f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Fairground Park clubhouse

Posted Monday, May 27, 2013, at 12:00 AM

The Southeast Missouri District Fair began in 1855, when the Missouri Legislature appropriated $3,000 to form the Southeast District Agriculture Society. After being located on two different tracts in its first 45 years, the fair was moved to Fairground Park, now Capaha Park, in 1900.

The land was purchased from Col. Robert Sturdivant for $2,000. The Fair Association immediately began building a grandstand, digging a pond and laying out a horse track around it.

A clubhouse, known as Floral Hall, was built in 1905 by contractor A.J. Schmidt to showcase flowers, crafts and baked goods. During other months of the year, the pavilion served as a community center, housing dances, meetings and other gatherings.

During the flood of 1937, an emergency hospital for refugees was set up in the hall. On Feb. 11, 1937, the remaining nine patients were carried to safety from the building as it burned to the ground. (from Lost and Saved)

Order this photo

People gather around the swimming pool at Fairground Park near the clubhouse.

More blogs:

Fairground Park pool opens 1919

First Municipal Pool at Capaha Park

More fun at the oval pool

Former oval pool is formal garden 1961

Pontoon Bridge at Fairground Park


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  • Where were the old Fairgrounds located or the location before they moved to capaha park?

    -- Posted by Brian Sullivan on Wed, Nov 20, 2019, at 2:55 PM
  • The SEMO District Fair in Cape Girardeau has had three sites, including the present location at Arena Park. The first fairground was located on the Gordonville Road, a mile west of the city. It served for many years in the last half of the 19th century, but, like all things, gave way to progress. It was in 1900 that members of the fair board decided to move closer to the city. As a result, the project that year was moved to Fairground Park on West Broadway, without suspension of the regular program or the loss of the fair.

    -- Posted by Fred Lynch on Thu, Nov 21, 2019, at 6:38 PM