DescriptionCotton Belt Days in Texas Broadside. This 9" x 24" excursion broadside was issued for "Cotton Belt Days at the Texas Spring Palace" [undated, circa 1889]. It lists the train schedule for transportation to the event described as an "attractive, unique and wonderful presentation of the resources of Texas... Constructed, Ornamented, Decorated and Filled With the Products of Texas." Entertainment was provided by the Elgin Military Band under the direction of Hecker. Light chipping around the edges in places; light toning along the right margin. Else fine.
The Texas Spring Palace was an immigration/agricultural fair that opened in 1889 in the city of Fort Worth and ran between May 29 and June 20. Based in part on an idea of Fort Worth and Denver Railway immigration agent, Robert A. Cameron, its purpose was to draw settlers and investors to the area by featuring all of the natural resources that Texas had to offer in one place. It featured a 60,000 square foot "palace" which integrated Oriental, Moorish, and Malaysian design styles and was constructed of entirely wood. Each Texas county had its own space ornamented with its principal product. The fair proved so popular that it was repeated the next year, running May 10 through May 31. During the second season, medals were awarded to the counties with the best displays. Unfortunately, the 1890 season ended tragically and was to be the last. On the evening of May 30, a ball was held inside the palace, but was cut short when a fire ripped through the structure, destroying the building in fifteen minutes. Miraculously, even with the thousands in attendance that evening, only one fatality occurred. A visiting Englishmen, Alfred S. Hayne, was killed while courageously rescuing women and children from the blaze. Despite its two season run and disastrous end, the fair did succeed in bringing new businesses, factories, and financial investors to the Fort Worth area.
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