Growing the Tradition
In the late 1800s, the Kanawha and Michigan Railroad built a rail yard on Smith Street. For several decades, it bustled with commerce important to the growth of Charleston, West Virginia.
In the late 1900s—the rail yard having fallen into disrepair—a new vision for Smith Street was born. A vision that included a renewal of the once-vital commerce, and something else—the creation of an anchoring place for the people of Charleston; a tourist attraction, a premier shopping destination and a social hub for the community – this is where Capitol Market traditions began in 1997.
Now, more than 100 years after the rail yard's construction, Capitol Market stands. The old transfer dock is now home to a year-round outdoor market and an eclectic collection of indoor shops featuring fresh fish, meat, produce, books, wines, chocolates, West Virginia Foods & Things and one of the city's most popular restaurants.
Capitol Market is an old friend now, helping to anchor our city and giving us a place to share our very best with each other and with our visiting neighbors. Capitol Market is our Main Street. It is our gathering place, our daily meeting space where we greet our friends, build each other up and take our out-of-town guests when we want to show off Charleston!
Our traditions at the market are as varied as our community--Saturday morning coffee, daily business lunches, after-work shopping, weekend excursions with the kids, and more. Christmas tree shopping, picking pumpkins, spring garden planning and stocking up on fresh summer produce are all part of the Capitol Market experience.
The Market has its own traditions as well. Over the years, Capitol Market has helped raise thousands of dollars for dozens of charity and civic organizations. By improving upon Capitol Market each year, we will remain a central part of the traditions we hold dear.
Our Bragging Rights
- More than a half million visitors annually.
- Free customer parking in three parking lots.
- Over $10 million in annual sales!
- 16,000 square feet of indoor specialty retail space.
- 35,000 square feet of a farmers’ market pavilion with electricity, phone lines and water.
- The outdoor farmer's market is open seasonally seven days week.
- The indoor specialty shops are open year round and seven days a week.
- Providing recycling opportunities for merchants and farmers.
- Raised over $60,000 for other non-profit organization such as The National MS Society and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
- Partners with The Clay Center, YWCA, WV Department of Environmental Protection, WVU, Kanawha Extension Agency, WV Senior Voucher Program, Festivall Charleston, Roark Sullivan Lifeway Center, Manna Meal and will continue to partner with other organizations for various opportunities for giving.
- A 501c3 not-for-profit organization privately owned, operated and governed by a volunteer board of directors.
- Cohesively works with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
- Since 2004 fundraising efforts exceed $200,000.00.
- Over $60,000 in gift certificates sold annually.
- Complimentary WIFI is availabile.
- 40 WV growers featured seasonally, providing produce, flowers and plants, pumpkins, and Christmas trees.
- Social hub and premier destination in downtown Charleston for travelers and locals alike.