History

The Beginnings

In 1858 the Smeaton, Spring Hill, and Bullarook Agricultural Society was formed to bring together the best of the early settlements agricultural and pastoral exhibits, animal husbandry and home crafts.

The first show  of the  Society was held at Smeaton in 1861 and after 10 yrs. as  the premier show in Victoria  the Grand National Show was held at Smeaton in 1873.

For sixty tears the activities of the Society were pursued in comparative calm but, with the obstacle of Smeaton not being on a railway line, show numbers of exhibits and patrons were dropping.

In 1921, holding the show at Allendale was experimented and a section of the members advocated to transfer to a site to be purchased in Kingston.

In 1922 buildings and equipment, including the grandstand, were moved to a site purchased in Kingston near the railway station, the land being set out by the Shire Engineer W.H.Gore.

At the AGM in 1923 the Society was renamed as the Kingston Smeaton Newlyn and  Dean Agricultural & Pastoral Society.

In 1984 it was incorporated and name changed again – to the Kingston Agricultural Society Inc.

 

The Grandstand

The grandstand, noted for its unusual vernacular design,  was constructed at the then Smeaton showgrounds in 1902 by J.T.Knox.  In 1922 it was moved to the new Kingston site, being towed there by a Handley Page steam engine.

Because of its social and historical importance, being associated with one of Victoria’s most famous country shows, it was included in the Heritage Victoria Register in 1997 and has since been restored to its former glory.