The NORTHERN OHIO SANITARY FAIR (22 Feb.-10 Mar. 1864) was organized by women of the SOLDIERS' AID SOCIETY OF NORTHERN OHIO to raise funds to assist soldiers during the Civil War. It was patterned after a similar event that had been staged in Chicago. The widely advertised Cleveland fair was housed in a specially constructed building on PUBLIC SQUARE. In the shape of a Greek cross, the building housed exhibits, including floral, artistic, and war-souvenir displays. Single admission tickets cost $.25. No free passes were issued; even visiting dignitaries were required to contribute. Local railroads cooperated with the Soldiers' Aid Society by selling tickets at their stations and promising free return rail fare to any visitor purchasing more than $1 worth of admission tickets. They also lifted freight charges for goods consigned to the fair. The fair, opened formally by Major General JAMES A. GARFIELD, was more popular than expected and extended longer than planned. All unsold goods were auctioned off, and the lumber and other building materials were also sold, bringing more than $10,000 in profit. Total proceeds were over $78,000.

Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

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U.S. Sanitary Commission Records, WRHS.

Brayton, Mary Clark, and Terry, Ellen F. Our Acre and Its Harvest (1869).


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