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Stories from the valley

The Auction Yard

Contributed by Steve Beckley

One of my fondest memories as a very young boy in Grimes was going to livestock auctions with my late father, Ralph. Back then there were auction yards in Dixon, Roseville, Yuba City, Willows, Williams, Orland, and Cottonwood. Today only Orland and Cottonwood are still operating in the Sacramento Valley. In fact, my first memorable personal crisis was when I lost my teddy bear “Carl’ at the Yuba City auction when I was about four years old.

DSC_7588-1I had the opportunity to take a step back in my life by photographing “Sale Day” at the Orland Livestock Commission Yard. This is a true family operation owned by Lacque Family. The family was working this day with a heavy heart as Marie Lacque who, with her husband Bo purchased the auction in 1952, had just passed away. At 95 years old, she had still worked sale day until last July. My personal thanks to Ed Lacque, owner and the family giving full access to the sale yard.


What was reinforced to me is that livestock auctions are important to the industry. But they are even more important as a place where people gather to visit, catch up on the news and latest community happenings. I had a great time, met wonderful people who I knew of over the years and made new friends. Now I understand why “Sale Day” was so important to my dad. I know his spirit was with me during this photo shoot.