Two watermarks -- noted by two plaques -- denote to significant weather events, of which the Market House survived: a 1938 hurricane and a large storm in 1815.
Providence's Market House & Square, 1844.
Market House, Providence, April 30, 2009
Civil War Era picture (1860s) of Market House.
Backstory and Context
The building and associated town square became the center of the community during its formative years and continues to serve as both a market and meeting space. The building's lower level was designed to serve fishmongers, butchers, and other food vendors while the upper floors functioned as a meeting hall. The stalls used in the lower levels for the market functions were sold at auction in 1776.
Market House demonstrates the connection between local and national histories and its prominent events serve as a timeline of major themes in American history. From hosting protests by colonial Patriots during the Revolutionary War, to the arrest of a feminist speaking out for women's rights, to important meetings by local organizations, the building has been at the center of the community's history in ways that reflect the larger history of the nation.
Renshaw, Clifford M. "Nomination Form: Market House." National Register of Historic Places. June 21, 1971. http://www.preservation.ri.gov/pdfs_zips_downloads/national_pdfs/providence/prov_market-square_marke...
Market House water mark plaques: By Kenneth C. Zirkel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39486822
1844 Picture: By Welcome Arnold Greene - Engraving from "The Providence Plantations for 250 Years" (1886), p. 87, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39491730
April 30, 2009 picture: Photos by Jef Nickerson, located at http://www.gcpvd.org/2009/04/30/flickr-finds-market-house/
Civil War Era picture: From Old Stone Bank History of Rhode Island Vol. 4 (1944), found within a blog (pic collection) at https://quahogannex.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/images-of-market-house-and-market-square-providence-ri/