This year will mark 40 years since the Gwinnett Historical Society first held a fair at the Elisha Winn Fair to both celebrate the history of the house — one of the oldest, if not the oldest, structures in Gwinnett — and raise money for the society.
Now in Gwinnett’s bicentennial year, the county and the fair will celebrate milestone birthdays by combining them together. This year’s Elisha Winn Fair will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Elisha Winn House, which is located at 908 Dacula Road in Dacula.
“We have been so busy celebrating Gwinnett’s bicentennial, we have not planned anything extra special for the 40th year of the fair,” Gwinnett Historical Society co-president Betty Warbington said. “The two celebrations really go together well! And this year’s fair is turning out to be the best one, in my opinion, that we have had.”
The Elisha Winn House, which is believed to have been built in about 1812, holds a special significance in Gwinnett County because it is where the county’s founding father laid out the plans for setting the county up. It was also the county’s first voting poll site and housed the Inferior and Superior Courts for a time in the county’s early years.
“The Winn House served as the first courthouse for the new county holding Inferior Court sessions and the first county elections in the parlor,” Warbington said. “Superior Court eventually moved to the barn because of the seriousness of the trials.”
This year’s Elisha Winn Fair will include living history docents giving demonstrations of life in the 1800s would have been like, from washing laundry in a tin tub to bobbin lace making, as well as basket making, weaving, spinning thread on a spinning wheel, making pottery and quilting.
War of 1812 reenactors from Fort Daniel will give musket firing demonstrations as well.
“New this year will be a biographical speech by none other than ‘Button Gwinnett’ himself,” Warbington said. “‘Button’ will also be walking around the fairgrounds to greet visitors and provide a photo op at the fair.”
Other activities taking place during the fair include tours of the house, the 1875 one-room school, a working blacksmith shop, an old log jail and a barn, as well as vendors selling food and handmade arts and crafts, and performances by the Skillet Lickers on both days.
The fair will last from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. each day. Admission will be $3 for anyone ages 13 and up. Children 12 and under will be admitted for free.
“We are really looking forward to having a wonderful fair commemorating our 40th anniversary of the Winn Fair and the bicentennial year of Gwinnett County,” Warbington said.