
$950.00 for the purpose of establishing a home for the poor and less fortunate. As all able-bodied inmates, as they were called at the time, were required to perform certain "work, labor, and services" to help defray their expenses, the farm became an integral part of County Home life. Indeed, the 1865 census lists the occupation of the keeper and several inmates as farmer.
In 1873, the property consisted of 180 acres of timber, pasture, and meadow yielding 30 tons of hay, 600 bushels of potatoes, not to mention oats, corn, beans, pumpkins, straw and buckwheat! In addition, the farm had a complete inventory of necessary tools, wagons, cultivators, hoes, harrows and sleds. Annual reports presented to the Board of Supervisors described a number of improvements to the farm during the late 1800s, including the construction of a large barn in 1891, wagon and cow sheds; hen and ice houses. It was very much a working farm!
The post-World War II era had a definite impact on the home and its farm operation. Officials raised concerns as to whether the farm should be continued and explored the status of such operations in other counties. Meanwhile, 4-H groups, the youth division of local Farm and Home Bureaus (now Cornell Cooperative Extension), were becoming increasingly popular. Annual demonstrations moved around the county, the first being held at The Oneida in Queensbury, while North Creek also became a favorite host for the event, which drew thousands of spectators and participants each August. With the opening of the Warren County Residential Hall in 1981, the county farm was finally closed. Its legacy, however, lives on each summer with the opening of the Warren County Youth Fair!