Back in 1894 a local photographer, James Townend, took this immediately recognizable shot of the Almonte fairgrounds during the fair:

I have several photos from Mr. Townend in the collection of historic Almonte photos Michael Dunn shared with me years ago on, and I often wondered who he was. After some googling tonight I found this answer from Linda Seccaspina in Carleton Place:

James Townend was Almonte’s first photographer, and conducted a studio there for many years. In his younger days he was a band leader being especially noted for his brilliant cornet playing. He married Isabella Anderson Gilmour, her death occurred at Perth on Tuesday, November 18th, of Mrs. James Townend at the great age of 96 years. She was born, on the 8th line Ramsay, probably the oldest native of the district at the time of her death.

The Agricultural Hall in this photo has been there almost since Canada was a county — built in 1868 — and is currently undergoing a long-overdue renovation.

Drop on by this year’s Almonte Fair. It starts Friday.