Everything but the kitchen sink...and we found that too!
Tue, 17 May 2011 14:39:50 GMT —
It's started back in the 40's as a gun and dog exchange and Hillbilly Auction. These days anything goes at the Rutledge Flea Market.
Two days a month, the area around the small town of Rutledge explodes with people as gypsy vendors camp out with their wares in a Northeast Missouri field. That spectacle draws thousands of people a weekend.
What's the most unusual thing here at Rutledge?
"Me...no, but check out this dresser over here," said Ottumwa native Bill Glew.
Glew's life as a Rutledge vendor began one year after he cleaned out his garage and sold the contents at the Rutledge Flea Market. Now he goes to auctions, buys goods and sells them in his own flea market space.
"We got lots of stuff over here, we even got a fish, " he said as he points at an electronic talking bass.
Glew and more than 300 other vendors make Rutledge their storefront. It's a spectacle that draws seven thousand people in one weekend, depending on the weather of course.
Folks say the Rutledge Flea Market it began as a gun and dog exchange back in 1948 with 30 dogs, 30 guns and 30 people in Scotland County. It's moved several times, each time growing bigger than before. Now it's a place that draws vendors of all sorts from all over the country.
Chicago native Peter Chronos is new to Rutledge this year. He sells household decorations.
Chronos said, "I had just closed an import company and thought I would come out here and give it a try."
Roving vendors come here for the huge influx of customers. Those customers say they come to this cornfield to find an eclectic mix of everything...but the kitchen sink. But heck we found that too, and a bath tub to boot.
Just ask Jerry Sands. He's had a stand here for 20 years. This year he's selling gazing balls that he says would look great in your front yard.
Sands said, "You can find anything here and probably some things you don't want to find!"
You can even buy up your own farm. Chicks and other farm fowl as well as goats mules and dogs of course are sold right here.
Sharon Dailing frequents Rutledge. She said, "You can find it if you're willing to sift through the junk, you'll find it."
Robert Jeffries drives from Des Moines, Iowa every month just for the spectacle.
Jeffries said, "We get exercise, and we meet a lot of interesting people. These vendors are a lot of nice people and we take back some treasures once in a while."