Carlton County Fair

Fair Volunteers!

August 15-18, 2024

The Carlton County Historical Society operates two buildings on the fairgrounds: our large machinery building where we also have merchandise for sale, and our historic log cabin.

This year we invite you to walk along the Potato Path! We will have some of our farm equipment leading out of the machinery shed and leading toward the barn and garden. This equipment will outline the process of planting and harvesting potatoes before there were tractors to help.   

You will also want to visit our living history farmhouse and barn to watch costumed interpreters demonstrate quilting, cooking on a wood stove, and daily life in the early 1900s.


Have some fun in one of our buildings this year! There is a variety of things to do and positions to fill. We need volunteers to help in both buildings. There's more info about the buildings and roles below. 

To sign up to volunteer at the Carlton County Fair 2023 in one of the Historical Society buildings, email or call the museum at 218-879-1938

What is the Machinery Shed?

The machinery shed is located near the entrance to the grandstands. It houses a variety of farming equipment, horse-drawn carriages, and tools. 

This is where we sell our barn calendars, memberships, and books. In this building, we would like volunteers to sell these items, and encourage visitors to look around. If you have knowledge of farming equipment, your knowledge would be priceless to us and to our visitors!

What is the Log Cabin?

The log cabin and barn is located near the entrance to the rides and games. The cabin is decorated like a 1910 farmhouse. Volunteers have the opportunity to dress up in costume and tell stories to visitors, play music on the front porch, or show visitors a craft such as woodcarving, knitting, weaving, sewing, spinning wool, etc. If you have any of these talents we would love to have you there! 


To sign up to volunteer at the Carlton County Fair 2023 in one of the Historical Society buildings, email or call the museum at 218-879-1938

Volunteers enjoying the log cabin and barn!

Betty Carlson in the log cabin 1990

The Barn 1990

Timeless Fair Fun!



Peggy Denton 1965

Past Fairs

The Barn Photo Committee also held a Barn Quilt Square Class in the Farm Machinery Building this year. Participants created their own designs, choose the colors to use and painted the wood squares to take home and put on their barns.

Just look at some of the beautiful designs created during the class at the fair!

And one of the creative participants worked on her first Barn Quilt Square.

Nancy Hanson signs her new book on Carlton County Schools

Also new was the memorial bench we had made in memory of Milo Rasmussen, our long time Board President and long time supporter of our Fair activities. The bench was placed in the shade on the north side of the Farm Machinery Building and was used a lot by fair goers.

Nancy Hanson visits Cynthia Johnson at Fair

Rachel Johnson & friend play violins in Farm Machinery Building



In June 2012, Barnum and much of Carlton County suffered the consequences of a devastting flood. The three Carlton County Historical Society buildings were damaged, needing clean-up and repair before the Fair opened in August.


Here are some photos of what we needed to clean up & repair:


The Farm Machinery building had 2 feet of water inside

 The Log cabin & Barn had 4 feet of water