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Notes on Boardwalks, Sidewalks, and Streets in the Core-Area

I. Boardwalks and Sidewalks

In the autumn of 1884 new board sidewalks were put down on south Downey Street, as required by a city ordinance. On October 23 the editor of the Local Record informed his subscribers that the new sidewalks on south Downey are almost complete, and if we "could prevail on some of the property owners along the line to build new fences it would correspond better." [1] Before the end of the year, the editor reported that the Downey Street walks had been straightened and "new plank put down nearly the entire length." About one mile of the subject street was "now supplied with sidewalk and more than one-half the distance on both sides." Most of the planking as specified by town ordinances, was two-inch, laid "crosswise." [2]

According to the ordinance, the walk on the east side of Downey, between Main Street and the Wapsinonoc, was to be four feet wide. South of the creek it was to have a width of three feet. The cross pieces were to be two-inch plank, laid on three stringers. The stringers to be 2 x 4s, while the cross pieces were to be securely spiked to the stringers. [3]

In the autumn of 1891, Dr. Joseph Baker built a new board sidewalk on the west side of Downey Street, extending from Wetherell to Penn street. [4]

The Street Commissioner in the summer of 1901 saw that the boardwalks on south Downey were rehabilitated. Reporting this development, the editor of the West Branch Times observed, "The long string of new sidewalks put on line and grade gives that part of town a neat and substantial appearance." [5]

In the autumn of 1908, the boardwalks on south Downey Street were replaced with cement sidewalks. These walks, the editor of the West Branch Times informed his readers, "will add much to the appearance and convenience of this street." [6]

II. Streets

Penn Street in the summer of 1912 was widened. [7]

The Town Council ordered on May 8, 1924, that certain city streets be oiled, and "the entire cost thereof, except the cost of oiling the intersections," be assessed against the property owners "abutting upon such streets in proportion to the benefit conferred thereby." Among the streets to be oiled were: (a) Downey Street from the north and south corporation lines; (b) Poplar Street between Main and Penn streets; and (c) Penn Street between Downey and Poplar streets. [8]

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Last Updated: 28-Jul-2006