Friday, October 15, 2010

Welcome to the Neighborhood

The neighborhood around our house was a little different than most neighborhoods. This was because the Winchester Stock Yards lived only 1/2 block south. To get there, you had to pass over four sets of railroad tracts that crossed Broadway at the junction of Vine Street. Just across the tracks on the left side of the street, heading into town, stood a large feed store. The front had a wooden stage that extended out to a gravel entrance where trucks could back up and load large bags of feed. There was a narrow gravel drive between the feed store and the side of the two story entrance at the front of the stockyards. This drive was often my entrance to the wonderful world of unusual sounds, all kinds of animals, and all kinds of smells!

The front of the stockyards had a dramatic looking, concrete, driveway, with the structure built around and over it. Two large rooms (I guess offices) stood on each side, with the roof coming to a point some two stories above. Can you imagine, right down the middle of the building, giving the impression you could drive directly into the guts of the place without batting an eye. I don't recall seeing anyone actually drive into this entrance, so I guess it was mostly for show.

The real action took place at the unloading docks which stool next. There must have been at least six fenced stalls where a cattle truck would back up to unload their animal cargo. I always got a laugh at watching the farmers try and get their cows off their trucks. I learned a few colorful terms which were being thrown about during this time.

Stock Day was usually Thursday, and the stock trucks would line up and down Vine Street waiting for their turn to unload. They had to park on the side opposite our house, and at times would line up like aircraft on a busy runway. You had to be careful while playing on that side of the street because you never knew when one of critters had to relieve themselves. Dodge ball was not a good game to play on Thursdays.


  1. Hey Kathy, thanks...I am glad you could live in my memory. You can see a picture of the stockyards just over the shoulder of my grandfather in the post "Yet to Be", Oct 15, 2010. The loading dock was to the right. Was always under orders from mother not to play in the stockyards!