St. Catharines' Marketplace of the Spring Equinox
Back when St. Catharines was a young village, common events and processes had to be formalized as the needs of the citizens grew.
Pictured here is an 1836 broadside announcing the development of a fair or mart (market) in St. Catharines. It was to begin on May 25 at 9:00 and remain open until sunset. The steward for the market was Alexander Hamilton - the Sheriff of the Niagara District.
In this same collection are the letters patent to establish this market signed by Lieutenant Governor Francis Bond Head. This document provides more details on how the fairs were to be managed, the tolls to pay, and that it was to close for the season on the first Thursday of November every year.
Markets and agricultural fairs had certainly occurred prior to this date. But this appears to be the bureaucratic establishment of this event.
These and other materials on the early administrative history of the Niagara area can be found in the Alexander Hamilton collection in the Brock University Archives.