Carlton County Fair

2019 Carlton County Fair

at the Fairgrounds in Barnum

August 15 - 18

Our New Barns of Carlton County calendar for 2020 will be on sale at the Fair!



August 16, 17, 18, 19

This year's fair holds some exciting activities at the CCHS Farm Machinery Building. A Barn Quilt Square Class will be held again this year on Saturday, August 18 at 1 pm. Sign up now for a chance to paint your own 12 inch square wood barn quilt design to take home. The cost is only $35, which includes all the materials and plenty of instruction!

Volunteer Signup

for 2019 County Fair

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.

We need volunteers to greet visitors, sell items, and share your interest in Carlton County history. At the Log Cabin, we are also looking for volunteers interested in demonstrating a skill you know that is relevant to a past time period. Examples include crafts such as weaving, sewing, wood carving, or playing a musical instrument.

Follow the link below to go to our sign-up web page, or call the museum at 218-879-1938, or contact Darlene at 218-590-6965.

To sign up to work at the "Carlton County Fair 2019" in one of the Historical Society buildings, click here:



The theme for the 121st Carlton County Fair was "Fairway to Heaven in 2011". We had 30 volunteers at the General Store, Farm Machinery Building and Log Cabin, who donated a total of 230.5 hours!

This year we had authors signing books about the county's history that we sold, plus information tables for the Carlton County Genealogy Society, the Moose Lake Area Historical Society, the Senior Reporter magazine and the Water and Soil Conservation program.

The "From Sheep to Shawl" raffle had a happy winner of the handmade all alpaca shawl and the other raffle items were equally well received. We sold books, T-shirts, postcards and memberships, making a total of almost $1,000.

We all had a wonderful experience and met hundreds of people. Signatures in our guest books showed over 500 visitors. For next year, we are planning to re-shingle the Log Cabin roof and make repairs to the wood cook stove. We always welcome new volunteers to help us with this fun annual event.

Call us at 218-879-1938 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to volunteer for the 2012 Carlton County Fair!

Volunteers at the General Store

Also at the CCHS Farm Machinery Building, we will raffle a beautiful quilt made just for us with many barn quilt square patterns in its design. Take a look at the quilt below in the process of completion. Raffle tickets will sell for $5 each for a chance to win this brand new quilt.

Author Larry Luukkonen signed books he wrote.

Another barn related item will be for sale in our Farm Machinery Building - the 2019 Barns of Carlton County Calendar. Look for this year' spectacular selection of our county's historic rural heritage, on sale for only $8 each.

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

Visit us, or better yet volunteer to be part of our annual Fair team by calling our museum at 218-879-1938.

Spinning yarn at the Log Cabin


August 17, 18, 19, 20

The Carlton County Historical Society's Barn Photo Committee returned to the Fair this year with 2018 Barn Calendars right off the press from Community Printers in Cloquet. This year the calendar includes photos of 14 barns in Carlton County with small insets of the interior or other views of the featured barn. We sold over 100 calendars at the fair at a table in our Farm Machinery Building, staffed by volunteers from the Barn Photo Committee.

Demonstrating how to use a spinning wheel at the Log Cabin

Log Cabin front porch

More calendars are available at the CCHS museum in Cloquet.

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.

Moose Lake Area Historical Society in Farm Machinery Building

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

Farm Machinery Volunteers

Carlton County Geneology Society in Farm Machinery Building

Nancy Hanson signs her new book on Carlton County Schools

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

We also exhibited our antique farm machinery on the grounds of the Farm Machinery Building.

Activities and demonstrations took place at our Log Cabin and Barn as well.

Thanks for visiting us at the 2017 Carlton County Fair!


August 18, 19, 20, 21

This year's Fair was called, "Sweet 16 in 2016" and it was a sweet year for the Carlton County Historical Society.

We had lots of volunteers helping us out who put in a total of 283.25 hours, much more than last year's 159.5 hours. Thanks to all our volunteers and special thanks to our volunteer summer intern, Jessica Armstrong, for organizing the volunteer effort.

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.

Another new project was the 2017 Barns of Carlton County calendar produced by the CCHS Barn Photo Committee. They sold like hotcakes at $5 each and featured 13 colorful barns, photographed by committee volunteers in various Carlton County townships. The committee set up a canopy by Milo's bench and had a unique handmade sign identifying the Barn Committee. Both the calendars and the sign are now at the CCHS museum in Cloquet.

A total of 409 people signed our guest book at the Farm Machinery Building, which we estimate may be 1/4 of the people who visited. We had 352 people from MN, 18 from WI, and a few from Maryland, Oregon, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Idaho, Texas, Germany and Jamaica. Minnesotans came from, in descending order, Cloquet, Duluth, Moose Lake, Barnum, Kettle River, Mahtowa, Carlton, Esko, and Wrenshall, with fewer from other communities.

All in all, 2016 was a sweet year at the Fair for us!


August 13, 14, 15, 16

The Carlton County Historical Society invites Carlton County fairgoers to visit their three buildings at the fairgrounds in Barnum during the fair August 13 through August 16.

See all the new exhibits and activities relating to the county's history at the Farm Machinery Building, Centennial Log Homestead and Barn.

At the Farm Machinery Building a newly donated handmade loom from the Esko area will be on view with weavers demonstrating its use. A Rummage Sale of antiques and collectibles will continue all four days of the fair at Farm Machinery Building. Also on Friday, August 14, from 10 am to 4 pm, bring your antiques for professional Antique Appraisals in the Farm Machinery Building.

The Centennial Log Homestead, which now has a new cedar shingle roof on the cabin and porch, features costumed living history interpreters and demonstrations of spinning wool into yarn on several different types of spinning wheels.

Come to the fair and enjoy memories and moments of Carlton County's past. For more information call the Carlton County Historical Society at 218-879-1938.


Despite the 90 degree heat and high humidity, we survived the 2015 Fair thanks to all our hard working volunteers.

Here are some photos of the highlights:

Nancy Hanson visits Cynthia Johnson at Fair

Rachel Johnson & friend play violins in Farm Machinery Building

White family visits Wagon donated by Alfred & Edna White of Cloquet

Ebel Family visits Grain Binder donated by Paul Ebel


August 14, 15, 16, 17

This year the log cabin had a new cedar shingle roof which was damaged by the 2012 flood. When the rainstorm came Sunday afternoon, everyone inside the cabin stayed perfectly dry!

At the Farm Machinery building we had an Antiques Appraisal from Superior Appraisers on Thursday, August 14 from 3 to 5 pm.

Our raffle this year was a Northwest Paper Company Mountie poster.


August 15, 16, 17, 18

The 2013 Carlton County Fair had an attendance of 30,337 people, which was up from last year with the news of the floods. We had plenty of crowds at our three buildings.

The farmhouse and barn had a flurry of visitors sampling the homemade cooking on the wood stove prepared by our costumed volunteers. This year we also had a goat as part of the volunteer crew.

At the farm machinery building, we held an antiques appraisal and showed old 16 millimeter movies that had recently been digitized. People liked the old Dairy Days movies including a few people who saw themselves and friends on the screen.

Our volunteers put in 192.25 hours of volunteer time during the four days at the fair, compared to last year's 346 volunteer hours with all the flood clean up required.

CCHS Fair volunteers

Antique Appraisals

New wood stove with donors and volunteer


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 and still need repairs.

We cleaned up in time for the Fair & had a good crowd!