First Monday Pickin’
By Dana Goolsby
CANTON- Every collector, craftsman, artist, and treasure hunter in East Texas worth his weight knows that First Monday Weekend in Canton is the treasure chest of the Pineywoods. My friends and I go pickin’ and treasure hunting almost every weekend, and Canton is one of our favorite places. We have never left Canton disappointed.
Canton has everything. Are you looking for collector’s items? Go to Canton. Are you looking for yard art? Go to Canton. Are you looking for a puppy or a peacock? Go to Canton. Anything you could possibly want is most likely in Canton on the First Monday Weekend.
First Monday Trade Days in Canton happens once a month. The schedule can be kind of confusing because it doesn’t actually happen on a Monday as the name might lead you to believe. The Canton Trade Days is open Thursday through Sunday BEFORE the first Monday of every month. If you still don’t get it we recommend that you log on to the official website and check out their calendar.
I love the outdoor section of Canton behind the Arbors. I need to be outside with what some might call, “the junk.” This section of Canton is a metropolis of treasures, where hundreds of vendors pack in with their old, used, vintage what-nots and set up each month.
As soon as we walked into our favorite area I spotted a row of tractor hoods. I imagined all sorts of unique and interesting uses for the hoods. However, since I am not much of a carpenter or even relatively handy with things of this nature (beyond the idea phase) I left the tractor hoods in Canton.
I loved recycled art. My sister scored big with one of these recycled tire parrots when she gave me one for Christmas. These parrots are an excellent addition to any tree or porch, and will certainly turn heads. When spring rolls around my parrot will probably be holding petunias.
There are no limits to what you might find in Canton. This past weekend I found a Pee Wee Herman doll. At one time the doll said all of Pee Wee’s catch phrases like, “I know you are but what am I” and “That’s my name, don’t wear it out!” This particular Pee Wee still said those things when you pulled his string but the sound was very fast, and quite high pitched. I left Pee Wee in Canton, too, despite my desire to bring him home and find him a place on my shelf.
There is always an abundance of metal yard art in Canton. I love it all; the metal monkeys, pigs, and flamingos. I always want to bring home a new animal when I go and start a metal zoo.
This time I noticed the metal artists had taken their work to a new level of awesome and made longhorn BBQ grill and a bison grill. The grills look incredible and would be an amazing conversation piece for folks who like to grill and entertain.
If you are in the market for vintage cameras Canton is sure to yield several choices for you. We saw all sorts of old cameras and lenses this weekend. I have a small collection of four old cameras that have been given to me as gifts over the last few years.
I also spotted lots of marbles this weekend. Marbles in Ziploc bags, jars, cups…marbles everywhere. I am not sure what makes this particular jar of marbles so special, but the owner was asking $35 for it. I saw plenty of quart size bags of marbles for $5. This was by far the most expensive jar of marbles I saw. I have a nice blue jar at home and it is nicer than this one. I think I will start picking up marbles to put in my own jar.
Lanters seem to be a dime a dozen in Canton. All shapes, sizes, and colors can be found here. In hindsight, I regret not purchasing this green and red one pictured on the left in the photo above.
I also saw an old phonograph at canton. Although it was not in excellent condition it was still awesome. It was pretty rusty, with one spot even rusted through completely. I looked the phonograph over pretty hard, and even imagined where I might put it in my home. I couldn’t imagine a single place for the rusty old thing in my house. The phonograph falls into a category of things I would love to have….if I owned a museum, or perhaps even a home for only old treasures. Needless to say, I left it in Canton with a lot of other old stuff that I would love to have but just have no place to store.
We saw quite a few pipes laying on tables, but only one pipe tree. The pipes still smelled of tobacco. I am not a pipe collector, (I only have one!) but I thought the tree was pretty cool.
I love old cigar and tobacco tins. I love old tins of any sort, really. Almost as much as I love old bottles. Close…but not quite.
The decorating possibilities are limitless with these giant metal letters. I didn’t bring any home on this trip, but would love to have a few.
I am in the market for a mannequin. There’s a lot to love about these guys, but I didn’t connect with either of them. My mannequin will have to speak to me, “Take me home!” I didn’t hear it this time, but I really liked this couple.
Another thing I love to see at Canton are old mounts. I have a massive old mount that is very unique that belonged to my father. The mount has the two front legs fashioned on the back board below the bust to hold a gun. The mount is hanging in my basement for now, but has been used in a show at the Historic Texas Theatre. My dad’s old mount is an excellent conversation piece. Have you ever seen a mount with legs to hold a fire arm?
I am starting to see a lot of cool vintage travel trailers at Canton, but this time I noticed an interesting homemade trailer. This trailer appears to have been constructed out of a dumpster and a low boy trailer. This trailer brought almost $1,000.
Another thing I love about Canton is the people. Canton is a prime “people watching” destination that will never let you down.
Maybe you will see a fat English Bulldog buckled into a stroller.
Or maybe you will see a woman hauling out a a hobby horse on top of a stroller with a child beneath it. You learn how to make a haul a happen when you come to Canton.
We want to hear from you! Where is your favorite place to pick in East Texas? How do you treasure hunt? Do you have a place to recommend for MYETX to pick? Dana Goolsby can be reached for comment via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.