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"Sidewalk Begun at So. Deerfield" article from Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Some work projects taken over by the New Deal began before the Roosevelt Administration came into office and even before the Great Depression. In this case, a sidewalk construction project in Deerfield has its roots in the nineteenth century. The article describes how a group of local volunteers created and maintained the sidewalk as a social event. The August "Sidewalk Dinner Day" was not at all unusual in its time, By the 1930s, however, public employment financed by taxes was replacing such "volunteerism". The FERA in the headline refers to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The FERA, which gave federal grants to states, was the main unemployment relief program of the early New Deal. It was replaced in 1935 by the more famous WPA.


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