Wednesday, September 29, 2004

1904 St. Louis World's Fair

Esther Kraus was born in 1905 - a year too late to visit the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. However, her parents, grandparents and cousins living in Columbia, Illinois probably did attend.

According to an article in the September 20th Columbia Clarion Journal, most of Columbia attended the fair:
"Columbia had 1,000 people out of a town of 1,300 attend the fair in 1904," said Bob Schlegel, chairman of the Columbia Heritage and Preservation Society. "All the people boarded a train Sep. 19 in Columbia and rode it into Union Station. People said Columbia was like a ghost town on that day."

Schlegel said due to Columbia having the largest percentage of people at the fair, organizers called the day "Columbia Day."

Visitors to the fair would have been able to try delicacies like ice cream in a waffle cone, which was invented (or at least popularized) at the fair. They could travel the world by visiting recreations of various places around the globe: from an Irish castle to a Japanese Garden, with the Tyrol and Cairo in between.

A report of the Columbia celebration was published in the Clarion Journal on September 22, and can be read here
[note: I don't know how long the newspaper articles will be available on-line]

More about the 1904 Fair:

• Missouri Historical Society 1904 World's Fair site
Official site of the St. Louis World's Fair Centennial Celebration (in St. Louis)

• Descriptions and photos of the 1904 fair can be found on Terry's World Fair site , Bill & Ken's World Fair site, Mike's World Fair site.
- Music from the fair (Real Audio)
- Floral Clock

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