Old Market House Market Square toward East end of Westminster St.
Old Market House Market Square toward East end of Westminster St. The venerable Old Market House was built in 1773. Second oldest public building in Providence. Other cities had their Common or their Green. Other cities had their Battery or Parade. Providence had its Bridge one of the widest in the world. East of this the town market house was built. It stands today as a sort of sentry for the East and West sides. Built to house the public market and town offices and tenants. Bronze tablet on west wall tells of the addition of a third story in 1797 when a Masonic temple was needed in Providence. It became a real Masonic shrine. On August 23 in 1802 Thomas Smith Webb organized the first Knights Templar in America. This building was used as a barracks when the French were encamped in Providence during the Revolution. A bronze tablet recalls a nearby Tea Party. A third tablet marks the height reached by the water during the Great Gale of September 23 in 1815. History records that the first cotton thread spun by machinery in RI was spun in the chambers of the market house in Providence. For 45 years after Providence became a city the building served as City Hall from 1833 to 1878. It is now used by the Providence Chamber of Commerce. Providence, RI