The original Doylestown Farmers’ Market. The land was originally part of Judge Henry Chapman’s farm, at the end of Chapman Lane off N. Main Street. In 1941 it became Harry and Elma Smith’s Sandy Ridge Farm. Smith partnered with Arlington Myers to turn the spacious barns into a farmer’s market in 1950.
The market operated every Friday and Saturday, featuring more than 20 stores under one roof including Cross Brothers Meat; Shoe Mart and Thrift Shoe Corner; Myers Poultry & Egg Center; Hoffman’s Buy-the-Sea; Ramar Shop yard goods; Lapin & Simon fruit and produce; and John Marx & Sons smoked hams.
In May 1957 Smith and Myers put the site up for sale, and the Intelligencer reported “bidding was spirited at the public auction sale of the Doylestown Farmers’ Market.” The 30,000-square-foot building and 6 acres of land were bought by Theodore and David Molish. The Molish brothers changed the market’s name to Doylestown Country Fair, and updated the property, renovating the facilities and parking lot.
Two years later, in December of 1959, a fire destroyed most of the market. The fair closed and the property stood vacant for five years until it sold to Cartex Corporation. (The old market and surrounding lands had been part of Doylestown Township but in 1958 had been annexed by Doylestown Borough.)
Cartex operated a manufacturing facility on the site until 1987 when the company closed its Doylestown plant and relocated. The land was cleared and seeded, but beneath was extensive pollution. The area was declared a Superfund Site and was remediated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2002 the land changed hands again; and today on the site of the old Farmers’ Market is the Lantern Hill community of homes, shops, and offices.