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Promiscuous Peddling: Shreveport's Farmers Market

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Shreveport's new Farmer's Market was built in 1936 and closed by 1948 (LOC).

To prevent shifty salesmen, the city of Shreveport erected an orderly Farmers Market.

In 1936, the city of Shreveport (Caddo Parish, Louisiana) erected a Farmers Market on Greenwood Road, modeled after a similar market in Houston, Texas. The purpose of this bond-approved venture was to encourage farm prosperity and discourage "the promiscuous peddling of produce on the streets of Shreveport." The city charged farmers 35 cents each morning to rent a stall, and 25 cents in the afternoon, whereas "professional hucksters must pay 50 cents for both morning and afternoon periods." Newspaper editors apparently did not look too kindly at salesmen.

The market seemed like a big success for the city... but it closed by 1948, when "home-grown products" gave way to "produce from far-away points... with mass trading a feature." Darn, those salesmen!

In 1939, the Public Works Administration immortalized the false-facade sheds in photography to document "federal and other governmental architecture" erected "with the assistance of the Public Works Administration."

These buildings once stood at 2200 Greenwood Road, where US 79 crosses US 80 in a maze of modern highways today. Now, Shreveport's Farmer's Market is located downtown along Spring Avenue and Crockett Street at the city's "Festival Plaza."

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