Salt Lake City’s Growers’ Market

170 Pacific Avenue. Loading docks for various fruit companies, built 1940. Photo taken in 1941.

170 Pacific Avenue. Loading docks for various fruit companies, built circa 1940. Photo taken in 1941.

The Growers’ Market was a central wholesale and retail produce market located in Salt Lake City. The market was built in 1919 on what had been called Kendall Square at 440 South West Temple. The new market replaced the Growers’ Exchange that had operated at Second West between South Temple and First Avenue. Both the Exchange and the Market were owned by associations of hundreds of Utah farmers from the region. Utah’s produce industry was growing at a rapid pace during the early 1900s and a larger location with access to transportation was imperative. The roads around the smaller Growers’ Exchange had become notorious for the jams created by wagons and trucks waiting to be unloaded. The Kendall Square address offered better access to roads and rail lines.

Horse drawn wagons, and later trucks, arrived early in the morning with produce directly from outlying farms. Wholesale buyers had first pick with retail purchasers allowed in later in the morning. A rail spur that ran parallel to the stalls provided access to markets outside of Utah. Local newspapers based their weekly produce price listings on the asking price at the Growers’ Market. 

460-464 South West Temple, built in 1929. Photograph taken in 1937.

460-464 South West Temple, built in 1929. Photograph taken in 1937.

E.C. Olsen and Co. at 429 South 100 West. Photograph taken in 1937.

E.C. Olsen and Co. at 429 South 100 West (original address). Photograph taken in 1937.

The Growers’ Market Corporation also owned many residential buildings in the area, including this house located at 172 West 500 South (address and owner as noted in 1936):

Residence built circa 1900.  Photo taken in 1936.

Residence built circa 1900. Photo taken in 1936.

Post-war and into the 1950s and 1960s, large companies usurped the role that farmer associations and local distributors had in delivering and selling produce. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s many of the buildings that made up the Growers’ Market were torn down and replaced. The Sheraton Hotel now stands on the site of the old Growers’ Market. 

Check out this 1950 Sanborn map for a view of the Growers’ Market area.

440 South West Temple. Service station and offices, built 1929. Photo circa 1960-1970.

440 South West Temple. Service station and offices, built 1929. Photo circa 1960-1970.

Thank you to our archivist (and guest blogger) Vincent Fazzi for researching and writing this blog entry.

Sources:

Ashton-Jenkins Close Deal on New Growers’ Market. Salt Lake Herald, 1919-02-02.

Bridges – Building a Neighborhood through Story. Volume 1, Number 1, 1998. Salt Lake Community College.

J. Willard Marriott Library, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. Salt Lake City, 1950, Sheet 149.

Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Cards and Photographs: All of the above images taken from this series.  (All addresses above as documented on Tax Appraisal Cards).

 

This entry was posted in Salt Lake history, Utah history and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Salt Lake City’s Growers’ Market

  1. Ross Smedley says:

    Like my brother, I remember going to the warehouse with my dad. Smedley and A&Z produce were a couple of the businesses that were on “The Market”. Smedleys was in several locations over the years. The photo shows them kind of in the middle. They moved to the larger area on the west end in the late 50s and then back to the second section from the right (east) in the 70s before the “Market” was sold to build the Hotel.

  2. slcoarchives says:

    We are happy to hear from you! Thanks for reading and for your great comment.

  3. Kevin Smedley says:

    Thank you for posting this. The picture at the top of the article made my day! My dad worked a Smedley Fruit Co from 1940 until after Growers Market was torn down and they moved to another location. I remember visiting here many times as a boy in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s