(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
Like other influential New Englanders at the turn of the 20th century, Joshua Brooks of Springfield, Massachusetts, worried over symptoms of agricultural decline and the ability of farmers to compete commercially with the rest of the nation. This concern evolved into an ambitious plan to put on an annual exposition that would highlight the best New England had to offer in agriculture and industry. The Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, opened in 1916 and was an immediate and ongoing success. A trip to the "Big E" has become for millions of New Englanders an annual rite of fall. A photographer for the Springfield News captured this image of the Old Boston Statehouse replica and the midway at the Eastern States Exposition in 1923.