By Bethany Bray STAFF WRITER
The Salem News
---- — SALEM — When Old Town Hall was built 195 years ago, the first floor was designed as a public market space.
Next week, a public market will occupy Old Town Hall once again.
The Salem Farmers’ Market will move indoors for an eight-week winter market starting Thursday, Nov. 1. Organizers opted to have the winter market at Old Town Hall this year because it’s a central location and charming venue, said Jennifer Bell, manager of Salem Main Streets.
“We loved the idea of moving the market into Old Town Hall, which was built to be a market building,” Bell said. “Our goal is to have a great market, and a centerpiece that contributes to the vitality downtown. ... We want to encourage people to come back and reclaim the downtown.”
The winter market will run Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. through Dec. 20. The market will be held on Tuesday the week of Thanksgiving.
Twenty vendors will offer a wide variety of goods, from produce — plenty of squash, pumpkins and things to bake into pies, Bell said — to holiday greenery, locally made soup, salsa, bread, butter, maple syrup and soaps.
The farmers market will have its last outdoor market for the season in Derby Square tomorrow.
The 2012 season has gone well, Bell said: Since June, they’ve had 60,000 people come to the market, an average of 3,400 shoppers each week.
Last year’s winter market was held inside the small huts on Artists’ Row, between Front and New Derby streets.
Built in 1816 and 1817, Old Town Hall is the earliest surviving municipal structure in Salem. The second floor of the Federal-style building housed city offices until 1837.
While the city owns the building, Gordon College leases Old Town Hall and runs it as a museum, arts and events venue.
The farmers market is leasing space at Old Town Hall from Gordon College, Bell said.
Bethany Bray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.
SALEM WINTER MARKET
Runs for eight weeks, Nov. 1 to Dec. 20
Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m.
Old Town Hall, adjacent to Derby Square
The market will be on Tuesday, Nov. 20, for the week of Thanksgiving
EBT cards accepted
Full details at www.salemfarmersmarket.org