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And the West is History: Stunt plane at Fairgrounds – 1919

The 1919 Colorado-New Mexico Fair and Round-up was considered a huge success, with attendance at the Fairgrounds event at an all-time high. First held in 1900, the fair brought residents of four Colorado counties and San Juan County, N.M., together for parades, agricultural exhibits, rodeo events, horse races, baseball games, trick riding and shooting exhibitions, and demonstrations such as the one shown here. Larry Brown, a California-based barnstorming pilot, brought his World War I-era stunt biplane in by train from Alamosa. For three days he entertained the crowds. Described as a “daring and skilled flyer,” he was said to have “thrilled and amazed the crowd by his daring feats.” He received a “burst of applause after each landing directly in front of the grandstand.” The Colorado-New Mexico Fair ended its run after the 1921 show because of the association’s inability to meet its financial obligations. Thereafter, the fair became the more subdued, but fiscally stable La Plata County Fair. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 04.34.21 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)