I had a great day today, and am racing with limited time tonight to get this post done and to you to encourage you to visit the Guilford Fair tomorrow, Labor Day. I passed the remote, rural fairgrounds several months ago, and said, “Ray, make sure you experience it.” This morning with friends we headed down I-91 to Exit 1, South on US 5, turned right at the country store, took the first left, meandered, and arrived to park in the fields. Free to park, and $5 admission for seniors, yes I am.

As you look through, remember you can click my galleries for larger views.

Passing in, at this first ring this young lady was practicing an obstacle course with her horse for a later competition.

After chatting with the folks at the Guilford Historical Society booth (more on that later) it was into the exhibition hall. The veggies are always colorful.

My friends, T and C, plunked down 25 cents a card to gamble with the Guilford Grange. I knew better.

This fair, now its 76th year, is so old fashioned, so classic, so manageable, and just so much fun that I now have it on next year’s calendar. It was fun watching people enjoy the low-key, low-impact midway. And, at the games, everyone won a prize.

Over at the small display of animals I recognized a voice, and heading just outside was this gentleman with a sheep shearing demonstration. The voice? I asked, “did I see you at Plymouth Notch?” Yes he replied and he lives there. I saw him shear sheep there, and he is the raconteur extraordinaire who gives the wagon rides at Calvin Coolidge’s homestead.

This “snake in the grass” won a blue ribbon.

Did I say agricultural fair? Did you know that milk is the top selling Vermont agricultural item? Are these cows or milk maids impersonating cows?

entertainment at every turn, and a daring lady watching the knives carefully.

of course you have to spend time watching the oxen pull

And, there was an ice cream eating contest. It was announced many times over the loud speaker – free ice-cream, and the person who finishes first gets a prize. There were several age groups. I did not sign up. Good thing I didn’t because they neglected to explain one of the rules.

Guilford consists of Guilford, Guilford Center, and West Guilford. At the historical society booth I learned of a 19th century mineral springs and resort hotel in Guilford Center. I did not know about it, but had explored this small (very small) village in the past where Royall Tyler lived in the late 1700s. An important early American writer. Well I have written about him before, and will add links to that in time here, but I have to get this post off to you.

We headed to Guilford Center having completed over three fun filled hours at the fair. The lady at the historical society booth told me where to turn in the village on Carpenter Road. And, we figured which drive to turn into. And, as luck would have it, as folks were coming out the drive (on the way to the fair) they confirmed that this was the original resort, and how to find the springs. The same thing happened to me this past week in Middletown Springs, Vermont. On a dead end private road on private property I met the fellow who shared everything with me – but that post to come next week. Below is the basically unchanged 37 room hotel hotel and the barn.

The map below will put into place the village, the hotel, and the trail to the location of the springs and bottling plant.

and, here is the beginning of the trail to the springs

and a map of the overall location of today’s adventure.

we drove past the springs toward West Guilford, and what an amazing dirt road, trees, and some incredible views. We came out on a paved road, traveled a tad, and I knew where we were – headed toward West Brat. In fact, I turned around on a road BLUE BELLE and I came out of a couple years ago so I could capture this 1928 or ’29 Model AA Ford truck holding down some weeds.

and, when “downtown” West Guilford, you need to take an image to share.

1 – Read this post, plan your trip for Labor Day, get up tomorrow, and go
2 – If you don’t read this in time, mark your calendar for 2022
3 – Make sure to follow my posts for more Mineral Spring history — I am hooked, more is coming.

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