The Fair Barn was built by the Tufts family in 1917 as an exhibition hall for the Sandhills Fair, a major event held every fall from 1915 through 1925. The building is located within the confines of the Pinehurst Harness Track, and part of the oldest continuously operating equine sports complexes in the state of North Carolina. Many famous celebrities from that era visited Pinehurst and some, such as Annie Oakley, performed at various events held at and around The Fair Barn.

Designed by Lyman Sise, a Boston architect and Tufts' relative, it is in the Mission Style popular around 1915. In 1932 it was partially destroyed by a tornado. After some repairs, it served as a stable for sixty years and was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Secretary of the interior in 1996. The Pinehurst Historic Preservation Foundation was formed in the late 1990s in anticipation of the need to restore and preserve the best elements of the original village. Its first project was the restoration of The Fair Barn—restoring the exterior and installing heat, air conditioning, light and sound systems, as well as other amenities, in the interior.

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