Editor’s note: This is the latest in a series of articles on where to “shop local, shop small” in and around Waynesboro.
WAYNESBORO—Back in the 1800s, Waynesboro’s townsfolk would gather at Central Market House to buy meats, bread and foods brought to town by local farmers.
Later, its indoor tennis courts and roller rink were the main attractions, before Waynesboro Paints and Filler Co., Waynesboro Garage, Grove Brothers Ice Cream and Schier’s Furniture Market took their turns in the building.
Today, those shopping for a variety of items still head to the 1884 Market House for antiques, artisan goods–and some unique features.
The Market House now offers 20,000 square feet of vendor space featuring antiques and vintage items, furniture, collectibles, handmade goods and more, including holiday gift items.
“It’s really amazing what’s going on,” said Harry Morningstar Jr., market owner and developer. “It’s still developing, but we’re remaining pretty steady to our vision.”
Morningstar’s vision three years ago was to revitalize the downtown and bring people to Waynesboro.
“Rather than trying to be another flea market, we’re working with the Franklin County Visitors Bureau to create a destination people will travel to,” he explained. “The majority of people shopping in our stores are from out of town.”
But that’s not to say locals don’t pop in to shop, too.
“Maybe retail has gone online, but lots of people are working from home and they want to get out and socialize. They want to go out for dinner or to a movie and do some shopping,” Morningstar said. “People do want to get out and walk through.”
Speaking of walking through, there’s a unique feature of the Market House.
“We have the only skywalk in downtown Waynesboro,” Morningstar said. “People want to come down and see the glass floors.”
And he recently added another curiosity—a fully-functional, 100-year-old, 800-pound player piano. “It was a nickelodeon. Now it’s a quarter-odeon,” Morningstar quipped.
1884 Market House is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Beginning this week, the market features the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.
To celebrate the season, they are giving away items daily.
Each day, one item will be hidden inside the market. The first person to find it gets to keep it. Clues can be found on the website or on Facebook.
“We have a good thing going,” Morningstar said.