Market Houses ~ Farmers Markets

Market Houses

When the City was first settled, the Market was confined to Front and High Streets, the site of the present Fish Market. Af-wards, the Market Houses were extended in High Street to Fourth Street, and within a few years, continued to Eighth Street, their present extent, on the Eastern Section of High Street.

In 1836, the "Columbia Rail Road" having been extended, from Broad Street, through High Street to Dock Street, the old Market Houses, and the ancient Court House, at the comer of Second and High Streets were removed, to give place, to the light and airy structures, at present in use, and to secure more room for the free passage of the rail road.

An ample Market has been constructed, in Second Street, between Pine and Cedar Streets: This has been recently widened and for its length, presents more accommodation than any one in the City.

West of Broad Street, Market Houses extend in High Street, for several Squares. In Callowhill Street, Market extend from Fourth to Eighth Street. In Spring Garden Street, ample provision has been made, for an extensive range of Markets, from Sixth Street, toward Schuylkill and several squares of Market Houses have been erected. This wide and elegant avenue will in time, become highly ornamental, to the improved District Spring Garden. A range of Market Houses extend in North Second Street, from Coates Street to Poplar Lane. Market Houses have been erected in East and west Kensington and in Southwark. An extensive range of Markets have been erected in Shippen Street, which has been amply widened for the purpose, from Third to Fifth Streets. In the South-eastern part of Southwark, a small Market House, known as the "Wharton Mart," has been erected: And another, near Eighth Street, below Fitzwater Street.

William Penn Market

An Act of Incorporation has been obtained, for the erection of a Market, between Spruce and Pine Streets, on the site, now known as ''Portland Lane," Elizabeth Street and Middle Alley, between Sixth and Seventh Streets.

Provisions, Vegetables, Fruits and Market Days

The Philadelphia Markets present an ample supply of all kinds of meats, poultry, birds, wildfowl, fish, lobsters, crabs, oysters and in the winter season, an abundance of venison, &c. The supply of vegetables, peaches, apples, cherries, and every other kind of fruit, is equally abundant. The Markets are supplied every day of the week, except the Sabbath; but Wednesdays, and Saturdays are established, as especial Market Days, on which occasions the supplies, particularly after midsummer, afford a most gratifying spectacle to those who delight in the bounties of nature. On these days, the Market Houses are filled, and the Streets leading to and from the Markets seem almost to groan, with the loaded baskets, piled in every direction. Ranges of wagons extend through Second and Market Streets, for more than three miles. Inspectors of weights, superintend the Market, whose duty it is also to see that wholesome provisions are exposed for sale, and the laws against huckstering, establish severe penalties for forestalling.

The Markets within the limits of the City produce an income of $35,198.56, derived from 307 butchers; 651 farmers and 92 dealer's stalls; 123 vegetable, 52 fish-market, 195 inter-section and 12 fish-wagon stands.

History of Philadelphia


Source: A History of Philadelphia: With a Notice of Villages, in the Vicinity, Printed and published by Daniel Bowen, 1839


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