Piqua in Miami County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Sign of the Past
On June 29, 1807, Armstrong Brandon began surveying and plotting one hundred and one lots for the new village of Washington (Piqua). Brandon laid out a public square on land donated by John Manning. Due to the close proximity of the Great Miami River, the square was not located in the customary center of the village but rather near its southern edge. The area was given by Manning with the stipulation that the Miami County government buildings would be erected there. The county commission decided instead to establish a new community as the county seat. Troy was laid out in the center of the county in December of 1807 with the county courts setting into the Overfield Tavern in 1808. This was the beginning of the Piqua-Troy Rivalry. Piqua's square did not receive its desired government buildings so the area became the village commmons for the next twenty-five or so years. In 1834, the Manning heirs attempted to reclaim the land, stating that the purpose of the square had never
Before the era of super markets and mega-stores, the open air market was the primary source for meat and fresh produce. The square served as this type of market with local farmers bringing in everything from eggs and the chickens that laid them to potatoes, apples and corn whiskey used to help ease the long nights in drafty log cabins. Horses, mules and the occasional bull were also traded among the villagers, dealers and farmers. A frame market house was constructed on the east side of the square in 1818 to help facilitate the increasing crowds for both the morning market times and the all day Saturday market. It was replaced in 1850 with a new and larger brick structure. With the growth of neighborhood grocery stores and meat markets, the market house was torn down in 1882. The open air market returned on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM April through October. Booth space fees were set at ten cents per day for farmers and fifty cents for all other individuals. The market moved from the square to a newly constructed market house at 101 North Downing in 1928.
While the square was never used by the county, it did become the center of Piqua's city government. Piqua ended the tradition of holding council meetings in the office or store of the mayor
A few of the other major structures around the square include Conover's Opera House (1872), Plaza Hotel (1891), two Piqua National Bank Buildings (1898)(1929), St. James Episcopal Church (1900) and the Post Office (1914). The area has been the site for speeches by William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft,
Erected 2008 by Flesh Public Library and French Oil Mill Machinery Company.
Location. 40° 8.803′ N, 84° 14.393′ W. Marker is in Piqua, Ohio, in Miami County. Marker can be reached from Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is along former east-west railroad grade, bounded by Main Street (east), Wayne Street (west), Water Street (north), and Wood Street (south). Marker is in this post office area: Piqua OH 45356, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); The 1913 Flood (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lock Nine (about 500 feet away); Lock Nine Riverfront Park (about 500 feet away); Shawnee Bridge (about 500 feet away); The Mills Brothers (about 700 feet away); Piqua Veterans Memorial (about 700 feet away); William Moore McCullough / Civil Rights Movement in Piqua (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Piqua.
Categories. • Agriculture • Charity & Public Work • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Government • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons • Politics • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 26, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 841 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 26, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.