Spectacles and Encampments continued in the later nineteenth century, and into the twentieth, including Buffalo Bill’s Wild
West Show (complete with Indians). Jeff Gill:
Can you imagine, thousands of Licking Countians sitting on those walls, and Buffalo Bill himself and his whole crew coming in and out of that gateway? Buffalo Bill said it was the most amazing place he ever did the show – as compared to your standard fairgrounds or arena. What a sight!
Dr. Lepper tells the story of another grand spectacle at the “Fairgrounds Circle” that almost ended in disaster! It was the 1874 Grand Reunion of the soldiers and sailors that served from Ohio in the Union Army:
President Hayes was a guest. Future President General James Garfield was there. William Tecumseh Sherman was there. And a speaker’s platform was erected across from the big grandstand where the people would watch the race. Partway through the program it began to collapse, and the paper says that President Hays, and General Sherman, and Garfield, only saved themselves by throwing themselves forward out of their chairs, while the chairs fell backward into the collapsing ruins. So Newark almost became famous for losing a president.