If you’ve ever driven through the Village of Springville on a Wednesday, especially in the summer, you’ll notice a huge influx in both street and foot traffic.
Where are all these people headed?
They’re going to Gentner’s Commission Market, commonly referred to as the Springville Auction.
The Springville Auction, located at 341 West Main St. in the Village of Springville, is an old-fashioned market offering farm fresh produce, flea market items, animals and just about anything you can think of. The auction is held every Wednesday, year round, rain or shine, and has been an area tradition for over 70 years.
According to their website, “The auction was started in 1939 by Raymond Gentner and his partner Norbert Kessler. The two farmers had to walk their cows to market in Buffalo, a 30-mile trek, and then ride the train home. They decided to start their own market and save the long walk … It is now being run by the third generation, Raymond’s granddaughter Patti and her husband Mitch.”
Those in the know wake up early and get to the auction first thing to avoid the crowds. There is ample parking at the auction itself (behind the big red Gentner barn), but there are also businesses that open their lots for parking on Wednesdays for a nominal fee, as well as free lots if you don’t mind a short walk and limited street parking.
Auction regulars can be seen pulling wagons and carts so they can avoid making multiple trips back and forth to their cars. Carts fill up quickly, as there is a huge selection of fresh produce and flowers to choose from, not to mention items like maple syrup, honey and specialty foods, most at a fraction of the price you’d pay in stores.
Guests will also enjoy aisle after aisle of flea market finds, including everything from antiques, to jewelry, to new kitchen utensils and everything in between. And most things are so reasonably priced that kids can go with $5 and leave with an armful of treasures.
“I’ve been coming here for over 30 years,” said Sheila Vella, 63, of Holland. “I used to bring my kids here and now I bring my grandkids. It’s one of the highlights of my summer. My favorite thing about it is the antiques. There are great bargains if you’re willing to spend the time looking.”
“I like that there are a lot of kids’ toys, and I like that they have good items for cheap prices,” chimed in Sheila’s granddaughter, Lily, age 8. “I can bring a couple dollars and buy some good things.”
If you have items to sell, the Springville Auction is a great place to set up shop, as it always draws a crowd in the summer months. Flea market vendors can set up in a 24-foot-by-24-foot space for only $25.
When you’re done exploring the flea market and stocking up on fruits and veggies for the week, the animal barns are sure to delight the kids. On any given week, you can find a variety of farm animals, from chickens, to goats, to bunnies, and the produce and live animal auction begins at 2 p.m.
The Springville Auction has been attracting thousands of visitors for so many years because of its unique combination of fun finds and such reasonably priced essentials. It’s one of those special places that should be on everyone’s summer to-do list.
To get there from Ellicottville, take 219 North toward Springville. Make a right on Route 39 (Main Street) in Springville. The auction will be on your left, before you get to the next stop light. Just look for the big red Genter’s barn.
For more information, visit www.gentnerspringvilleauction.com.