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Vinland Grange and Fair records

Call Number: RH MS 1056


This collection is comprised of records and collected materials about the Vinland Grange and the Vinland Fair in Douglas County, Kansas. Vinland Grange No. 163 existed from 1873-1985 and the Vinland Fair was first held in 1874 and continues to this day. The material also includes some historical information about the community of Vinland, Kansas, a small amount of material from other local Granges and a few publications from the National Grange organization.


  • Creation: 1868 - 2007


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of Vinland Grange and Fair

Vinland Grange No. 163 of Douglas County, Kansas, was established in 1873. As a fraternal organization for agriculture families, the Grange provided insurance and supply purchasing power to the members. The Grange Hall, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1884. Over the years, the Hall housed different tenants such as a bank, a barber shop and a store and made temporary space available for a school and a church as well as providing for the business of the Grange. The second-floor served as the Grange meeting hall. For over 100 years, the Grange also served as a center for area social activities and the members participated in many service-oriented activities to assist the community. The Vinland Grange disbanded in 1985.

As a small agricultural community, the residents of Vinland organized the first Vinland Grange Fair in 1874. The Grange sponsored the fair for the first 103 years and in 1977 the fair became incorporated as The Vinland Fair. To this day, the Fair remains an old country fair without carnival attractions or gambling and is the community's main social event. Livestock and produce are exhibited for prizes; contests, races and games are organized for children and their pets; contests for farm skill competitions are held; and baked goods and crafts are displayed and sold. In 2004, the Vinland Fair Association Fairground Exhibit Building was added to National Register of Historic Places.


3.75 Linear Feet (8 boxes + 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The records of the Vinland Grange include the secretary's minutes books as well as the treasurer's books and financial accounts from 1873-1984. There is a handwritten poem by Mrs. Elizabeth Iliff in 1879 on the history of the Grange Hall. A 1951-1952 notebook illustrates the Grange's service projects of that year. About 10 newspaper clippings tell stories and provide pictures of the Grange and its members. There are also some correspondence and notes to support the nomination of the Grange and Fair buildings to the National Register of Historical Places.

The Vinland Fair records are comprised of most of the annual fair books (shelved at RH SER D3016 and RH SER G193) which list the activities available for each fair and the advertisers and community members who support the Fair from 1921-2007. The records also include the treasurer's book 1946-1957, the secretary's book 1946-1989 and 2 prize-listing notebooks. There are some reproductions of the broadsheet advertisements for some of the fairs between 1907 and 1919, ad copy mock-ups for fair books, ribbons won, reminiscences of past fairs, a printed history of the fair from 1874 to 1954, and newspaper clippings. The few photographs illustrate some district exhibitions for the fairs, most of them from the Coal Creek district.

The historical information about Vinland, Kansas, and surrounding areas includes an 1868 document appointing the postmaster at Vinland, newspaper clippings, notes and papers (probably in support of the intent to place historic buildings on the National Register of Historic Places), and a time line of Vinland written in 1987 and updated in 1997.

The other Grange material includes organizational documents for the Pomona Grange and the dues account and secretary record book, 1943-1953, of the Lone Star Grange. The National Grange material includes printed leaflets, 2 manuals and a copy of the 1949 constitution.


The Vinland Grange and Fair records date from 1868 to 2007 and are arranged in four series.

Vinland Grange No. 163 of Douglas County, Kansas; 1873-1984

Vinland Fair, 1873-2007

Vinland, Kansas; 1868-1997

Other Grange Units, 1938-1972

Physical Location

RH MS 1056

Physical Location

RH MS R213

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Vinland Community Fair, 2007

Related Materials

Vinland Kansas History scrapbook and records, RH MS 1077, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

Francis, Carol Buhler. "Monarchs of the past." Located at RH P1165, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

Armitage, Katie, compiler. "Vinland, Douglas County, Kansas: Kansas rural history, a case study." Located at RH P832, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

The story of the history of the Vinland Telephone Company and its people, 1903-1973. Located at RH P649, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

Yoder, Mike. Vinland Fair: In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the fair, 1907-2007 / Mike Yoder photographs, 1984-2006. Located at RH B2683, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

Hemphill, Anne E., Vinland area history and Methodist Episcopal Church of Vinland, Kansas. Located at RH D5575, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

A history of the Vinland United Methodist Church of Vinland, Kansas : and the circuits of which it was a part, celebrating the 100th anniversary of its chartering July 19, 1873. Located at RH D5739, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

Randel, Vernell Hagerman. Vinland Rural High School "memories", 1917-1960. Located at RH D6838, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

Separated Materials

The annual Vinland Fair books are shelved at RH Ser D3016 and RH Ser G193.

Guide to the Vinland Grange and Fair Collection
Vinland Grange and Fair records
Finding aid prepared by mab, 2007. Finding aid encoded by mab, 2007. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Vinland Grange and Fair Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1056, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States