The first market opened on July 11, 1931, on Washington Street, between E. First and E. Second, near the present courthouse. It was first proposed by the late C. War Andrews, who was then, the county agriculture agent.
In the winter months, this curb-side market used a building for shelter at the northeast corner of Hubble and W. Third Street. Originally, 28 county farmers brought in produce. By August 22, there were 125.
The first sale was made by Tony Horvath of Dundee to Patrolman Joe Kinsey. Produce prices were:
In 1935, the market needed a different location and larger site. The market growers formed a non-profit association called the Monroe County Grower's Association. The group then purchased the present building at 20 E. Willow Street from the city. The building is now owned by the farmers.
The current market building was once a street car freight depot, with the tracks running down Elm Street to Lake Erie (alongside the Ford Plant). You can still see parts of the building's past in its design (big doors, tall ceilings, floor, etc.). It originally burned coal to heat, but a furnace was installed when the gas lines came down the street, around 1959.
During those early years, the daily stalls cost the members 20 cents per day to rent, and a yearly membership fee of $1.00.
The basic rule of the market has not changed. Only residents living in Monroe County can rent a stall. This gives the business to the local farmers, instead of the big businesses.
The first president of the association was Burt Knapp. The first vice-president was Will Brabant, while the first secretary/treasurer was John Flessner. William Brabant also served as the temporary market master.
There have been several first, second, and third generations of people coming to the market as both vendors and consumers. We must be doing something right to have lasted this long.
Thank you Monroe County for all of your support.