The first Iowa State Fair was held at Fairfield in 1854. After being held at several different cities, it was transferred to Des Moines in 1879. A few of the original buildings constructed in 1886 remain, as do the pre-1886 Charles Thorton farmhouse and barn. The 1886 buildings were designed by the Des Moines architect William F. Hackney. The largest of these is the gable-roofed Agricultural Building/Pioneer Building. There is also a group of racehorse barns dating from 1896. The most interesting buildings are discussed in the next eight entries.
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Iowa State Fairgrounds
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