Days Gone By - stories from the past

First Monday’s in Scottsboro, Alabama – a tradition that was started by these three men

(Transcribed and unedited story from a WPA (Works Projects Administration) writer, William P. Burke.  “First Monday in Scottsboro, Alabama is held each month beginning on the Saturday before the first Monday of the month in Downtown Scottsboro at the Square. It’s a trade day for local craftsman, food vendors, and anyone who wants to come sell or trade their items.”


Scottsboro, Jackson County, Alabama

written ca. 11/22/37

by William P. Burke

The center of an agricultural section, Scottsboro has its busy Saturdays when farm folks come to town. But the Saturday squeeze around the square is nothing compared to that on the first Monday in every month. Then, everbody (sic) and his dog in neighboring Marshall and DeKalb counties as well as Jackson trekes (sic) to Scottsboro mostly to barter, but also to buy and sell for cash.

First Monday ca. 1960s by photographer Jim Peppler, Southern Courier (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

The “First Monday” scheme was originated and promoted 15 years ago in letters mailed broadcast by Pop Dealer, Walter Daniel, and Mule Trader Sam Swearengin containing a blanket invitation to all Jackson Countians (sic) to assemble with their swapable (sic) horses and mules.

First Monday’s grew in popularity, broadened in scope until now (1938) anything from pocket knives to fat porkers are subject to dickering. Families complete with kids, pets and in-laws invade the town, pack the broad street around the square, spread their lunches on the courthouse lawn.

Ref: Alabama Magazine

Issue of 11/22/37

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  1. Went to more of those as a kid than I can count.

  2. I enjoyed some of these. Played music at some.

  3. They still have them, but they don’t get the traffic they used to. The yearly big one which included Art Sunday is this weekend. If you wanted to see it again, this would be the weekend to do it.

  4. Lindsay Roberts, Claire Roberts

  5. Nancy Roberts Wilson, Rosa Roberts Bonini

  6. Remember them well. Once saw a set if well-worn false teeth set out, marked 25 cents!

  7. My mom used to tell a story of taking not her parents, who were from Prichard, AL, to Fordt Monday, many years ago. As they were walking along, they saw a man with a flatbed trailer stacked with used barbed and bailing wire and the like. Her father questioned why anyone would sell used wire and such, and, more to the point, who would buy it. On the way back to their car, they passed the old man, standing next to an empty trailer, counting a large roll of bills…… My grandfather still couldn’t believe it!

  8. And it only took a few council members to ruin it. Now it’s a joke but used to be a decent flea market.

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