This being Lassen County Fair week, it is only fitting to have an article about the fair. The first fair was held in 1878, a regional one that comprised the residents of Lassen, Modoc and Plumas Counties. While it was desirous to make it an annual event it was fraught with financial problems.
What we consider the current Lassen County Fair was established in 1922, with five men who organized it. At that time major changes had taken place in the county with the establishment of three large lumber mills–Fruit Growers Supply Company, Lassen Lumber & Box Company and the Red River Lumber Company. Lumber was now king in Lassen County. Besides the traditional horse racing and such, a new feature was added to reflect the community at large, the logging shows. This was a big attraction for the Lassen County Fair for over seventy years, though with the dwindling decline of the lumber industry, this feature was eventually cancelled.
However, in 1923, the first logging exhibition at the Lassen County Fair was certainly noteworthy. For many attendees it was the first time they were able to witness the current logging methods of the “big wheels.” The Fruit Growers Supply Company won top honors in this category. It should be noted by 1927, the lumber companies began phasing out the “big wheels” for the motorized Caterpillar traction engines.
A full story how the Lassen County Fair has evolved since 1878 can be found in the latest issue of the California Traveler.