Can’t Find Your Car? Frederick Fair Parking Lot, 1914

Parking lot Frederick Fair 1915

This fascinating scene of hundreds of cars parked in the Frederick Fair parking lot was taken by Lewis Reed in 1914. What is fascinating to me is, with all of these early cars painted in black, how on earth would you find your car in the parking lot?

Can’t find your car, sir? Apparently not a new phenomenon as seen in this 1914 photo of the Great Frederick Fair parking lot, especially since the majority of cars were of only one paint color, your basic black.

This week (September 17-25) marks the 159th edition of the Great Frederick Fair, the largest and greatest county fair in the State of Maryland. There have been many changes since the first fair was held in 1822 when it was known as the Cattle Show and Fair: that was a two-day event, now it’s nine days. The location has changed and so has the name. Today, the Frederick County Fair is officially named the Great Frederick Fair. It’s been held in May, October and November, but now (and for many years) takes place in September — rain or shine.

Fair entertainment has certainly evolved over the years. In 1888, May Lillie, an “expert girl shot with a rifle” from the back of a running mustang, performed. In the early 1900s, acrobatic bears and monkeys, high-wire acts and vaudeville performers took the stage. In 1950, the highlight of the “Irish Horan and the lucky Hell Drivers” show was a “stock convertible catapulted from a giant cannon.” In 1965, it was Jack Kochman’s Hell Drivers performing stunts with cars.

The Thursday of the 1911 fair was noted as a record day with 15,000 people in attendance, 100 autos and 1,000 carriages, according to “The Great Frederick Fair” book. Today, fair attendance can range from 210,000 to 250,000 people during the nine-day fair.

The Great Frederick Fair 1914

Newspaper ad advertising The Great Frederick Fair. THE DEMOCRATIC ADVOCATE OCTOBER, 1914

Source: Frederick News-Post

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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