Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Why Monday Trade Days Are Never On Monday

Texas has a long held tradition of holding gatherings called Monday Trade Days

I'm a transplanted native Californian who married a native Texan from an old Texas family. 

When I first moved to Texas in 2005, I was somewhat confused since Monday Trade Days are held on the weekend and are never held on a Monday!

I've learned back in the olden days of Texas, farm and ranch families often lived far out of town and made monthly trips into town in their wagons to buy dry goods (flours, sugar, fabric) and to sell or trade their farm produce, along with ranch animals and such. 

In these Texas communities, the people waited for the "circuit" judge and "circuit" minister to come to their town at a set time period. 

The two would ride a circuit, arriving in town to conduct weddings and church on Sunday, and then court business on Monday, before riding on to the next town. 

One town would be given the first Monday of the month to conduct court business, another town some riding distance away would be assigned the second Monday, another town the third Monday, and another the fourth.  

In Canton Texas, the town was assigned the first Monday of the month. First Monday Trade Days is still held in Canton on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday prior to the first Monday of the month.

Since next Monday is the first Monday in June, Canton's First Monday Trade Days for June will actually start this Thursday (May 31st) and go through the weekend.

In McKinney Texas, where my husband's family is from, the town was assigned the third Monday of the month. 

McKinney still carries on the tradition and holds monthly Third Monday Trade Days on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the third Monday of the month.

According to my in-laws (ages 92 and 95), McKinney held a dance on the Saturday night of Monday Trade Days, as most Texas towns did. 

When I first moved to Texas, I was surprised at how much Texans love to dance, especially the men! 

The Texas Two-Step is the dance of choice here, and you'd better be wearing your boots 'cuz you can't dance The Texas Two-Step without them.

My father-in-law remembers from the time he was a young boy, his father had a Boot and Saddle Shop in McKinney (in this building in the picture below), played a mean fiddle, and "called" the dances at the Saturday night events. 

Now you know why Texas' Monday Trade Days are never held on Monday. 

This week I'm joining the Share Your Cup party at Have A Cup Of Mrs. Olson's and the Vintage Charm Party at My Thrift Store Addictions. Hope you'll join these parties too.

Thanks for dropping by!


  1. I would never be able to keep these dates straight. :) This is interesting though and enjoyed reading about it. I loved Texas, the short time we lived there.

  2. Thanks for the history behind Monday Trade Days. I often wondered ....!!!

  3. Loved hearing the history about Texas. Reminds me of all the "old west" movies that I enjoyed as a "young'un". Thanks for your visit to me and your kind comments. We will find out how the "cool green" works as it is heating up here in California..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  4. A very interesting story. If only I could tell you one about where I live. No such luck. My dad was about 5 when we went to war with Germany. There are some horror stories I could tell you about but you really wouldn’t thank me for that. My dad is 83 and often talks about the Second World War if you mention it to him. I think America played a bigger part in it though.

    1. Terry, my father-in-law was 17 when he joined the Army Air Corp, and he was sent overseas to serve in WWII. He was at the Battle of the Bulge, living in the trenches at the front of the battles. He will not talk about it at all, in fact, his VA doctor explained to us where he had been and how bad it was. He's 95 now and still fights the war every night in his sleep, talking and swinging his arms while sound asleep. War is something we should avoid at all cost.

  5. This country is so big and there are so many, many different traditions occurring between the borders. It's neat to hear about the traditions others celebrate. And my dad was a WWII veteran, as well. Tail gunner in the European theater, shot down twice...didn't like to talk about it much. I totally understand why...

  6. I LOVED this post! I have been in what used to be your FIL old boots shop. Such fun!

  7. I have never heard of Monday Trade Days but really enjoyed reading this informative post about them! Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  8. I'm from Texas and Monday Trade Days was still a source of confusion to me. Great post and love your photographs! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  9. I was so confused by this too when I first heard about Monday Trade Days. I'll have to come up the McKinney to visit. I've only been to that one once. Thanks for sharing at Keep In Touch. Your pictures are wonderful.