One of only two left in Michigan (the other is on the Calhoun County Fairgrounds in Marshall), it was originally built in 1908 for the opening of the first fair here in Cadillac. The building is considered remarkable when the degree of engineering is considered that was needed to build it. Rumors abound that Ephraim Shay - the inventor of another local landmark, the Shay Locomotive - designed the building.
In 2006 there was a concern that the building would not last since the amount of money needed to restore it to a usable condition was more than the Fair Association had been able to raise. Various "patches" over the years were giving out and the entire building was starting to lean. Thanks to the efforts of the Fair Board, an article was printed in the Cadillac News regarding its plight.
Over the summers of 2007 and 2008 members of the Northwest Home Builders Association worked to replace the aged and rotting beams, roof, windows, and whatever else needed fixing. It was completed in time to use it once again for our 100th Fair in 2008. The companies and individuals responsible for this work are too numerous to mention, and we would run the risk of missing someone. To all of you, thank you for allowing this wonderful, historic building to remain in Cadillac and to be used for the Fair.
Unfortunately the building continues to have serious issues and is no longer open. It is currently being evaluated by a community committee and engineers with respect to the future life of this most unique structure. For more information please contact the Fair Office at 231-775-6361.