Lynchburg’s Community Market–a hidden treasure?
June 1st will celebrate the Lynchburg, Virginia Community Market’s 230th anniversary. The third oldest continuously running market in the United States it is 3 years older than the city itself!
Created as a commercial center on the riverfront it, on what today is 9th Street, it started as an open air market on Water Street. The market quickly became the central place of commerce for the growing city and as a gathering spot for the city’s residents. It was initially heavily involved in the tobacco trade.
In 1814,when the market outgrew its original home, it moved to the center of Water Street where it remained until 1872. In 1872 it relocated to Main Street between 11th and 12th Streets where the space allowed for ample commerce space plus a livestock yard. It remained there until 1932 when it moved to its current location at Main Street.
Improvements were made to the market in 1987 that included enclosing an interior space plus adding heating and central air, outside farmer’s stalls and parking. The market is now home to over 100 vendors each year that include farmers, artisans, bakers, cheese mongers, truffle creators, 4 locally owned restaurants and boutiques. A great place to find locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, wine, jams and jellies, flowers and plants or purchase homemade sweets such as pies, cakes, cookies or candies.
This year the market is opening a demonstration kitchen. Local chefs will demonstrate how to utilize local ingredients, found at the market, that will allow the community to learn skills and recipes featuring ingredients from our region (the grow local movement) and in season. It is anticipated that cooking and culinary classes will be added to take the demonstrations to the next level.
The Community Market is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 until 2. Wednesdays, between 10-2 and Saturdays between 7-2 the farmers booths are filled to the brim with delicious offerings. A word to the wise: get to the market early! There are many Wednesdays and Saturdays when the booths are bare by mid-morning.
If you are staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we often shop (very early) to get produce for the mornings 4-course breakfast or for wine and cheese in the afternoon for those guests arriving between 4-5 PM . And we source the market when gathering truffles, wine, cheese, breads and cookies for our room “add-ons” that are available as part of a package or just because. Call us at 434.846.1388 to discuss your reservation and how to make it more special.
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