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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eastern States Exposition

The Eastern States Exposition, or the Big E, runs from September 12th through the 28th this year. Above is a shot from the top of the Ferris wheel looking north towards Mt. Tom. The Big E illustrates not only the culture, products, and heritage of the six New England States; it also illustrates the phenomenon of what happens when tens of thousands of people converge upon an otherwise quiet town. As you can see, the fairgrounds is an island in a sea of Western Mass. green.

West Springfield, Massachusetts is the annual location the Big E and has been since its founding in 1917. Through the decades, through the boom of the 1920s when agriculture was becoming mechanized, through the Great Depression years, the wars, the eras which passed and made up our lives, the Big E has been one constant feature that begins our most celebrated New England autumn.

Here is a photo which marks one such event from a Big E and an autumn long ago: the Hurricane of 1938. The photos marks the high water point of the flooding on the fairgrounds. This Friday we begin a three-part series on the Hurricane of 1938.

Here is a link to the website of the Eastern States Exposition with information on events, exhibits, admission and times. Folks from all over New England (and even some of them outlanders from beyond) meet up here. I hope you can, too.

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