Historical Markers

Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair

Location: 16942 GA Hwy 67,
Statesboro, Georgia

County: Bulloch

Coordinates: 32.394263, -81.752829

Dedicated: September 23, 2021

Marker Type: Bulloch County Historical Society

MARKER TEXT (FRONT)

KIWANIS OGEECHEE FAIR

     Chartered in 1960, the Kiwanis Club of Statesboro conducted agricultural fairs in 1963 and 1964 on open lots on Stockyard Road as fund raisers.  After torrential rains nearly ruined the 1964 fair, the club purchased 28 acres on this site on November 7, 1964, from John Rushing for $20,156.  Using their own labor with hand-held tools, Statesboro Kiwanians erected a 25,000 square foot exhibit building and two livestock sheds.

     The first Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair here was opened on October 11, 1965 with an address by Georgia Senator Herman Talmadge.  In 1971, a new livestock arena was dedicated by Georgia Lt. Gov. Lester Maddox.  By 1973, the Statesboro Kiwanians focused on preserving local agricultural history and crafts by establishing a Heritage Village.  The Aldrich House, a log-framed dwelling built in 1886 on Harville road, was moved to the fairground in 1975 as the historical centerpiece.  In 1990, the Kiwanis Community Building was built.  From syrup boiling and flipping pancakes to the excitement of midway rides, these fairgrounds have been dedicated to preserving memories of generations past and building family memories for generations to come. 

(continued on back side)

Supported by the Jack N & Addie D. Averitt Foundation

Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, Front of Marker
Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, Front of Marker
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MARKER TEXT (BACK)

KIWANIS CLUB OF STATESBORO

(Continued from front side)

     The Kiwanis Club of Statesboro held an organizational meeting

at Mrs. Bryant’s Kitchen (a local restaurant) on February 29, 1960 and elected the following:  Josh Lanier, President; Thomas Preston, Vice President; Weldon Dupree, Secretary; Herman Bray, Treasurer and Board of Directors: Belton Braswell, B. Avant Edenfield, T. W. Rowse, William Franklin, Naughton Beasley, Robert Ussery and Isaac Bunce.

     The club’s first major community project in 1961 was a matching contribution of $3807 to Georgia Southern College which triggered matching federal scholarship funds of $34,259.  The following Kiwanians personally guaranteed a note to Sea Island Bank for repayment:  B. Avant Edenfield, Marion Brantley, J.W. Ray, J.E. Owens, Jr., J. Thurman Lanier, W. O. Stubbs, H. P. Jones, Willie Mac McGlamery, L.E. Mallard, Herman Bray, J.L. Dixon, William McKenney, Belton Braswell, Harold Howell, Miles Frank Deal, James Aulbert Brannen, Brown Childs, Wendell Rockett, John C. Wilson, Charles L. Brinson, W.H. Carroll, Weldon Dupree, Tal Callaway, Warren Evans, Naughton Beasley, Henry Appell, Wyatt Johnson and club pianist Emma Kelly.  The loan was repaid in 1963 with proceeds from the first Ogeechee Fair.

Supported by the Jack N & Addie D. Averitt Foundation

Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, Back of Marker
Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, Back of Marker
press to zoom

The Bulloch County Historical Society’s historical markers are funded by the
Jack N. & Addie D. Averitt Foundation.