The Hi-Line’s Marias Fairgrounds in Shelby

The Marias Fairgrounds, host to a four-county fair every July, is located on the southside of U.S. Highway 2 on the eastern edge of Shelby, the county seat of Toole County.  The fairgrounds are also immediately south of the Great Northern Railway line.  The fair dates to c. 1941, and the fairgrounds has a blend of mid-century buildings with new facilities.

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Livestock barns and stalls dominate the fairgrounds, as you would expect in this region.  

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Two buildings are particularly noticeable from the highway.  The false front of the Mercantile Building recalls the earliest frame structures built along the railroad line in Shelby.

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Outside of the grandstand, the fairgrounds’s dominant landmark is the two-story with cupola Dunkirk School, which was moved to the fairgrounds to serve as an exhibit building for 4-H and other youth groups, certainly a very appropriate adaptive re-use of this early 20th century historic building.

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