Little did I know when I purchased this intriguing original 1937 press photo, that I was going to be searching for a history lesson to go along with it!. The chow (look at that straight rear) waits patiently for his “forever home” to choose him, while another dog eats kibble from a tray.
READ MORE ABOUT FREDERICKSBURG DOG MART HISTORY BELOW
The Fredericksburg Dog Mart is decendent from an event that was established in 1698 to facilitate trade between the Pamunky Indians and the settlers of what would become Fredericksburg. The Indians would trade their produce and furs for the English hunting dogs the settlers raised. The annual event continued until the start of the Revolutionary War.
The Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce brought back the Dog Mart in 1927 and it became an annual event, held at the Maury School, until it was suspended during World War II. When The Dog Mart was brought back again after the war, The Izaak Walton League stepped up to run it. A delegation of 100 Pamunkey Indians from their reservation in nearby King William County and led by Chief T.D. Cook, attended the 1949 Dog Mart.
The event was moved to the Izaak Walton League Fredericksburg-Rappahannock Chapter Park in Spotsylvania County in the 1970’s where it continues to the present day.