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