Come visit us at Third Monday Trade Days!

Third Monday Trade Days in McKinney, Texas is the oldest and largest monthly trade days in North Texas. With roots back to the old county-wide market that began in the 1870s in McKinney: It is located in the historic Buckner Community which was the first County Seat of Collin County.

Third Monday Trade Days has 18 acres of parking, 2 ATMs, clean restrooms, 3 shopper entrances and exits, as well as a heated and air-conditioned Mall.

At Third Monday Trade Days, you will find a mix of fair-style food vending, antiques, trendy apparel and accessories, garage sale items, a great variety of home and outdoor decor, pet supplies, health and beauty products, and more.

Parking is $5 on Saturday and Sunday until 4 pm. Parking is FREE on Fridays and Sat-Sun AFTER 4 pm.

History of "Third Monday" Trade Days

Visit for a detailed history.

Third Monday Trade Days was originally the site of the town of Buckner. In the 1843 the land, which belonged to a Kiowa tribe was granted by Texas to John McGarrah. McGarrah created Fort Buckner to protect settlers against unfriendly native american tribes. He also created the first trading post in the area to trade furs and goods. The small trading post/post office for Buckner actually sat across the street, south of the market location. The ruin was there for some time into modern days. Originally, Buckner itself encompassed about 13 acres. Buckner was what they called a "family fort" rather than the large fort we generally think of.

The Kiowa tribe lived peacefully alongside the Buckner settlers. Kiowa Chief Spotted Tail and his tribe protected and helped the settlers thrive. Chief Spotted Tail was deemed a local hero in 1871 when he helped bury the dead from the small pox outbreak which he later succumbed to as well. He is buried in the tiny cemetery on Third Monday property.

Buckner was named the first county seat of Collin County in 1846 but only two years later it was determined that Buckner was located slightly outside of the 3 mile limit from the center of Collin County and legislation took the title of county seat title and gave it to a town named they named McKinney after the first settler, Collin McKinney, just 3 miles east of the fort.

Over time, people moved their homes and businesses to Mckinney and Buckner reverted to agricultural uses. Legend has it that the name, "Third Monday Trade Days" was coined from the fact that trading days at the fort revolved around the THIRD MONDAY of every month because thats when the "hanging judge" came to the area to make his legal determinations and the gulity were hung. Picnics, trading between settlers, and festivals were held around this event.

Once the Fort was abandoned and the population lived in Mckinney, first monday trade days was held at the square around the courthouse in the 1880s to buy, sell and trade stray livestock. In the 1960s the Third Monday Trade Day market was created (using the frontiers traditional market date) and ran continuously until 2022.

History courtesy of J. J. Jensen - The Wonderful Nightmare

The Buckner Cemetery Historical Site

The land surrounding this historic cemetery was part of a gant obtained by John McGarrah, a member of the Peters colony who arrived in this area in 1843. McGarrah founded a trading post near this site and soon the Fort Buckner settlement was established. It would later become the first county seat of Collin County.

David William O'brien (1808-1885) came to Collin County with his family in 1857. He eventually acquired the part of the McGarrah land which included this cemetery. The Buckner Cemetary, which was established on the O'brien land, has also been referred to as O'brien cemetery over the years

Although there may be earlier unmarked graves, the oldest documented burial is that of Franklin O'brien (1851-1870). Many early pioneers of Collin County are interred here, including victoms of Smallpox epidemic in the 1870s. According to local tradition, a Kiowa indian named Spotted Tail also lies here in an unmarked grave.

The only physical remnant of the Buckner community, this cemetery serves as a reminder of the early history of Collin County

History courtesy of Texas Histrical Commission - Buckner Cemetery Marker

Frontier History of TMMTD

Courtesy of Linda Pelon / Texas Frontier Trading Post

Frontier History of TMMTD John (Jack) and Polly McGarrah and family came to this site from Tennessee in 1842. The third settler in present Collin County, McGarrah opened a trading post to barter for hides and furs. While in the act of building a family fort, he and his men had to defend themselves from roaming hostile Indians. The land surrounding this historic cemetery [on the east property boundary of the current McKinney Trade Days grounds] was part of a grant obtained by John McGarrah, a member of the Peters Colony who arrived in this area in 1843. McGarrah founded a trading post near this site, and soon the Fort Buckner settlement was established. It would later become the first county seat of Collin County. Many early pioneers of Collin County are interred here, including victims of a smallpox epidemic in the 1870s. According to local tradition, a Kiowa Indian named Spotted Tail also lies here in an unmarked grave.
Texas Historical Markers at the Cemetery at the eastern boundary to McKinney Trade Days property.


The first in a series of articles about the frontier and Indian history of Collin County Who was Spotted Tail?... that mysterious Indian presence in the collective consciousness of many long time TMMTD vendors and fans. I've been asking that question a lot since I decided to become a TMMTD vendor a year ago. Because I am an educator/anthropologist deeply involved in Texas Indian and frontier history research, I wanted to know a lot more about Spotted Tail. For months it was a dead end. Many people would tell me he was buried under the big oak tree outside the Buckner Cemetery fence (on the grounds of TMMTD) and that he died in a smallpox epidemic in the 1870s after volunteering to bury those from the Buckner who died in the epidemic. Others told me that Spotted Tail was a myth or that there was no evidence that he ever existed. A few people told me that there were some old newspaper articles that include information about the Buckner Community and Spotted Tail. Thanks to Kristin Spalding (Director of the Collin County History Museum) I now have access to some of those old newspaper articles by Roy Hall. A former mayor of McKinney, Hall was descended from Buckner settlers. I've read this first set of articles and they include a lot of detailed information that would only have been known by eyewitnesses of the time-period in which Kiowas were present in what is now Collin County. It appears that some detailed information must have been in the family papers that were accessible to Hall but were, unfortunately, later destroyed in a house fire. Overall, the Hall's articles create a tapestry of life in the Buckner settlement-and Spotted Tail is present in it! Like all oral historical information and eyewitness accounts, some inaccuracies will occur. Whenever this is suspected then it is wise to look to other primary sources before sharing that information.


Abstracted from March 5, 1964 Newspaper Article by Roy Hall
In this article Roy Hall credits Ed Stiff "who married one of Jack McGarrah's [the Indian Trader] girls and lived a while at Buckner" with the following description of Spotted Tail: A little below medium height for a Kiowa (around 5'10"), and a perfect Indian face. And according to other accounts [not sourced]: Roman nose, straight black hair, two braids down back, war bonnet had a whole string of feathers (worn only in ceremonials or when on the war path). George Henry Horndon said the string of feathers reached from forehead to heals. Spotted Tail's band was small, less than 300, but seemed powerful enough to keep wild Indians out of Collin County. Spotted Tail came to Collin County in 1845 buffalo hunting as far as we know. No more massacres in this county. The chief had 3 wives but no children, according to Ed Stiff, (Stiff spent many days in the Indian Village as a child and came to know many of the braves by name). Frank House, part Cherokee, knew him but didn't think much of him (didn't work, fondness for roasted dogs).

Linda Pelon is an educator/anthropologist and proprietor of the Texas Frontier Trading Post in the mall at TMMTD.
If you have any information to contribute to this reconstruction of Collin County frontier history, please contact Linda at or stop by the mall on trade days and have a conversation.