A fork in the road of Austin’s streetsPublished 1:55pm Saturday, April 21, 2012
Some things don’t change. This is a story of conflict in local government from 1906. From the Austin Daily Herald Centennial Issue, published on April 17, 1956:
“Austin started to pull itself out of the mud in 1906. That was the year Main Street was paved, along with several intersection (sic) streets, but it didn’t come easy.
For weeks, a battle raged over the question of using creosote paving blocks or Austin brick. Meetings were held on the subject. News stories were numerous, opinion bristled in the editorials or pot pourri, and a spurt of peoples pulpit letters helped to keep the issue alive.
The project got off to an early start. The Progressive League held a meeting Jan. 3, but because of heavy snow it was poorly attended. But even then the argument over brick or blocks was started. W. M. Rich gave a talk on the virtues of blocks.
When the contract was let March 20, brick was specified for Main street at a cost of $15,088.80. Part of Maple street got brick paving, while blocks were used on Bridge, Mill and Water. Much of this has been torn up in recent years.
Meanwhile, the air was “blue and sulpherous,” as the Herald put it one day, and the dispute even resulted in changing engineers midstream.
The heavy rain July 28 washed out many paving blocks and adverse comment was revived. The Herald came to the defense of the contractors, saying there was no evidence of poor construction.”
This Week at the HHH
Tuesday: Tour from LaCrosse, Wis., at 10 a.m.
Friday: Scrapbooking Retreat at 6 p.m. To register, contact Amanda Fett at 433-4243.
Saturday: Scrapbooking Retreat at 8 a.m. To register, contact Amanda Fett at 433-4243.
Coming soon to the HHH
•A Chocolate Affair Spring Luncheon: Noon on Monday, May 7. Doors open at 11 a.m. for shopping. Proceeds benefit the HHH Peace Garden. Contact the HHH office at 433-4243 for information.
•Social Concerns: Strategies to Connect with your Grandchildren – Toddler to Teen on Tuesday, May 15 at 10 a.m. To attend, call the HHH at 433-4243.