Michigan Street Vendors and Farmers Markets, 1900-1950
How many of you had your own lemonade stand in the front yard? Or Kool-Aid stand? I did. I mainly sold glasses of Kool-Aid for a penny a glass and I really don't remember anyone stopping and buying a drink, except for the milkman who was kind enough to humor a small boy and his friend.
I really enjoyed doing this, so I asked my dad to build me a restaurant in the back yard so I could make and sell hamburgers...it never happened, but the desire was there to do more than just Kool-Aid.
Sidewalk stands and roadside stands have been around for hundreds – maybe thousands of years. Peddlers on the street, or with wagons, push carts, a small table, or just stuff spread out on the sidewalk.
There were news stands, hot dog wagons, hamburger stands, toy demonstrations on the street, peanut and popcorn wagons, ice cream stands, concessions, refreshments of all kinds, fruit stands, vegetable stands, souvenir stands, lunch counters, flower stands, and farmers markets. All good stuff on the roadside or sidewalk, where you did NOT have to go into a shop – especially if you weren't dressed correctly......or bathed!
We still have farmers markets but rarely so we see street vendors, unless there's an art show or special event going on. I do believe that there are still some neighborhood kids out there who have a rickety stand in the front yard, waiting for someone to come along and buy a glass of lemonade...I hope so.
The gallery below has many photos of the above-mentioned hawkers, salesmen, street vendors, and farmers markets, most of them going back over 100 years.
Roadside Stands and Farmers Markets, 1900-1950
MORE VINTAGE MICHIGAN!