CLE has long history – A Moment with the Thunder Bay Museum


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THUNDER BAY – The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition was started after the group of local businessmen who backed the West Algoma Agricultural Society launched a three-day celebration of farming in October of 1890. Roots and vegetables took top honours, if the period’s newspapers reported accurately. By 1908 the event had expanded to five days and was named the New Ontario Exhibition.

This image shows the brand new building opened that year. Alongside the usual exhibits of farm produce that year was a dog show, rides such as a merry-go-round and a miniature railway, a trapeze performance, a Spanish dancer and an act enticingly called “Daredevil Dougherty’s Dip of Death.”

The exhibition ended with a “Grand Confetti Carnival,” probably the equivalent of today’s fireworks.

Text and photograph by Tory Tronrud – Thunder Bay Museum.

Thunder Bay Museum