[The following notes were gleaned from the “Transactions of the Michigan State Agricultural Society for 1851.”Vol. 3] Deiadamia's husband, Titus Dort was not only a member of the executive committee but instrumental in founding both the Society and the first Michigan State Fair.
The 3rd Annual Michigan Agricultural Society [MAS] Exhibition, later known as the Michigan State Fair was held on Wed.-Fri. September 24-26, 1851. Due to poor attendance the previous year in Ann Arbor, the Fair returned to Detroit.
· Day 1: cloudy -entry for stock and exhibited items. Deiadamia would have been entering her products to exhibit while Titus attended the MAS executive committee meeting held on the grounds, making sure there were adequate volunteers for filling the viewing committees. Titus was named “chairman pro tem” as a member of the business committee for the coming year.
· Day 2: clear, warm and “very pleasant”; The grounds were reported to be so crowded with people that the viewing committees found it difficult to judge. At 2:00 pm a “very eloquent” [and very lengthy] address was delivered by Gen. Lewis Cass.
· Day 3: began with heavy storms that subsided by 10:00 am. Deiadamia and other fair-goers viewed the judged exhibits. [Did she take home a blue and a red ribbon?] The morning business meeting of the fair included: reading of committee reports; election of officers for 1852; notes of appreciation to go out to their featured speaker, volunteers, and land owners who supplied the grounds for the fair and a request for a copy of Gen. Cass' speech for publication. Titus Dort moved to amend some specific wording to the constitution. Three delegates of the MAS were appointed to represent the society at next year’s Annual Exposition of the American Institute of New York. In the afternoon, a sale of exhibited animals took place “at which much of the stock on the ground changed owners.”
INCLUDED in the 1851 listing of EXHIBITORS:
“BUTTER AND CHEESE.”
· Mrs. Titus Dort, Dearborn, 1 crock butter.
(In the committee report her entry was noted as “N. 31, 2nd best [Second Place] 10 lbs. made in June” for which she was awarded “Transactions and $1.00") FYI: in today’s currency, $1.00 would be worth just over $30.
· Mrs. Titus Dort, Dearborn, 2 new cheeses made without pressing.
(In the committee report it was noted “There were but few cheeses of one year old and over, but several new cheeses equal, in the opinion of your committee, to any made at the best dairies in the State of New York.” Of the five prizes given, her entry No. 55 was awarded the premium [First Place] for “two very excellent cheeses, made without pressing”)
· Mrs. Titus Dort, Dearborn, 1 pce. rag carpet.
(The committee recommended a change for coming years due to a problem in judging “…In such goods as fulled cloths, coverlets, &c., the manufacturer by profession, and the farmer’s wife come into competition, while it is impossible that the latter can make as handsome an article as the former, though the actual quality may be as good. But it is believed that this Society peculiarly intends to foster ‘home productions of this sort; and therefore your committee think that it would be best to offer two setts of premiums, one for manufacturers, the other for agriculturists.”
· Titus Dort, Dearborn, 3 varieties of apples
[In contrast to Titus’ modest entry from his orchards, a Mr. Fox of Grosse Ile exhibited 37 varieties along with “a dish of red Siberian crab apples”]
· Mrs. Titus Dort, Dearborn, 1 bottle currant wine.
Top exhibitors were asked to later submit a report on their prize-winning entries for publication in the annual report. Great-great-great grandmother Deiadamia submitted the following:
“CHEESE” Report by Mrs. D. [Deiadamia] Dort
J. C. Holmes, Esq., Sec’y Mich. State Ag. Society:
Dear Sir –Pursuant to the requirements of the premium list of said society, I send herewith a statement of the manner of making cheese without pressing for which a premium was awarded to me at the society’s fair for 1851.
The milk is curded and the rennet prepared in the same manner as is prescribed in the essay of A. L. Fish, Esq., of Herkimer county, New York, which will be found in the patent Office Report for 1848, pages 620 and 621. When the curd is properly prepared as therein directed, it is put into a clean dry linen or cotton bag, a little warmer than it should be when put to the press, and pressed down slowly as can be done with the hand, so as to make it solid ---it can be in just such shape as the maker may desire; I think the cone or sugar loaf the best shape –and then hung up to drip and dry, in about the same temperature as is fit for drying and curing pressed cheese. No more than fifteen or twenty pounds should be put into a cheese of this kind. They cure much sooner than when pressed, and are very rich, as none of the oil passes off as it does under the power of the press. They need no care in drying, as the cloth is a perfect shield against flies, and prevents them from cracking. When cured, they are very convenient for family use.
I have made but a few in this manner, and they have cured and kept as well as those that I have pressed of the same weight, and are much richer; besides it saves a great deal of care and labor in turning and greasing to prevent injury by flies.
Dearborn, January, 1852.