Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Only Slightly Off Topic...

The "eat local" "shop local" movement is very big these days, but it's not new in our rural economy. 

A 1930 pamphlet, put out by the Kent County Chamber of Commerce, featured the benefits of the newly constructed 9-foot concrete roads, applauding their role in getting the rural residents into the towns, and improving the economy for the farmer and his market.

The letter on the inside cover, from Alana Jones Williams - whom I presume is the Maryland Farm Bureau Chairman of the Home and Community Committee, Mrs. Harry T. Williams of Red Acres Farm in Worton - writes to Mrs. Nell Wescott, the Executive Secretary of the  Chamber of Commerce, that the new nine foot roads have made life much better for the dairyman and his children.  She writes "Before the present roads were built we were "in the sticks" about three months each year, although we live but seven miles from the county-seat."

 The before and after photos on page ten demonstrate the hardship the "modern" automobile must have had in getting around the back roads of the county. 

The importance of the roads to the local merchant is at the cost of mail-order business: until the roads were such that the shopper could drive into town to buy their goods, most did their shopping via the mail.  With these convenient roads crisscrossing the county, they could now support the local stores! 

Funny how what goes around comes around, isn't it?  And this pamphlet? Reprinted by the Portland Cement Association of Chicago...

BTW - you can still traverse a nine-foot concrete road, just outside of Still Pond.

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