An enormous red cow and a 20-foot-tall cowboy have long welcomed all who arrive at the Cowtown Rodeo and Flea Market. In the 1920s, Amos Howard Harris was auctioning automobiles in a livestock town. Realizing he needed to appeal to the locals, he and his son began hosting weekly livestock auctions and inviting local merchants to attend and sell their goods. The idea was a success. In 1929, the Harris family and Cowtown helped revive the local annual fair and rodeo, which continued to exist until World War II. With the popularity of the auction and the growth of the midway market, the operation moved to a larger location in 1940. Then, 15 years later, Cowtown hosted its first full rodeo season. Today, it is the longest continually running weekly professional rodeo in the country. It remains a Harris family business and a South Jersey tradition, attracting visitors from around the world.
Author Angela Speakman is a Salem County native and founder of the Writing Blueprint. She has compiled images of the Cowtown Rodeo from the Harris family photograph collection and from members of the community.