“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Old Market Square

Old Market Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, November 9, 2012
1. Old Market Square Marker
Inscription.  Platted 1836 by surveyors Gail Borden, Jr., and Moses Lapham as "Congress Square." It was intention of city fathers Augustus C. and John K. Allen to have permanent Capitol of Republic of Texas located here. However, this was never realized and almost immediately it became center of commerce for the flourishing city.

Residents, farmers, peddlers and Indians all crowded here daily with wagon loads of goods to trade. Soon merchants were vying for permanent sites for stores. One early observer noted "reason for its popularity was that the municipal government was conducted in Kesler's Arcade, a saloon only a half block away."

In 1840 Houston's first municipal market house was built here. Before it was completed, city officials voted to enlarge it and include a city hall also. For 30 years building served dual role — the market overflowing till it reached the streets. Many items, including household and farm goods, were sold here.

It was here that Houston Independent Light Guard mobilized after Texas decided to invade Mexico, 1842.

Several municipal buildings occupied the site following original market-city
Old Market Square image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, November 9, 2012
2. Old Market Square
Marker can be seen behind the fire hydrant. It is very near the south west corner of Congress and Travis
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hall. However, the seat of city government was eventually moved to a new location and this became a park.
Erected 1969 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 10724.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureGovernment & PoliticsIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1836.
Location. 29° 45.767′ N, 95° 21.712′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Congress Street and Travis Street, on the right when traveling east on Congress Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Houston TX 77002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Kennedy Bakery (within shouting distance of this marker); Houston Cotton Exchange and Board of Trade (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sweeney, Coombs & Fredericks Building (about 400 feet away); Magnolia Brewery Building (about 500 feet away); First White House of the Republic of Texas (about 600 feet away); State National Bank Building (about 600 feet away); Hogg Building (about 700 feet away); Pillot Building (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
Old Market Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, November 9, 2012
3. Old Market Square Marker
Part of the column where the marker hangs. If you click on the picture to enlarge and study the words you can read the inscription.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 14, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 483 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on April 14, 2021, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.   2, 3. submitted on November 14, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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May. 10, 2021