Peak Season at the Farmers Market — 1951

by Paula Bosse

farmers-market_1951_frontier-top-tierCute tomatoes… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Some of my favorite summertime memories are wandering around the Farmers Market as a child with my family — back when it was still gritty and still had real farmers and real farm families selling produce actually grown nearby. I loved moving from shed to shed and marveling at everything: the endless baskets of fruits and vegetables, the weather-worn farmers, and a vibrant marketplace comprised of the most diverse crowds I can remember seeing in one place as a child.

This photo — showing Peggy Mayne of Grand Saline selling tomatoes out of the back of her family’s pickup — was taken in 1951, during a summer of fruit and vegetable plentitude. July inventories and sales were breaking records — right before the effects of what would turn into one of the longest and worst-ever droughts in Texas history began to be felt by farmers and consumers. Here is a giddy article describing the feast before the famine (click for larger image).

farmers-market_dmn_072951
Dallas Morning News, July 29, 1951

I miss you, Dallas Farmers Market of yesteryear.

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Photo from the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library; reprinted in Frontier to Top Tier, A Photo Retrospective from The Dallas Morning News and Its Readers (Pediment Publishing, 2010).

More Flashback Dallas posts on the Farmers Market area — which I realize more and more was one the city’s most interesting parts of town — can be found here.

More on the devastating 1950-1957 drought and its impact on everyday life in Dallas can be found in my previous post, “Whither Water? — 1956.”

Photo and article larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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