Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Saturday, August 02, 2014

First Monday Flea Market

Ever since I moved out here to East Texas, I've been planning to write about the First Monday Flea Market.  It is a big deal around here.  First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas is the oldest, largest continually operating flea market in the United States.  Although, it's called "First Monday", the activity surrounding the market last the whole week, two weeks if you count the clean-up afterwards.  Vendors begin arriving and setting up their booths on the Saturday and Sunday a week before the first Monday of the month.  We are always reminded of that time of month when we see a whole bunch of RV's driving down the highway.  By Wednesday, there usually are enough vendors set up to make it worthwhile to make a trip to the market.  But it really doesn't reach full capacity until Friday.  My favorite time to go is on Thursday or Friday mornings before the biggest crowds have arrived.

I've only gotten around to posting about it now because I actually remembered to take my camera with me today.

There is a lot of walking when I go to the flea market.  I like to be hands free and unencumbered.  To prepare, I wear cargo shorts or pants (insulated coveralls in the winter) with several pockets.  I stash cash, credit card, driver's license, lip gloss, my phone, and a kleenex in my pockets.  I put my ear bud in my ear in case I get a phone call while shopping.  Leave your purse at home, ladies, because it will feel like you're carrying a load of bricks by the end of the day.  I have a basket on wheels that I take with me if I anticipate buying something I might not be able to carry back to the car.  But, I don't like dragging that around either.  Not having the basket probably saves me from buying too much because when I see something I think I must have, I think about lugging it around for the rest of the day and I change my mind.

This morning was a very unusual first day of August in Texas.  By noon, it still hadn't gotten above 71 degrees.  That made for a very pleasant morning of treasure hunting.

There are lots of places to park.  Most of them charge five bucks.  I suspect that regulars have favorite places to park.  I know I do.

Mine involves driving over this creepy little bridge that might cave in some day.  Only one car at a time can cross.

My favorite parking gets me right up close to my favorite part of the market - the real flea market with all kinds of neat junk and vintage stuff.  Some of the areas are covered with open air pavilions, some areas are completely closed with A/C (comfortable to shop in, but the vendors pay a higher price for their booth and the shoppers pay a higher price for their wares).  Most of the pavilions house vendors that sell crafty stuff and cheap clothes.

You can find just about anything at the market.

Fire hydrant, anyone?

How about a traffic light?


Iron cookware.

Every kind of vintage cookie jar imaginable.

This is cool.  If I had an enclosed garden, this is what I'd want at the entry.

Maybe it's from a New York subway?

How about a brass doorknob?

Or a metal minion for your yard art?

There are creeks that run through the vast market areas.  This is one of the walkways.

It's always nice and shady in this area.

I guess the creek has to go somewhere.  And, food abounds.  Most of it is like the food at a fair or carnival...corn dogs, popcorn, nachos, lemonade.  But, there are some places with more choices.  There are even a couple of places with fancy Starbuckish coffee drinks.

With all the motorized carts, you'd think it was the land of the disabled.  But, no, just the land of the lazy.  For me, going to the market is an opportunity to walk off my breakfast calories and then some (so I can have something fattening to eat later in the day), or just to get some needed excercise.  Apparently, that is not an important issue for a lot of people.

Here's one of the parking lots.  And, this wasn't one of their busiest times.

These two fabulous 40's mini pendant chandeliers where my purchase for the day.  I have a plan A and a plan B for them.  Aren't they great!?

The vendor packed them up in this box for me. As I headed back to the car with it, I got a couple of odd comments about partying from a couple of snaggle-toothed, pot-bellied, rednecks that I didn't understand until I finally looked at the box.


Terra said...

i have my own personal rules when i go to Canton regarding right of way.

in order of who gets right of way:
1)double strollers
2)single strollers
4)pedestrians pulling/pushing their cart
5)hover rounds.

i say that this is for canton... but really i use these rules no matter where i am.

Anonymous said...

I love 20 minutes from Canton and remember going to Trades Day as a child. It was mostly antiques back then. Quite a collector's haven.