Commemorating a legacy to the Crook County Fairgrounds
Thursday, Aug. 8, the Jay and Jerry Grimes families gathered to dedicate a bench in commemoration of the family legacy dedicated to the Crook County Fair.
The bench was contracted out and constructed by Joe Floyd and Sons Concrete. The granite plate that was encased into the bench was engraved, installed and donated by Jessee Monuments.
"I am really pleased, and the kids are pleased," indicated Beth Grimes. "The monument is really nice."
The family converged at the building of the Grimes Christmas Scene, with family members traveling as far as Baker City. The bench was placed close to the entrance of the building, which was constructed in 1939.
Beth Grimes, wife of Jay Grimes, indicated that the family has reason to believe that Dave Grimes, a brother to Fred Grimes, provided the pumice brick that the building was built from. He had a business in Bend called Grimes Cement and Pumice Block.
"The building belongs to the county, but the idea being that the family has been involved in this particular building and the fairgrounds since 1942," she pointed out.
Jay Grimes' grandparents, Henry and Samantha Grimes, homesteaded in Prineville in 1887. They had several children, including Fred Grimes, and raised a nephew Alvin, who lost his mother during childbirth. Fred and Alvin were close to the same age, and many residents thought they were brothers.
When the Crooked River Roundup began in 1944, Alvin and Fred Grimes were both original stockholders in the Crooked River Roundup. They maintained that stockholder membership until both of them passed away. When Jay's dad passed away, he gave the stocks to Jay.
"We had maintained those stocks until the time when the Crooked River Roundup and the county came to a contractual agreement," clarified Beth.
From the time that they were able to do so, Jay and wife Beth, his dad Fred, and Jay's children have been involved, at some period of time, in the Crooked River Roundup. Fred was Grand Marshal of the Crooked River Roundup in 1956.
Jay is the last living grandchild of Henry and Samantha Grimes. Jay and Beth Grimes had three children — Fred, Chuck and Ginger.
"Jay remembers his first job was to dig post holes here at the fairgrounds," recalls Beth. "He got 60 cents per hour."
Alvin stayed active and involved in the fairgrounds and Crooked River Roundup up until his passing. His last job involved managing the fairgrounds.
Irvin Grimes was the judge at the time, and he was instrumental in getting improvements to the grounds.
"He was a true supporter of the Crook County Fairgrounds," said Beth.
Jay was a member of the Crook County Fair Board for a number of years, and his children were involved in the fair from time they were old enough to enter things in the fair, and Ginger was an event coordinator for a number of years.
Beth has been also been involved since her kids were young. Her first fair entry was in 1966.
"I canned a quart of peaches that I thought was absolutely beautiful. I entered them into the fair. They were my first fair entry — and they didn't do anything."
She added that the competition was fierce at that period of time, because a lot of people were involved in canning.
This history is the basis for wanting to dedicate the bench.
"It has been a lifestyle," added Beth.
She said when her children were younger, the rodeo was really important. Her children were involved in scouting, and they would sell concessions to help with fundraising. The races and Roundup would happen at the same time. Scout parents and Ridge Riders would help with the buckaroo breakfast.
"We would — good Scout parents that we were — volunteer with the Ridge Riders to cook buckaroo breakfast down here," she recalled. "It ended at 6 a.m. in the morning, and then we had to be out there at noon to run the concessions at the Roundup."
She concluded that they were wonderful memories.
"The highlight of the entire project for the bench was the fact that I was given the opportunity to use this building for the Christmas Scene," said Beth.
The Christmas scene entails hundreds of minature elements that Beth has collected, and others have contributed to her, over the decades. Originally set up at her home, Beth has been putting it up at the fairgrounds during the Christmas season for several years, allowing hundreds of people each holiday period to enjoy it.
She elaborated that the reason that they chose a concrete bench was durability and low upkeep.
"This way it will be a part of the fairgrounds, wherever the fairgrounds is," said Beth.
Jerry Grimes Family
Jerry (deceased), Dianne, Mike (deceased) and Jeanne Grimes
Jay Grimes family
Jay, Beth, Ginger, Fred, Chuck
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)