She made a name for herself in pie-baking, silent bread and dress-making

    The Minnesota State Fair has been a part of Minnesota culture since 1859.   

    A century and a half ago it did not know that it would host over a million visitors a year. It did not know it would serve food on a stick.   

    The Minnesota State Fair 150 years ago also did not know that it would have champion pie-makers, like Carole Owens of Crookston, who won the Pie-Baking Contest in 1953 for Polk County. Owens was victorious over 58 other girls.    

    Owens, 16 at the time, represented Minnesota at the Cherry Pie-Baking Content in Chicago the Friday after the 1953 Minnesota State Fair.   

    Owens was a regular at the State Fair, also winning a red ribbon in 1951 and a blue ribbon in 1954 in the Silent Bread Competition, and a red ribbon in 1955 in the Dress Revue.   

    Stories like Owens' will be preserved in the new State Fair History & Heritage Center. This project is part of the West End Market, the fair’s newest “neighborhood.”   

    It will be home to more than 150 years of State Fair history, memorabilia and fair memories.   

    Owens will be featured on a story wall dedicated to competitions at the fair.            

    Through the development of exhibits and programming, the State Fair History & Heritage Center will bring the State Fair story to life while preserving historical artifacts and elements, such as the Gale Frost collection and the 1933 Streetcar Arch.   

    The 2014 Minnesota State Fair runs from Aug. 21 to Sept. 1.