OVER 50 YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG
Fred & Becky Jones
TRADE DAYS, LLC, originally known as Jones Center, was built by Fred M. Jones, an Airborne Ranger, and a decorated Korean War veteran. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1951 when he was wounded in a parachute jump carrying heavy equipment in the icy conditions of upstate New York. His buddy was killed during this exercise and Fred escorted his friend home to Port Austin, Michigan.
Fred returned to his home town of Pearl, MS and attended Hinds Junior College where he met Becky Lucius in 1953. A year later, they married and began engaging in various entrepreneurial business activities including retail and real estate ventures.
In February 1961, the Jones’ purchased 6.5 acres on Highway 80 which had a house, family garage and a duck pond. They moved the house to Airport Road, where it was sold, and began to develop what is now the Jones Center.
In 1964, the first building housed the La Charme Beauty Salon. Two short years later, Rankin Discount Drugs, one of the first drugstores in Pearl, opened for business. In order to utilize more of the existing grounds, Fred decided to experiment with garage sales which quickly gained popularity and soon became a weekly event. It was so successful that people wanted to rent buildings for the sole purpose of selling their wares. The result is Jones Center Flea Market; the centerpiece for bargain hunters from Mississippi and surrounding states.
Fred and Becky have both passed away, but their legacy lives on through their daughters who assumed the management duties of the Jones Center as a family tradition. From a very young age, both daughters grew up helping their parents with small chores around the center. They learned how Mr. Jones established long friendships and relationships, which they have continued to build upon. One of Mr. Jones’ key associates is still an integral member of the team.