Farmers' Market-Courthouse Square-Main and Walnut Streets

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Farmers' Market-Courthouse Square-Main and Walnut Streets


Business enterprises; Farmers' markets; Courthouses


In early Madison there were four designated market house areas. The earliest markets were originally governed by the Trustees of the Town of Madison. There was an appointed "Market Master" to oversee the operation and upkeep of the markets. The earliest market was on Main Cross on the south side of present Main Street, west of the Courthouse. The market house was 30 feet wide and 60 feet long. "The said market house to commence at the south side of Main Cross Street (Main) and run south the length aforesaid (60 feet) and the measure to be adopted for that purpose so that it be completed by the first of September next." From what we can deduce, this would have been about 1825. In the 1840s a new market house was erected at the approximate site of what is now Fountain Square on Broadway. This market was used as a model for the third market on the courthouse square. It was broken up and sold in the 1860s or 1870s. In 1875 a new market was built on Main Street between Mill and Plum. It is the building now known as the "Trolley Barn." The "Courthouse" market, pictured here, was built about 1850 on the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets. The cost of a stall inside the building was, at that time, $20 a year and an outside bench cost $7 per year. All manner of goods could be bought including produce, meat, fish and dairy items. It would seem the first 50 years of the market's life was a bustling and profitable time but by the turn of the century competition with larger grocery stores, refrigeration and faster modes of transport to the stores began to weigh on the farmers' market. Then in the early 1900s George Middleton proposed to have made for the city a monument dedicated to the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. In 1907 the old, and last, market place was taken down and the monument was erected on the site.


Photographer unknown


Historical Files; Madison Courier; City Maps; Gertrude E. Gibson Research 1916


Picture taken circa 1898


Madison-Jefferson County Public LIbrary


Permission to reproduce this image for other than personal use must be requested from the Director of the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library. Please contact at 420 W. Main Street Madison, IN 47250 (812) 265-2744


Image scanned from a duplicate negative at 1200 DPI using a Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL. Online jpeg image file saved at 72 DPI 800 to 1000 pixels on long edge.


Still image




Main and Walnut Streets, Madison, Indiana

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Photographer unknown, "Farmers' Market-Courthouse Square-Main and Walnut Streets," in Harry Lemen Historic Photo Collection, Item #132, (accessed May 22, 2015).