Since the 1880s, people have gathered at the old courthouse to buy, sell and trade their goods. For the past 40 years (give or take), Murray Dehtan has traveled to the historic site to sell tomatoes, melons, pecans, honey and more from the back of his pickup.
“I used to raise my own stuff out here,” Dehtan said. He also used to raise cattle, but now he sticks to the produce.
“I sell whatever’s in season,” Dehtan said. “Right now it’s tomatoes, cantaloupe, onions and honey. And pecans in the fall.”
Dehtan makes his way to a shady spot near the courthouse almost every weekend year round.
“I have a lot of customers,” Dehtan said. “Most of my customers are from out of town.”
Dorothy Leach with the historical commission said sellers like Dehtan are getting hard to come by.
“When people would come to town, that’s where they would trade horses, chicken and eggs and produce,” Leach said. “But it’s waning because the population is not as agricultural as it once was. Many of the good farmers have died.”
The availability of goods through supermarkets also put a squeeze on the traditional farmer’s market. Now only a handful of producers, like Gilbert Daniels and Karen Eccles, join Dehtan around the courthouse to sell whatever they have in season.
But Dehtan isn’t discouraged and entertained a steady stream of customers shopping for honey.
“Every day, to me, is a challenge,” Dehtan said.