In 1919, Dr. Christopher Graham gifted the Graham Park property with the intention that it be used as a permanent site for the Olmsted County Fair. It also was to provide a location for agricultural or school fairs, exhibits, sales, meetings, or other functions, for the purpose of raising awareness of farming and educating farmers and young people in methods of agriculture, aviation and/or related occupations (Deed, 1919). Dr. Graham grew up on a farm and he believed that the welfare of our country depended on improving agricultural education and encouraging individuals to remain on the farm. After experiencing the hardships associated with farming and witnessing youth becoming disinterested in agriculture, he wanted to support agriculture, scientific developments, and attract youth to the farming way of life.
Today, we are committed to making the 55-acre Graham Park into a regional destination for education, agriculture, sports and entertainment. Our theme “Seeds of our past, cultivating the future”, symbolizes our commitment to Dr. Graham’s intent to create a public place to celebrate regional history, industry and traditions.
In utilizing resources that already exist and preserving the integrity of historic structures on the site, the Friends of Graham Park are dedicated to listening to the community and stakeholders to create a master plan for a revitalized Graham Park and a sustainable stewardship model for generations to come. While respecting Dr. Graham's intentions, we are working collaboratively with the vested partners to create a comprehensive design with a phased project plan that focuses on increasing the park’s accessibility, sustainability, relevance, value, interest and significance for current and future users in and outside of Olmsted County.
Our duty is to develop a viable plan for Graham Park that will benefit the current constituents as well as the community. More