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Facelift: A Piece of History Transforms

Business Spotlight

Located just off Old Highway 64 West in Lexington is a true gem, known by many, but often forgotten. Many farmers and their children will remember the days of going to the Davidson County Cooperative Flea Market and Livestock Auction. This was where many would find and buy flea market items, but also where the auction of cattle, pigs, and other livestock was held in Davidson County.

fleamarket-barnnewUp until 2013, the Farmer’s Co-Op owned and operated the Livestock Auction property. When new owners acquired the old livestock auction barn and property, much of the site’s history is being retained as a facelift and recent revitalization efforts have begun.

In 2000, Kevin and Sarah Berkley purchased the Farmer’s Market Flea Market from Grace Fritts. Fritts and late husband, Harold, opened the Farmer’s Market Flea Market over 50 years ago and that property is adjacent to the Davidson County Farmer’s Co-op property.

The Berkleys purchased the adjacent Co-op property to expand the Farmer’s Market Flea Market in July 2016. That purchase now allows them to offer more vendor spaces. They are also updating the decaying property to make it more appealing to visitors.

“We’re really excited to own a piece of history and make it something enjoyable,” said Kevin Berkley. He recalls that many of the weekly patrons of the Farmer’s Market often share their childhood memories of visiting the auction during its heyday.

fleamarket“This property is a part of history, and even though we’re not originally from Davidson County, we understand the importance of this place for many of the residents,” said Sarah Berkley.

When the Berkleys purchased the Cooperative’s property, much work was needed to ensure the safety of visitors and to improve upon the visual appeal. “The day we walked into the barn and property it was amazing. Nothing had been moved from the day they stopped holding the auction,” said Kevin Berkley.

Artist and painter April Everhart has been working hard to update the old barn structure with new visual life. Once the barn was cleaned up by pressure washing, some of the old paintings were exposed. “We were able to recreate some of the old imagery and we added new text and colors when we updated the paint,” said Sarah Berkley. “It’s really a neat site to see when you visit the market.”

The Farmer’s Market Flea Market is said to be one of the area’s largest outdoor markets, according to many of the regular vendors. When you walk through the Flea Market you’ll see anything from household products to one-of-a-kind antiques. Over the years, the market has increased in popularity and started to outgrow its boundaries. Having the opportunity to grow a business in this area and bring more options to a trending industry is really exciting, say the owners.

The newly expanded area allows up to 500 or more vendor spaces spanning the property. “The expansion and affordability to rent a space allows a lot of opportunities to bring your yard sales to a location that has good traffic,” said Sarah Berkley.

With the addition of new acreage also comes new hours of operation. The Farmers Market Flea Market will now open Fridays and Saturdays beginning in April. The market is currently open on Tuesdays, but offering two additional days each week will allow patrons more opportunities to visit.

“We are really looking forward to the growth of this business,” said Sarah Berkley. “We have something very special here, and want you to bring your goods, antiques, produce.  If you’re planning a yard sale and need more exposure, bring your yard sale here!”

 

Farmer’s Market Flea Market is open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from dawn until all the dealn’s done. The market is located at 366 Livestock Market Road, Lexington, NC 27295.  Tuesday rates: $7 open air spaces and $15 covered spaces with 2 tables.  Open rates for Fridays and Saturdays: $5 open air spaces and $8 covered spaces with 2 tables.

 

 

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