CENTRE MARKET HISTORY WHEELING WV originally Wheeling’s FIFTH WARD MARKET History and photos by John Bowman

History and photos by John Bowman
Excerpts from booklet: CENTRE MARKET EVER CHANGING by John and Glinda Bowman Wheeling, WV 2013
CENTRE MARKET’S, Fifth Ward Market Houses

Architect Thomas Pope designed the 1853 ‘Upper Market House’ building in the ‘Greek Revival’ style. The building, with a dirt floor was open on all sides (open air) and was completed in 1853. Hamilton & Rogers, Quincy Foundry cast the 54 hollow Iron Columns, with every other column serving as a downspout. The total cost of constructing the building in 1853, was $9,000.00. September 7, 1853, The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer: “The new Iron Market House in Centre Wheeling is fast assuming the appearance of a finished building, and when completed will be one of the most beautiful buildings of the kind in the country.” September 14, 1853, The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer: “The stalls in the Centre Wheeling Market will be rented on the 17th, inst. (instant, the current month).”Advertisement, which read: “The Centre Wheeling Market House: Butchers and others are notified that the stalls in the Centre Market House will be rented at Public Auction, for the term of three years, on Saturday the 17th, inst. at 2 o’clock p.m.”
September 21, 1853, The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer: “The new Market House in Centre Wheeling begins to look like business; it was lighted up last evening with gas lights.” South of the building, where the Lower Market House now stands, the entire area between the dirt streets to First (Twenty-Third) Street was paved with bricks. The area was graded with a drop of ¼’ to the foot north to south and east to west to facilitate drainage.

Centre Market Upper Market House

Centre Market Clock. The Seth Thomas Clock Co. Thomaston, Conn. U.S.A. clock makers since 1817, manufactured the Seth Thomas “SENTINEL” model in the 1880’s and 1890’s. This oak cased clock has a 12-inch hand painted dial and hand painted roman numerals. The door is secured and locked by the key used to wind the 8-day pendulum movement. This clock was placed in the Market Master’s stall in the upper Market House, the “5th Ward Market House”. The original clock movement struck the hour, but was replaced with a non-striking movement at some point and thus this is the second movement in the clock.

Centre Market Wheeling, WV

Market Street, and Wheeling Centre Market Lower Market House on right

The 1890 ‘Lower Market House’ building was designed by Architect, Edward B. Franzheim, in the neo-Romanesque style, open with brick piers supporting the hip roof and with cross gables and a three-foot overhang. The building is decorated with a pig, bull and cow terra-cotta medallions. The cost of constructing the Lower Market building in 1890 came in at slightly under $7,000.00. October 17, 1890, The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer: “The new Market House in the Fifth Ward is assuming shape fast. The large brick arch in the middle of the east side is done.” November 17, 1890, The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer: “The slate for the new Market House roof has arrived.” December 16, 1890, The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer: “The new Market House is to be completed by January 1, 1891, except possibly the painting.” The original slate roof was replaced with wood shingles and the original bricks laid when the Upper Market building was built were replaced with a concrete floor. A wooden enclosure was added in the north end after 1900 to house a fish market. At the south end of the building was a unisex restroom.

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