The Dubuque Farmers’ Market is the oldest Farmers’ Market in the state of Iowa. Farmers’ Market was originally held in the City Hall building. When the building was first opened in 1858, farmers backed their wagons up to the long windows on the northern and southern sides of the building and unloaded their produce into stalls inside the building.
In December 1879 with the remodeling of the building, the market was eliminated from the building and the space used for offices. The market continued outside, sprawling over many city blocks at that time.
The market was briefly discontinued in the early 1970s due to declining attendance. It was reinvigorated by then Mayor C. Robert Justmann who encouraged arts and crafts to be added to the traditional display of produce from gardens and area farmers.
Dubuque Main Street was assigned management of the Dubuque Farmers’ Market in the mid-1990s. Since then the market has grown dramatically, with 2014 ending with more than 110 registered vendors, the most recorded in more than 30 years. A resurgence of interest in local foods has no doubt helped the market to grow.
Historical Information provided by Encyclopedia Dubuque.