Detroit’s Western Market, 1956

THE WAY IT WAS
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Photograph courtesy of The Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

1956 Mention “Detroit” and “market,” and Eastern Market inevitably leaps to mind. But that wasn’t always the case. Those with long memories may recall another outdoor farmers market called Western Market, on Michigan Avenue and 18th Street. Fresh produce, meats, and poultry attracted throngs of shoppers, as chronicled here in a photograph from September 1956. Merchants peddled their wares from sheds, stands, and even from the beds of small trucks. Western Market shouldn’t be confused with the Western Hay Market, which stood at Michigan and Trumbull until the 1890s, when it was razed to make way for baseball’s Bennett Park. Like Eastern Market, the Western version also dates to the 1890s, but it was dismantled in 1965 to make way for the construction of the Fisher and Jeffries freeway interchange.

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