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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: Basin Sale Barn Auction – 1946

At 1:30 every Thursday afternoon for 42 years, the place to be for many of La Plata County’s ranchers and farmers was the auction barn at the Basin Livestock Commission. Located where Home Depot is today, the sale barn was a place for agricultural people to conduct business, get a meal and enjoy its lively rural social scene. Here, the bleachers are full for a sale of Suffolk sheep. The commission also sold cattle, horses, pigs and fowl. A key economic driver for the region, the year after this picture was taken, they sold $1.66 million worth of livestock. That’s well over $22 million in today’s money. In operation from 1939 until the end of 1981, the barn was closed when owner R.E. Rockhold retired at age 88. The people shown here were known to be reliable and honest. Rockhold said that after 42 years of doing business with the area’s rural populace, he never once received a bad check. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 19.04.3 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)