Reflections: Remember the Gourd Show?


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



When the calendar changes to October, I always think of the Gourd Show.

The Ohio Gourd Society, organized in 1946, held its first Fall Show at the Morrow County fairgrounds Sunday, October 13, 1963.

There was a total of 22 classes of gourds exhibited in addition to gourd crafts. Show Chairman O. C. Stevens of Mount Gilead was the show chairman.

There were several local residents participating and the crowd was estimated at 500.

During the ensuing years, a junior class was added to the single-day show in October, 1966. Exhibitors totaled 37 and the attendance was estimated at 4500.

One year later, October, 1967 the exhibits were much larger at this, the fifth annual Gourd Show again held at the Morrow County Fairgrounds.

A week prior to this, a Michigan television station produced a segment about the Gourd Show where a total of 7,000 attended.

Four years later, October, 1971, the Gourd Show expanded to two days because of the huge attendance in the past. Three fairground buildings were used for exhibits. O. C.Stevens, show chairman, placed the attendance at 10,000. Several local families were among the first place winners.

October, 1972, members of the American Gourd Society attended this year’s show. People came from as far away as North Carolina and Texas. The show attracted 13,000 persons this year.

October, 1976: Perfect weather for the show this year attracted a crowd estimated at 20,000 with people coming from California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas and Prince Edward island, Canada. Local winners included the Louis Biederman family of Cardington. Over 100 trophies were awarded.

The gourd story will be completed next week.

Looking back

October 1941: J. J. Foust of Cardington, resigned his job as Deputy Sheriff to devote all his time to the operation of his Westfield Township Farm. George Frew had a one story vitrified tile building erected at the corner of Second Street and Park Avenue. It would house the Moores and Ross Cream station.

October 1951: JoAnne Westbrook was 1951 Cardington High School homecoming queen. Her Attendants were Barbara Sparks, Janice Sparks, Kay Cherrington and Betty McGraw. Roger Bell was mascot.

October, 1971: Candi McClintock was selected as Cardington-Lincoln High School’s homecoming queen. Mr and Mrs. Albert Nauman of rural Cardington celebrated 50 years of marriage.

October, 1981: Michelle Albright of Cardington graduated from the Nationwide Beauty Academy in Columbus. She was a 1980 Cardington-Lincoln High School graduate. Rhonda Levings, 1981 Cardington-Lincoln graduate, left for basic training with the U. S. Army.

Volunteers met on October 24 to plant 60 trees on both sides of East Main Street replacing those lost in the June tornado.

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By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist