SPENCER'S LIVESTOCK MARKET FADING INTO HISTORY?

(01/11/2011)

Spencer's livestock establishment is empty ...

... once the site of a busy market for Calhoun and Roane farmers

By Bob Weaver Jan. 2011

The Spencer Livestock Exchange stands empty, suffering from its' final closure, a reminder of days gone by when Calhoun and Roane County farmers brought their stock to be sold.

The large wooden structure rests on Bowers Hill along US 33-119, the exchange moved to that location in the early 1930s from a site in Spencer near the old bridge, an area currently occupied by the Sav-a-Lot grocery store.

Taking cattle and hogs to sale was an anticipated ritual, generally on Fridays, with the sale lasting throughout the night into the next day.

During the sale's heyday, farmer's trucks would be parked up and down the main highway as far as the eye could see.

Farmers would bring produce, farm equipment and odds-and-ins to sell on the side, while enjoying the social atmosphere of the event.

Farmers once would cluster in the bleachers above the sales ring

The late Lovell Sampson recalled herding cattle, pigs and turkeys across the West Fork and out Egypt Ridge to market in Spencer in the late 1920s.

Calhouners often herded their livestock from the West Fork region through the hills to market until the advent of trucks and highways.


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