History of the Brome County Agricultural Society (BCAS)
In a newspaper article published in the Eastern Townships Advertiser in September 1963, the author Harry B. Shufelt cites Taylor’s history for his account of the early beginnings of the BCAS.
According to Shufelt, a public meeting was held on July 12, 1856 at the Inn of Albert Kimball in the village of Knowlton, Que., (presently Auberge Knowlton) to organize an agricultural society.
The Honourable Paul Holland Knowlton chaired the meeting and Nathaniel Pettes acted as secretary. The motion passed at that meeting, be it resolved that “ …whereas upwards of seventy people had already become members by signing the declarations and subscribing five shillings and upwards…” And the society was formed.
The first officers were George Boright, president, Asa Frary, vice-president, and Nathaniel Pettes, secretary-treasurer.
Later in July 1856 another meeting was organized to determine the list of premiums, the rules and the names of the judges for both a fall and a winter show.
The first financial report dated February 1857, showed receipts of 238 pounds, 13 shillings and 3 pence. The Government Allowance for support of the Society was 173 pounds, 19 shillings and 6 pence.
As the Society grew and the Horticultural Society (formed in 1880) joined the agricultural exhibition, a larger, permanent location was needed. In 1891 in a by-law passed by the mayors of Brome, Sutton, East Farnham, East Bolton, West Bolton, Eastman and Knowlton, the present site of Brome Fair was determined.
Over the years many changes and improvements have taken place within the Society and on the Brome Fairgrounds but for thousands of visitors “all roads still lead to Brome on Labor Day weekend”.
A Short History Lesson
The provincial parliament passed the Agricultural Act entitled "An act to make more ample provision for the encouragement of agriculture."
Brome County was formed out of parts of Stanstead, Shefford and Missisquoi counties in 1855. Then on July 12, 1856 with a subscription of more than 70 persons an organizing meeting was held with the Honorable P.H. Knowlton in the chair and Nathaniel Pettes appointed as secretary. The first president elected was George Boright with Asa Frary as vice-president.
In the beginning the Society organized two cattle shows a year, one in the fall and one in the winter. The first fall show was held on the first Wednesday of October, 1856 and the winter show was on the first Wednesday of January, 1857 in the village of Knowlton. The total expenditures was $954.00 with the government covering most of this with a grant for almost $700.00.
In 1861, it was decided to hold only one exhibition, in the fall. These continued to be held in Knowlton until 1890 when the directors bought 12 1/2 acres in Brome. In 1905, they increased their holdings to 18 acres, the current grounds for the Fair.
Past Presidents From 1856 to 2016
2001 to 2016
|2016||Tom Enright||2012||Phil LeChasseur||2009||Dick Cadarette||2006||Ernie Banks||2003||Larry Frizzle|
|2015||Bill Miller||2011||Karen Crandall||2008||Barrie Paige||2005||Karen Crandall||2002||Richard Cadarette|
|2014||Gaylon Davis||2010||Gaylon Davis||2007||Bob Soles||2004||Karen Crandall||2001||Gaylon Davis|
1951 to 2000
|2000||Ernest Banks||1990||R.K. Douglas||1980||Rod Crandall||1970||Rod Crandall||1960||J.C. Blackwood|
|1999||Donald Soles||1989||R.K. Douglas||1979||L.C. Horner||1969||Alan C. Webster||1959||Stanley Mount|
|1998||Larry Frizzle||1988||Alain Lavigne||1978||Yvon Menard||1968||John Beerwort||1958||Geo. Salisbury|
|1997||Lloyd Wright||1987||Larry Frizzle||1977||M. Crittenden||1967||Clyde Burbank||1957||Lawrence Draper|
|1996||Hugh Salisbury||1986||Grant Payne||1976||E. Vogel||1966||Ben Lavin||1956||L.C. Horner|
|1995||Gaylon Davis||1985||Rod Crandall||1975||Garth Hadlock||1965||J.A. Jolley||1955||Geo B. Mizener|
|1994||Alain Lavigne||1984||Hugh Salisbury||1974||Leverett Jewett||1964||L.P. Knowlton||1954||M.W. Miller|
|1993||James Robinson||1983||Garth Hadlock||1973||Wilson Frizzle||1963||Earl Marsh||1953||J.P. MacIntosh|
|1992||Diana Frizzle||1982||Donald Soles||1972||George Rogerson||1962||Léo Duquette||1952||Max Gagné|
|1991||Royce Dustin||1981||Royce Dustin||1971||Jerry Jackson||1961||Fred Shufelt||1951||Vollen Hastings|
1856 to 1950
|1950||Gordon Perkins||1940||W.D. Soles||1930||George Cameron||1919||A.T. Woodley||1861||Eli W. Hall|
|1949||L.C. Horner||1939||S.C. Powers||1929||Dan Green||1918||Frank Strange||1860||Stephen Pettes|
|1948||A.T. Woodley||1938||Fred Perkins||1928||Dan Green||1917||F.A. Jewett||1859||Ezra G. Ball|
|1947||E.H. Foster||1937||Charles McClay||1927||Dan Green||1916||S. Courtney||1858||Levi A. Perkins|
|1946||H.C. Salisbury||1936||P.W. Taber||1926||A.T. Woodley||1915||J.M. Bryant||1857||Asa Frary|
|1945||Homer Salisbury||1935||A.C.Carter||1925||P.W. Taber||1914||Alex Burnet||1856||George Boright|
|1944||E.S. Bradley||1934||J.J. Crawford||1924||S.W. Courtney||1913||W. Safford|
|1943||P.W. Taber||1933||J.J. Crawford||1923||A.C.Carter||1912||S. Courtney|
|1942||Errol Marsh||1932||J.J. Crawford||1921||Mark Tibbits||1911||A. Harvey|
|1941||George Mizener||1931||J.J. Crawford||1920||F.E. Ray||1890||H.G. Hall|
Some Interesting Facts:
- Gaylon Davis has served 4 terms as a president.
- Paul Santerre was the youngest president to be elected.
- Rod Crandall and Larry Frizzle have each served three terms as president of BCAS.
- Diana Frizzle was the first female president of the society.
- Rod Crandall and Karen Crandall Allnutt are the only father/daughter presidents of the society.
- Larry Frizzle and Diana Frizzle are the only husband and wife who have served as presidents
Association des Expositions Agricoles du Québec
23 Ave. Ste-Brigitte Nord, C.P. 547
Montmagny, Quebec G5V 3S9
Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions
43 Eccles Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 6S3