Lancaster Central Market was born in 1730 on a 120-square-foot plot of land conveyed by Andrew and Ann Hamilton from their private estate.

At Lancaster Central Market, farmers would cart their bounty from the surrounding fruitful land to the heart of the nearly settled municipality to sell their wares in the now-public, open field.

This early market was an important, encouraging factor in King George II designating Lancaster as a market town.

And upon its official charter as a borough in 1742, the royal decree proclaimed Lancaster was to hold “two markets in each week … of the year forever in the lot of ground already agreed upon for that purpose and granted for that use.”

In the years following its official charter, Lancaster set forth in embracing its coveted designation as a market town.

A market clerk was appointed. Six stalls were built toward the end of 1742 to heed newly written market regulations.

And by 1757, the Lancaster Burgess erected the first official market building, though most likely just a simple, open-air structure with stalls and a roof.

This arrangement continued to evolve through the years along with Lancaster, until finally being replaced in 1889 by the beautiful Market House that stands in Penn Square today.


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