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First Show was held in 1889

The First Agricultural, Pastoral and Horticultural Society Show was held on Wednesday 27th  and Thursday 28th March 1889. The population of Cobargo at the time was 197 people from babies to elderly.

The Site of the showground, just off Bermagui Road, was obtained as a free grant from the Crown, with the Cobargo A.P & H Society having an undisturbed tenure.

Over 1300 entries were received for the 17 sections of the schedule, these sections were: Horses, Cattle, Pigs, Poultry, Dogs, Agriculture produce, Dairy produce, Food, Vegetables, Fruit, Flowers, leather work, Industrial, machinery and implements, Needle and Fancywork, Writing and Fine Arts.


Encouraged by most favourable weather on both days a large crowd of over 1000 people on the first day and a higher number on the second day, attended the show, A large number were visitors from outside the town, accommodation was at a premium with about 80 people bedded down at Graham's Hotel and almost as many at Clark's Hotel on both nights. Whilst most of the private homes had visitors, many more had to sleep under whatever shelter they could find or around open fires, some even slept in the long grass.


The six stores in Cobargo advertised in the "Bega Standard" that they would close doors at 11 am on both days of the show.

Interesting Information

First Committee names in the 1889 schedule were

President: Mr WD Tarlinton, Vice President: Messes J Coman & H Street

Treasurer: Mr FG Roberts, Seretary: Mr J Horsley

Committee: Messrs W Allen, DJ Tarlinton, J Graham, WE Seccombe, RM Bate, SW Bate, T Allen, J Tarlinton, C Stewart, AG Sutherland, J Forster, DH Clark & P Engstrom.


Membership of the Society was restricted to men only until the 1924 show when for the first time ladies were permitted to become members.

Mrs Beryl Schaefer was the first elected lady President for the show in 1979.

Shows Not Held

1896 - Cancelled drought

1898 - Cancelled drought

1942 - Adandoned WWII

1943 - Adandoned WWII

1944 - Adandoned WWII

1945 - Adandoned WWII

1971 - Cancelled Record Floods

2002 - Cancelled Very Wet

2020 - Black Summer Bushfires

2021 - Covid19 Restrictions

Cobargo Show 1889 or 1890

Photo courtesy Shane Black

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