Horticulture Building shines at Fair
The Horticulture Building at the Ayer’s Cliff Fairgrounds was in top shape for the Stanstead County Horticultural Society’s 101st Annual Exhibition last weekend. Thanks to the efforts of several volunteers, the building underwent a much-needed renovation that was completed just in time for this year’s fair.
“The Horticulture Building was moved to its present site in 1939 and the additions were put on shortly thereafter using buildings that were already on the fairgrounds. So it was due for repairs,” said Tricia McDaid, the president of the Horticultural Society.
The work started in May with the preparations for the replacing of the 80 foot foundation. The building had slipped off its sill and needed to be jacked up with an 80 foot by 3 foot trench dug. This work was supervised by Rodney Paxton, an Ayer’s Cliff Fair board director. Two center posts and the cement was replaced, all the work done by volunteers from the Fair Board and the Horticultural Society. Once the new foundation was in, the walls were rebuilt, new siding was installed and painted. The windows were put back, not easy considering their age.
Next the large tables were put back into place. New shelving was made and everything received a fresh coat of cheery yellow and white paint. The Society’s secretary-treasurer, Debbie Smith, has new office space and the chicken wire has been removed from around the cages. The layout of the building, such as the moving of the cooking department to the center aisle, was altered a little to make it easier for judging and viewing and brighter.
“The Horticultural Society ‘s board members have worked very hard to see this renovation through, and for some of us, it became a part time job. Wesley Mason had hip surgery during the process and was back to work as soon as he was able. Tim Roarke and Angus MacKinnon were very helpful during the construction phase; Cindy Bowen raised the money to finance the renovation; Trevor McComb, Tyler McComb, Heidi and Naomi Shipway and friend Christine, Briana and Erica Bouchard, Wyatt Johnston and Sandra Dezan were masters with the paintbrush. This is an example of the committed and dedicated people who understand the importance of the Horticulture Building as a part of our cultural heritage.
“We also thank everyone who donated to the Ayer’s Cliff Fair’s Sponsorship Committee, especially Farm Credit for their substantial donation. And a most sincere thank-you to Rodney Paxton, Steve and Alda Brus. Without their help we likely wouldn’t have gotten the job done.”
The Horticulture Building’s official opening was held on Saturday at noon during the fair and there was a big turnout and a big cake for everyone. Fair president Keith MacDonald said a few words as did Ayer’s Cliff mayor Alex van Zuiden. Horticulture Society president Tricia McDaid received a special plaque for her hard work as president of the Society.
Stanstead Horticulture Society members donned some vintage clothing to celebrate the official opening of the Ayer’s cliff Fair’s Horticulture Building after the extensive renovations that had the building looking shiny and bright, ready for another 101 years.