The New Marsh Wholesale Market Authority was created in 1955 and lasted until 1975 when the market was moved to Jessup, Maryland and placed under the Greater Baltimore Consolidated Wholesale Food Market Authority. Although this was a public agency and not a part of the municipal government, the records were accepted because this market authority superseded the old Marsh market - a city-operated market daing back to 1773. The records were offered, received, and arranged and described in 1978.
The origins of the New Marsh Wholesale Produce Market Authority go back to 1773 when the Centre Market was created as a public retail market, consisting of a group of sheds running from Baltimore to Pratt Streets along Market Place. Appropriations for market houses were approved in 1784 and 1859. Centre was primarily a retail market until about 1870 when it also began to be utilized as a wholesale market. The market was destroyed by the Baltimore fire of 1904 and rebuilt, by monies from the burnt-district fund, in 1905-1907; renamed the Marsh market in its new location at Pratt and Lombard Streets, it was the first permanent farmer's wholesale market in Baltimore. By the 1930s it had reached its peak catering to the strengthening truck farming in the Baltimore area.
In 1955 a report on Baltimore market conditions was published by the state, stressing their importance and urging that both the Marsh and Camden markets be relocated because of heavy traffic congestion and other related problems weakening their growth and viability. In this year the state created the New Marsh Wholesale Produce Market Authority as an "instrumentality" of the mayor and city council and as a public corporation with the powers "to acquire land for and to locate, build, alter, repair, maintain, own, and operate a wholesale produce market..." The reason for its creation was the need for the market's relocation and the high cost of such a move. A new market was constructed on Pulaski Highway and opened in 1960. Another study in 1966 urged the organization of a wholesale market in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and the New Marsh Wholesale Produce Market Authority was selected as the best candidate for this. In 1967 the Greater Baltimore Consolidated Wholesale Food Market Authority was created as an instrumentality of the state with the provision that it absorb the New Marsh authority "at such time as the [new] market has reached such a state of completion that the tenants of the New Marsh Wholesale Produce Market Authority may move their business operations to the market, all of the land, buildings, structures, facilities, equipment, and other property...." This was accomplished in late 1975.
Further information on the New Marsh Wholesale Produce Market Authorty may be gleaned from George P. Lachar, Organization and Operation of Marsh Market in Baltimore and Proposed Improvements (College Park: University of Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, 1938); Committee to Investigate Market Conditions in Baltimore, Report of Market Conditions in Baltimore (n.p., 1955); New Marsh Wholesale Produce Market Authority, The New Baltimore Wholesale Produce Market (n.p., 1954); Laws of Maryland, 1967, ch. 145; Laws of Maryland, 1972, ch. 475; and Carl N. Everstine, ed., Code of the Public Local Laws of Baltimore City (Baltimore: Maryland Department of Legislative Reference, 1969), pp. 53-65.
The records of the New Marsh Wholesale Produce Market Authority document the early development of the authority, the construction and design of the market on Pulaski Highway, the yearly financial operation of that market, and its absorption by the Greater Baltimore Consolidated Wholesale Food Market Authority. The file folder listing avialable at the Baltimore City Archives reflects original file headins and order as received; these records obviously represent several separate administrative files which had been mixed. Boxes 1-4 mainly concern the construction of the market on Pulaski Highway and the remainder its annual operation.
Older records of the Centre Market may be found in RG42.