Piqua in Miami County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Sign of the Past
Piqua's public square, like in many mid-western communities, functions as the historical and cultural center of the city. Long after government buildings have moved to newer and larger sites, the public square maintains its status as the focal point of the community. The history of Piqua's public square mirrors the growth and change of the community itself.
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
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.
A few of the other major structures around the square include Conover's Opera House (1872), Plaza Hotel (1891), two Piqua National Bank Buildings
Erected 2008 by Flesh Public Library and French Oil Mill Machinery Company.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Charity & Public Work • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #25 William McKinley, the Former U.S. Presidents: #26 Theodore Roosevelt, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #27 William Howard Taft series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1958.
Location. 40° 8.803′ N, 84° 14.393′ W. Marker is in Piqua, Ohio, in Miami County. Marker can be reached from Main Street. Marker is along former east-west railroad grade, bounded by Main Street (east), Wayne Street (west), Water Street (north), and Wood Street (south). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Piqua OH 45356, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Main Street (within shouting distance 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 899 times since then and 10 times this year. 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.