200@200 : October — To Govern and Serve
Date:
1890s
Title:
City Market Weighmaster Badge
Description:
The city market at Barr Street opened in 1837, one of the first farmers markets in Indiana, and quickly became a draw for local produce. Samuel Hanna had donated the land for the building of a city hall and municipal market. At its heyday, it spanned two blocks on the east side of Barr Street between Berry and Washington Streets. It had its own market master, beginning with Peter Kiser in the 1830s, to monitor the individual vendors and the first building, replacing impermanent stalls, was erected in 1855.

In 1910, a new colonnaded market pavilion was constructed at a cost of $200,000 and the market drew farmers from as far away as Ohio. By the 1920s, a farmer could rent a stand for $20 per year, which provided $7,000 of revenue to the city.

The market thrived through the Great Depression and World War II, but population movement to the suburbs and the resulting supermarkets led to the decline of the Barr Street Market and, ultimately, its closure in 1957. The History Center purchased the Barr Street Market in 1988 and as part of the 2002 program, "Blueprint for the Future," the Barr Street Cultural District and Market Place was established. Today, the Barr Street Market is open from spring through fall, boasting 1,500—2,000 visitors weekly.

This weighmaster badge belonged to Patrick Ryan, weighmaster at the Barr Street city market in 1894—1895. His duty was to ensure that market vendors did not cheat their customers by using improperly balanced scales.
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City Market Weightmaster Badge, 1890sCity Market Weightmaster Badge, 1890s
Barr Street Market, 1957Barr Street Market, 1957
City MarketCity Market
City Market and City Hall, 1892City Market and City Hall, 1892
City Hall and City Market sketch, late 1800sCity Hall and City Market sketch, late 1800s