Baltimore's fragrant, gleaming Lexington Market, the world's largest,
continuously running market for more than six generations, marks its 220th
anniversary this year.
Old as the nation itself, Lexington Market has been a wonderful Baltimore
tradition since 1782 at the original site it occupies today, on Lexington Street,
between Eutaw and Greene Streets.
General John Eager Howard, a hero of the American Revolution, donated the
land for the market, named for the Battle of Lexington, on his return from the
war. It had been a pasture on his family's vast estate, a tract spreading north
and west to where Washington's monument and General Howard's statue now
Without waiting for streets, sheds or stalls, outlying farmers converged on the
site as soon as General Howard gave the word. They trundled up 'in great
Conestoga wagons, their horses strung with bells, making their own roads . On
the rolling green yard, they spread out hams, butter, eggs, turkeys and
Merchants joined the farmers in setting up a purchase and barter exchange for
grain, hay, farm staples and livestock. Farmers spent all night loading their
wares and traveling the twenty miles from Towson and Reisterstown, with sales
beginning at dawn.
Not until 1803 did a shed go up at Eutaw and Lexington Streets. From then on,
The Market grew by leaps and bounds until the formal marketplace sprawled
over another block to Greene Street. At first, the place was only opened
Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 2:00 AM till noon, the starting and closing
historic bell ringing for 145 years.
8:30 am to 6 pm
400 W. Lexington Street
Baltimore, MD 21201