Wednesday, July 01, 2015

How it all started.

Walter Mower, who purchased the property at the intersection of Deanies Alley and Maple lane in 1908, could not have imagined that in 2015, his great grandson John and family would be the proprietors of one of the top ten flea markets in the USA. ( Fodor’s 2015) Walter, whose young family needed larger living quarters would buy the site of the old Woodstock Creamery and convert it to a home for his wife Priscilla and their six children. Eventually, Walter and his eldest son John David Mower would plow and plant the acre and a half of land behind their home and grow produce to sell locally to the residents of town, the Byrdcliffe Art Colony, and summer communities in Elka Park and Twilight Park. Woodstock NY has been home to a Saturday selling event for close to 100 years. In 1913, Ralph Whitehead founded the Woodstock Club. He was joined by civic minded Woodstockers Walter and Bertha Weyl, Dr. Mortimer Downer and Carl and Louise Linden in efforts to raise funds to support a book club and a wellness plan supported by trained nurses. A majority of the funds were raised by Saturday rummage sales and bake sales. In 1917, Ethel Peets developed the idea of holding a street market fair, similar to those in Europe, in the center of the village. The first Saturday Market Fair was held in 1918 on the village green, opposite the Dutch Reformed Church. This event would continue for almost 20 years. Later Saturday fairs would be held on a small lot near the Lutheran Church and in the 1960’s at the Woodstock Playhouse. In 1977, with a vacant lot in the center of town, Walters’s great grandson John was asked if the property was available to use as a home for an antique and flea market that was relocating from the Playhouse parking field. The rest, as they say, is history. 2015 marks the 38th year of Mower’s Saturday and Sunday flea market. John and Janine maintain the open lot in the heart of Woodstock as a beautiful green space that transforms into a field full of 40- 50 vendors each weekend. The Market runs from May thru November, or as long as the weather allows. Mower’s flea can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Call 845-679-6744 for further information. See you at the market!

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