Historic Markers Across Florida

Sanford State Farmers' Market

Marker ID:  
Location: on South French Ave (U.S. 17/92) south of West 13th St, Sanford, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 47.99    W 081° 16.394
  28.79983333    -81.27323333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Side 1
On December 19, 1934, the first state owned Farmers' Market in the nation was dedicated on this site at the corner of 13th and French Avenue, Sanford, Florida. Located on 20 acres acquired by the City of Sanford and Seminole County from Alec V. and Katherine K. French, the market became a center of market activity for farmers throughout Central Florida. By 1941, this first successful model led the way to over 27 similar markets serving the agricultural industry in Florida.

The first buildings, constructed of wood, were built with loans from the Federal Emergency Relief Agency. The stalls, 108 in all, were approximately 11' x 22' and rented for 50 cents a day, $3.00 per week or $10.00 per month. An Atlantic Coastline Railroad spur provided rail service to a portion of the market

Side 2

In time, the market complex grew to as many as ten units, including its own filling station, restaurant, vegetable cooling room, citrus packing house, barber shop, telegraph agency, and a 35 ton weighing station (scales). There were 4 to 5 acres of paved parking to accommodate the large volume of trucks daily. Truckers buying gas at the filling station had the use of the free showers with soap and towels.

On April 4, 1957, the original vegetable market building, Unit 1, was destroyed by fire. It was replaced by a more fireproof concrete structure that is the center of today's market operation.

For almost 70 years this market was primarily a wholesale market, with only occasional attempts at providing retail sales. In 2003, a modern retail farmers' facility was added to provide a retail outlet for the farmers and retail service providing fresh produce to the public.

Seminole County Historical Commission