ALOT can happen in 150 years. In the past century and a half, wars have been fought, battles lost, victories celebrated; the effects of Depression, famine, drought, and natural disasters have been felt across the globe; man walked on the moon; women were granted the right to vote; and a little produce market rose from the dust and changed South Australia’s cultural and culinary landscape forever.
Adelaide Central Market (known as City Market) started small when it opened for business at a site between Gouger and Grote streets in 1869.
Back then, the site was nothing but a vacant allotment surrounded by a fence and a couple of gas lights. Farmers from across Adelaide rode into town with horse and dray (a truck or cart without sides) to sell produce, and customers attended as much for entertainment as they did to shop.
Fast forward to 2019. This year Adelaide Central Market celebrates its 150th anniversary with the release of new book Adelaide Central Market: Stories, People & Recipes and a historical exhibition at the State Library of South Australia.
Both capture a century-and-a-half worth of memories and history. From the traders who fill our belly; the people who helped build the structure we know and love today; and the customers who make it tick.
These are some of their fascinating stories.