Dakota County Historical Society
To preserve, interpret and promote the history of Dakota County.

Location: Dakota County Fair Grounds, County Highway 74 (building razed, but dome is preserved)
It was suggested in 1935 that “No institution, perhaps, has exerted greater influence upon American rural life than the agricultural fair.” Today, the Dakota County Fair is still going strong, but a monument to its rich history needs restoration; this is the Horticulture Building.
Construction of this building began in 1918, but the heritage it represents goes back to 1858, when the Dakota County Agricultural Society, one of the oldest agricultural societies in the state of Minnesota, was organized. As part of its activities it sponsored an annual fair. The first fair took place in boomtown Nininger in 1858 with Henry H. Sibley as guest speaker. Later the fair moved to Hastings and then in 1869 it settled in Farmington.
In 1918, the fair moved to new grounds in Farmington, and for the fair’s 53rd anniversary a racetrack and three new buildings were constructed, among them the Horticulture Building. The first building to be seen when approaching the main entrance at the time, the Horticulture Building has a central octagon surmounted by an octagonal wood dome painted silver; two monitor-topped wings emerge from opposite sides of the central octagon.
Within this building, the products of labor, pride and achievement have been exhibited for nearly 50 years – the products and produce of Dakota County agricultural life. The building achieved National Register status in 1980, but in 1984 structural problems raised talk of its possible demolition. Its dome leaned toward one side and fear arose that a strong wind could topple it.
It was razed in 1988 and the dome set on a foundation as a gazebo.

Additional Information:
In 1918, the fair moved to new grounds in Farmington, and for the fair's 53rd anniversary a racetrack and three new buildings were constructed, among them the Horticulture Building. The first building to be seen when approaching the main entrance at the time, the Horticulture Building has a central octagon surmounted by an octagonal wood dome painted silver; two monitor-topped wings emerge from opposite sides of the central octagon. Within this building, the products of labor, pride and achievement have been exhibited for nearly 50 years - the products and produce of Dakota County agricultural life. The building achieved National Register status in 1980, but in 1984 structural problems raised talk of its possible demolition. Its dome leaned toward one side and fear arose that a strong wind could topple it. It was razed in 1988 and the dome set on a foundation as a gazebo.

Visit one of these Dakota County Historic Sites