The founder of the Leesport Market and Auction, as it was then called, was LeRoy J. Weist, who married Mary B. Graeff in 1922. Together they had nine children and the family lived and worked on a farm outside of Mohrsville, PA. Mr. Weist was a plasterer and farmer by trade and he also bought and sold livestock from many of the farmers in the area and then sold them to a slaughter house in Bernville. In 1946 LeRoy and Mary purchased 30 acres of farmland at the north end of Leesport from Gertrude and Lawrence Hoffman. They bought the land with the thought of possibly building homes but about this same time the slaughter house in Bernville stopped taking livestock. They saw the need for a place to sell livestock and as a result the auction was built. With the help of their family they built a cattle barn and one market building consisting of 4,000 square feet. 97 head of cattle were consigned by 25 sellers on opening day, July 9, 1947.
Family has always played an important part in the market. When the market was being built, the sons and in-laws provided the labor to construct the first buildings. In the early years of the market many of the daughters were the clerks in the office and the sale ring. Sons and in-laws provided barn help and also collected rent from the stand holders. Many of the food and soda stands were owned and run by daughters and sons.
On June 1, 1960, two sons of LeRoy J. and Mary, LeRoy H & John U. Weist, purchased the business. They managed the growth of the market over the next 25 years during which time the flea market business became very popular.
On July 1, 1985 the torch was passed to the third generation, Woody, son of LeRoy H. and Bill, son of John and the name was changed to the Leesport Farmers Market. Considerable expansion took place over the next ten years with the addition of 36,000 square feet of outdoor sheltered space for the Farmers Market. In 1987 a 180′ x 60′ banquet hall was built, which houses vendors on Wednesdays and is rented out other days of the week for wedding receptions, private parties, public auctions, trade shows, meetings, and numerous other functions. During this period the flea market business continued to grow prompting the start of twice a month Sunday Flea Markets. In October of 1985 the very first Craft Fair was held and has since expanded to five Craft events per year. Woody and Bill operated the market as Leesport Farmers Market, Inc. together for 13 years. In June 1998 Bill left the market to pursue other interests and Woody continued as manager until the present.
We are extremely excited and proud to have served the community 70 years and we look forward to the next 70 years.