A gathering of the Oregon Fruitgrowers Association in 1858 could be considered the first state fair, except Oregon was not yet a state. In 1860, during Oregon’s second year of statehood, the fruitgrowers united with county agricultural societies to form the Oregon State Agricultural Society. The society set about organizing the first official Oregon State Fair, which celebrated opening day on Tuesday, October 1, 1861 (Morning Oregonian, 3 October 1861).
That first fair took place on a four acre property along the Clackamas River near Gladstone and Oregon City. It featured popular horse racing and equestrian events, cattle and stock shows, and the halls were well supplied with Agricultural Implements and Machinery, Textile Fabrics, Needle-work, other household work, products of the Farm and the Garden, cabinets of Natural History, Fruits, products of the Dairy, and other articles (Morning Oregonian, 25 September 1861).