In 1910 the 20 year-old H.P. Lovecraft visited the Brockton Fair, about midway between Boston and Providence. He later remembered… “the balloon in which I ascended at Brockton in 1910” in a postcard home, 29th August 1929.

Brockton Fair appears to have been a typical late-autumn country fair, with horse shows, athletics, agricultural produce and livestock displays, horse races, a fashion and flower show, airborne stunts with a blimp and an early airplane, and fireworks.

$_57

brocktonfair1910

The ride was presumably run by Brockton Balloon Company, owned by Professor B.S. Tirrell. Tirrell took the ballon high enough to have people perform skydiving/parachute acts from the basket, and presumably went to much the same height for his passengers. He also set off each day’s finale fireworks from the balloon while in mid-air, at evening.

brockton

One postcard shows the balloon at the Fair, c.1910…

brockbal

Lovecraft might also have seen Indians there…

The Passamaquody Indians came from Maine and set up their tepees in the woods east of the racing track. They sold baskets, jewelry and other items and put on demonstrations.” (Lois Crymble Thomas, grandaughter of one of the fair’s founders)

Advertisements