1920s Auto Races, Rockville Fair
Early action shots like these are rare, however, the following photographs were taken by Lewis Reed at the Rockville Fairgrounds in the early 1910-1920s. The fairgrounds were just outside Rockville, about where Richard Montgomery High School is today. The Fair lasted four days, from August 21st to the 24th, and drew visitors from local counties, Washington, and Baltimore.
The photo above depicts an auto race at the Rockville fairgrounds. The photo of a harness race below was taken from approximately the same vantage point, which you don’t see very often in pictures from that era. Fairground race tracks, typically one-mile or half-mile dirt racing ovals with wide sweeping curves and grandstands for spectators, were easily adapted for the new sport of automobile racing.
Below is a 1923 Washington Post ad for auto race at the Rockville Fair.
Sources: Dirt Track Auto Racing, 1919-1941 – A Pictorial History By Don Radbruch
Shorpy.com – a vintage photo blog of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s