Randy Hoyt

World’s Fair 1893 Pilgrimage

I did a lot of research for the board game World’s Fair 1893 that I developed and published a few years ago. Leslie and I took a train from Dallas to Chicago for a weekend getaway to visit as much of the history of the fair as we could over two and a half days.

Day 1

We began Saturday morning at the Field Museum to some objects that were on display at the fair. (The Field Museum was created as a place to collect many of of the anthropology-related objects from the fair.) Most of it is in the vault, but we were able to see a few things.

We next went to the Art Institute of Chicago. There isn’t any art from the fair on display there, but we found a few things related to my research. Also, we learned that the lions out front were on display at the fair in front of the Palace of Fine Arts. 

Our last activity on Saturday was a great walking tour downtown from Chicago Detours looking at the time of the fair and history related to Burnham, Sullivan, the Potters, and more.

Day 2

On Sunday, we spent the morning walking around the old fairgrounds. (There’s a skating rink now where the Ferris wheel originally stood.) In the afternoon, we watched the amazing lecture/virtual tour by Dr. Lisa Snyder (professor from UCLA); I’m so glad we came the weekend she was here. This was at the Museum of Science and Industry, which is the only building remaining from the fair. We also saw a locomotive (the fastest in the world in 1893!) that was on display at the fair. We had dinner at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago, which included the original 1893 brownie recipe (invented during the fair) for dessert.

Day 3 (morning)


We spent the last morning of our “World’s Fair 1893 pilgrimage” at the Chicago History Museum. We saw some tickets and photos from the fair, and we sat on an 1892 train car that carried people to the fair. (Unrelated to the fair, I ate my first Chicago-style hot dog.) We then took an early afternoon flight back home. It was an incredibly fun and memorable trip!

May 21