AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article is slightly off-topic. There is little, if anything, about trains in this article.

While driving around Tracy, in these days of sprawling supermarkets – Safeway, Raleys, Save-Mart among them – you may not notice the numerous corner markets that dot our town.

Most of these corner markets, several of which aren’t actually on a corner, per se, date back several decades, to a time before the large supermarkets offered one-stop convenience for everything your family needs.

Back in those early days, you’d go to the butcher shop for your meat, the bakery for your daily bread, the dairy for your milk – and, if you needed anything else, you would walk or drive over to the neighborhood store for those other assorted odds and ends.

Many of those convenient small markets of the past are gone now, but you may recognize a handful of them that I have spotted around town lately.

Click on individual photos to enlarge.

Parker Avenue Market (Front View, May 2022)

Parker Avenue Market at 1656 Parker Ave., near Lowell Ave., in Tracy. (May 2022 Photo)

Parker Ave Market (Side Mural, May 2022)

The colorful mural on the Parker Avenue Market’s side wall. (May 2022 Photo)

Family Market and Liquor (May 2022 Photo)

Family Market and Liquor at 28323 S. MacArthur Drive at Lorraine Road, near Linne Road and the Union Pacific mainline. (May 2022 Photo)

Tracy's Mi Ranchito Market (Photo)

Mi Ranchito Market at Third and Central in Tracy (May 2022 Photo)

Tracy Country Market (May 2022 Photo)

The ever-popular Country Market, at the corner of Tracy Blvd. and Linne Road, directly across from the ACE train depot. (May 2022 Photo)

Tracy Country Market (Circa 1980 Photo)

The Country Market as it appeared around 1980, when it was well on the sparsely-populated western outskirts of Tracy. This photo was taken by longtime Western Pacific engineer Al Fonseca – probably from the cab of his locomotive – around 1980, and is included here with his generous permission.

Byron Market (May 2022 Photo)

Byron Market in Tracy, a favorite purveyor of snacks and refreshments – and U-Haul trucks – on busy Byron Road in Tracy. (May 2022 Photo)

Byron Market (May 2022 Photo)

Another view of Byron Market from May 2022. Note the old Western Pacific steel boxcar in the left background, utilized for storage.

Banta General Store (2021 Photo)

Along with the Banta Inn and the Brichetto Building – all located along short-but-busy G Street – the more than century old Banta General Store stands as a reminder of the days when Banta was a burgeoning village. (December 2021 photo)

Masons Market (May 2022 Photo)

On the outskirts of town, along Larch Road near Corral Hollow Road, the now-dormant Masons Market formerly served the few scattered homes and farms on Tracy’s northern edge, but is presently employed as a handy roost for the local avian population. (May 2022 photo)


To be continued…

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs were taken by David F. Jackson.