You see it wasn't only a place to buy and sell, it was one of the only places the entire family could gather socially, outside of going to church on Sunday's.
The local towns folk would gather at the auction site, usually someone's barn, about once every other week to buy and sell all sorts of goods. There was no heat or air conditioners to be found, only the hand fan that would, on occasion, be handed out at the front entrance by who ever was running for Public Office at the time.
If you were lucky, the lady and gent's facilities would normally be located in an outhouse, otherwise you were left with an area behind the barn. The scenario was somewhat similar to an airplane's rule of lavatory use. Have you ever notice there is never a line to get into the restroom on an airplane; the same is true at the auction.
Even in the 1980's The Friday Night Auction was in full attendance, although the barn had been replaced by an old concrete building, the hand fans replaced by electric fans, and the outhouse replaced by the Johnny on the Spot. Many of the local wares had been replaced with company over stock items, damaged items and odd lots.
Over the years the auction house evolved going literally from the barn to today's homeless version. "The Internet". It seems the Internet is one of the few venues left for auctions, there's sure not a lot of serious socializing going on there, unless you really call an e-mail a true form of socialization.
If you are searching for one of the old time Auction houses, you need only travel down Highway 41A to find a building that formerly housed the Famed "Blanket Store" of years gone by.
The building now has many signs attached including, Bookstore, Barbershop, Beauty Shop, Pleasant View Jamboree ..."live Bluegrass music every Saturday night, and last but not least Live Auctions every Friday night. There is nothing like sitting and listening to a auctioneer yodel a sale,.. watching some items sell too high and others sell way too low.
If you happen to attend I guarantee that you will learn what beckoned our ancestors to load up the family and travel to town on a Friday night. at the very least you will provide your children with an experience that may not be available when they have children of their own.
Good luck and Good Hunting!!!
Update:The Pleasant View Jamboree had its last dance on Saturday night, January 3rd, 2004.