Through The Years
By Peter A. Brannon
The Montgomery Advertiser
October 30, 1938
ONE good thing which has come out of the modernization of Montgomery is the discovery (though it was not entirely lost) of the old marker at the corner of Market and Court Streets. A few days ago I got a message from the mother of one of the painters at the Winter Building corner, suggesting that I go by and look at the old sign on the corner which marked the original street of the town. When I went there, Mr. Bear’s carpenter pointed it out for me and I found a small engraved stone tablet on the north side with the word “Market” and on the west side, the word “Court”, the marker having fixed, in earlier days, the names of the two streets which intersected there.
The earliest historical reference which I can find to Market Street is Mr. Matt Blue’s statement that “early in 1818 Mr. James Vickers provided a house of public entertainment by the erection of a large double log cabin on lot 31 of the north side of Market Street next to the intersection of Decatur.” There seems to be a generally accepted feeling in Montgomery that the street which we know now as Dexter Avenue was called Market Street from the beginning of time.
Certainly all the “markets”, original stores, in the new town were erected on this Street and they were from about where our Hull Street is, to Goat Hill. I asked an abstractor a few days ago whether the original courthouse was built on Market Street and he was horrified at my ignorance and said that of course it was not, it was built on the “public square.” My colossal ignorance was the fact that I was curious to know who the “square” belonged to. He quickly informed me that it did not belong to anybody, but that it belonged to everybody. With this new information I may someday wonder why we, the common people, have to submit to what the city and the county sometime wish to do with us and the things we claim as ours, when they do not belong to the city, but belong to “us” the public.