The Market House is Columbia’s gathering place for friends, old and new. For generations, residents cherished their go-to Saturday morning Market ritual.
This tradition is returning! The Columbia Market House is reopening in 2021 with a renewed vision for serving the local community. Joining forces in a public-private partnership, CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health and the Borough of Columbia have plans to restore the Market House to its thriving heritage.
The Columbia Market House was constructed in 1869 on the site of an earlier open air market. The design of the Columbia Market House is attributed to Isaac Hobbs and Samuel Sloan, with Michael Liphart as the builder. The large open interior space is uniquely spanned with arched Howe trusses. These cross-braced wood trusses, reinforced with iron tension rods, are uncommon in buildings, but were a popular design feature of railroad bridges in the 1860s. The Columbia Borough funded construction of the Market House, an anomaly at a time when many of the market buildings in the state were privately funded. The Borough continues their support, investing in reimagining the market for 21st century commerce.
After years as a successful farmers market, the Market closed in 2017 due to slowing business. The Market will be reopened in 2021 through a private/public partnership between CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health and the Borough of Columbia. With a commitment to health and the common good, Market will serve as an incubator for innovation and a catalyst for community development.
In the late nineteenth century, the Borough converted the basement of the Columbia Market House to accommodate seven municipal jail cells. Complete with a dirt floor, the cells still exist in their original form. Many spirited paranormal tales have arisen from these confines. A popular stop on the former Columbia lantern ghost tour, dungeon tours will be offered upon reopening!
The Columbia Market House is managed and operated by the Healthy Communities department at CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health. The Columbia Market House embodies CHI’s commitment to a healthy Columbia. Every resident of Columbia Borough and the surrounding community will have a thriving center for fresh foods, recreation, and fellowship in the downtown district.
Other Things To Do in Columbia
Market visitors can enjoy all there is in and around the borough of Columbia. Why not make a day of it? Here are some other places to visit and enjoy as you’re planning your trip to Columbia:
The Columbia Crossing River Trails Center is managed by Susquehanna National Heritage area for the Borough of Columbia as a gateway visitor education center and trailhead for land and water trails in the region. Located in Columbia River Park the center’s Riverview Deck has a beautiful view of the historic Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna. Inside, visitors will find maps, guides, and brochures related to river recreation, trails and nearby historic sites and family attractions, along with exhibits and rest rooms. Columbia Crossing’s educational offerings focus on the river’s historic, scenic, and recreational stories and experiences for residents and visitors, especially bringing river heritage to life for young people. Rotating exhibits featuring local and river history, art and the environment highlight the richness of the local culture through the centuries.
North West River Trail
Bike or hike the 14-mile Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, which begins at the Columbia Crossing trailhead. Columbia River Park provides the opportunity to launch your boat or paddlecraft and explore the river. The park includes powerboat and paddlecraft launches, picnic areas, historical markers, and land and water trail access. An outfitter is on-site in the park seasonally, offering canoe, kayak, and bike rentals, including shuttle service.
Turkey Hill Experience
The Turkey Hill Experience features interactive exhibits allowing you to learn about dairy culture, the story of Turkey Hill Dairy, and how the company’s ice cream and iced tea flavors are selected and created. You will truly experience what it’s like to be a Turkey Hill Dairy ice cream maker for a day, including the opportunity to create your own virtual ice cream flavor. In addition, you can sit in our vintage milk truck, milk our mechanical cows, star in your very own Turkey Hill commercial, and enjoy plenty of free samples of iced tea and ice cream! Visit the Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia, PA – right here in Lancaster County.
Chickies Rock Park
Located between Columbia and Marietta, Chickies Rock County Park is the county’s second largest regional park. The most notable feature in the park is Chickies Rock, a massive outcropping of quartzite rock towering 100 feet above the river. The vista offers impressive views of York county, the borough of Marietta, and farmlands of northwestern Lancaster County. Chickies Rock County Park is also a collection of historical treasures. On the southwest edge of the park is an area known as Breezyview, a location that offers a panoramic view of Chickies Rock and the Susquehanna River. In the northwest section of the park, a day-use area at Furnace Road offers open play areas and a boat-launch point onto the Susquehanna River.
National Watch and Clock Museum
The National Watch and Clock Museum was officially opened to the public in 1977 with fewer than 1,000 items. Since that time, the collection has increased to over 12,000 items and the museum has undergone several expansion projects. The latest expansion opened in October 1999 and featured an entirely new and redesigned exhibit space, as well as a new two-story addition. Today, the museum is recognized as the largest and most comprehensive horological collection in North America