Wooten Not A Saturday Market Founder

I love Henry Houston’s writing; he’s a master crafter of journalism. There is one tiny thing in his Peter DeFazio piece that is now becoming false history. While Cynthia Wooten did a lot and was always very supportive of crafting, she had no part in starting Saturday Market. The group of artisans who did, drank some coffee and had one sale at the Odyssey, but she doesn’t appear in the archives, and I checked with her today to make sure.

The principals were artisans and professionals who were involved in what was called the Eugene Craftsman’s Guild. They wanted a way to sell their goods outside of galleries and one-off sales in the late ’60s. By the end of the first season (1970), more than 100 artists were selling, and now Saturday Market has more than 500. It has never been the work of one person. No one involved would want that credit, and neither does Wooten.

The archives have been taking up half of my living room for about three years now, and I am happy to provide any kind of documentation for any aspect of Saturday Market that Houston or any other writer would care to explore. It has been a long and complex history, and many luminaries and ordinary people played their parts. I always love to see a mention of the market, but let’s do get our facts right. Thank you Eugene Weekly and thanks to Houston for your many fine contributions to journalism.

Diane McWhorter

Board Secretary for Eugene Saturday Market

Editor’s note: The story implied that the Saturday Market was one of Cynthia Wooten’s projects. However, the group that started Saturday Market met and held the first-ever gathering at Wooten’s coffee shop, the Odyssey Coffee House. The article has been updated online to reflect this.

Comments are closed.