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Pioneer Gardens title image

Peter Reid, Deputy Warden with cabbage garden, state penitentiary, Bismarck, ND
Deputy Warden Peter Reid with cabbage garden, State
Penitentiary, Bismarck, ND, SHSND# E0140
The ND Industrial Exposition ran for twenty days (September 26 to October 16) and drew impressive visitors during that time who were impressed with ND’s ability to produce agricultural and horticultural products. Though the fair was successful enough to plan a second event the following year (and apparently went on until at least 1915), it took a few missteps. Who in ND was able to enter 6 cotton bolls from a home garden?

A history of the event was published by the office of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Labor. The book cites the display booth of the ND State Prison. Rope and twine were the main products on display, but the prison also featured “other industries and activities of inmates such as farming, gardening, fruit and vegetable preserving” which were designed to “inculcate habits of industry in the lives of the convicts” at the “model institution.” (p. 6-7)

Several counties also had displays in which garden vegetables were laid alongside grains in sheaf and threshed. The Red River Valley counties of Cass, Traill, Grand Forks, Pembina, Walsh, and Richland featured fruits such as apples “equal in appearance and superior in edible qualities to the output of irrigated ,western orchards. O. H. Will also had a display.