Lights Turned on for First Time at Fairgrounds
-from The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, Monday, August 22, 1892
THE FAIR GROUNDS
Illuminated by Electric Light—A Perfect Success.
Saturday night the electric lights were turned on for the first time on the fair grounds.* Twenty arc lights are to be used, but only twelve were ready Saturday night. Even with so few a very good light was to be obtained. There were twenty horses on the grounds, and after the lights were turned on several trials of speed were made. The animals trotted and ran as if they had raced by electric light all their lives, and did not shy at shadows.
It is a settled fact that there will be plenty of light to race by, and if the nights are without fog, the electric light races will be a success.
The electric lights turned on at the Fairgrounds on Wheeling Island, Saturday, August 20, 1892, were a test run for the upcoming West Virginia Exposition State Fair. Announcements in the local newspapers had been advertising horse races "By Electric Light" Monday, September 5 at 7 pm.
The "Electric Light Races" were to be "One Night Only--Monday Night, September 5, at 7 O'Clock."
However, the weather did not cooperate and the Monday night races were rained out and postponed until the following Wednesday, August 7, at 7 O'clock. The night races held that Wednesday were deemed a great success by the Intelligencer and "greatest novelty ever introduced on any race course."
Read the newspaper accounts below:
-from the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, Tuesday, September 6, 1892
NO RACES LAST NIGHT.
A Drenching Rain Yesterday Interferes with the Opening
OF THE ANNUAL STATE FAIR RACES
And they are Postponed until Wednesday Evening--The Prospects for To-day are Bright, and the Promise is Still Good for the Best Fair on Record--To-day's Programme.
"A bad beginning, but a good ending, is what we hope for," was the remark made by Secretary Hook, as he sat disconsolately out of the door of the secretary's office, at the steady downpour of rain yesterday afternoon.
"The worst feature of all is the postponement of the electric light races, on which the public was counting so much, but they will not be disappointed, as arrangements have been made to give them on Wednesday evening, sure."
An INTELLIGENVER reporter, anxious to witness the opening of the tenth annaul fair, donned a pair of rubber boots, mackintosh and umbrella, and made a tour of the grounds yesterday, to see that everything had not been floated away by the big volume of water that fell in the morning. Beyond several big pools on the race track on the lower end, everything presented a favorable appoarance, which in due to the excellent system of drainage; and should no more rain fail this morning everything will be in good shape to-day for the opening races.
No horses were allowed on the track during the day, to prevent it from being cut to pieces. All were exercised on the outside, and the way they made the mud fly was a caution.
The management relics on having a fast track to-day. It should dry off during the night with the breeze that is blowing.
The liveliest spot on the grounds was the racing stables, where the stable boys and jockeys were all busy scraping off the mud from horses and sulkeys that had been out exercising in the rain, preparatory to to-day's races. A number of spectators were present, lounging about all day, inspecting the horses and endeavoring to pick up "tips" on the coming races, which the touts were willing to give for a small recompense.
The most forlorn soot on the grounds was the lower gate, which some facetious friend of the association has labeled with a big sign, "Alley 40." Tho only life to be soon about this end was a few stable boys shooting craps. "Come seven" was the only sound that vied with the steady patter of the rain.
The gatekeoper kept housed up all day to escape the elements, and quit business early in the afternoon, after carefully stowing away the receipts in several barrels kept for that purpose.
In the upper end of the grounds every thing moved along as though there was no such thing as rain. Booths were being erected and put in good shape, while all seemed to be in good humor and entertaining the most hopes of fine weather the next sanguine day.
The ladies have completed the display in the horticultural hall, and it compares favorably with any former display.
The Wheeling Park Association also completed a very attractive display of flowers, foliage and shrubs, among which are some fig and banana trees laden with fine fruit. The display speaks well for the excellent taste of Superintendent Kreiger, under whose supervision it was arranged. The Hospital Association opened up their Quarters in the restaurant building, and served a fine dinner, which was well patronized.
Almost all the exhibits in the main hall were completed yesterday, and it presents a very attractive appearance. Thirteen horses of the Myrtie Peek running combination arrived last evening by the American Express from Bangor, Maine, and will be on the grounds to-day.
The great crowing features to-day, besides the races, will be the marriage of Charles Sumner Chambora and Miss Rachel Virginia Freese, which will take place at 2 o'clock in the judges' stand. The young couple have been the recipients of a great many handsome presentss besides the excellent offer made by the association, a number of which are on exhibition in the east wing of the main hall.
The programme offered to-day contains a large number of entries of good horses, and it promises to be one of the best days of the fair . . .
A number of pools were auctioned off last night at McLaughlin & Co.'s pool room, on Twelfth street.
All tickets sold for the electric light races last night will be good to-morrow night.
-from the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, Thursday, September 8, 1892
ELECTRIC LIGHT RACES
On the Fair Grounds--They are a Great Success.
THE ATTENDANCE INCREASING, And Bids Fair to Tax the Capacity of the Grounds To-day--Miss Mrytie Peek Exhibits the Talents Myrtie of Her Horses--A Horse Owner Complains of Unfair Treatment, and Withdraws His Horses.
The third day of the annual exhibition of the West Virginia Exposition and State Fair Association was a success from beginning to end. The attendance was at least 12,000 in the daytime, and last night fully half as many saw the greatest novelty ever introduced on any race course--races by electric light. Taking the two crowds together, it is doubtful if the attendance has ever been equaled on the third day of any fair here.
The people yesterday were largely from Eastern Ohio. Last night there was scarcely anybody from out of town, except visitors who are here for the week.
To-day's programme is an attractive one, and with good weather there will doubtless be as large a crowd as ever seen on the grounds.