icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Online Collection


Greenfield has outgrown the small town age and has altogether too much traffic on the business portion of its Main street to retain the hitching post. This does not mean that the town wishes in any way to unneccessarily cause the farmers and others inconvenience in caring for their teams when in town on business. The plain facts are that Main street from Federal to Miles is not a fit place for the hitching of teams. With the electric car track in the middle of the street, the travelled way on either side is none too wide with no obstructions. Teams hitched in the street are liable to damage at the owner's risk, and many crushed wheels, broken shafts and the like have already resulted from the practice of hitching horses on the crowded Main street.

That there has not been serious accidents attended with personal injury or even loss of life has simply been the best of good fortune. If a team is to be kept about the streets for any time the best way is to put it in a stable. The cost is very small where a horse simply stands without feeding and it is in the long run money in the owner's pocket to thus care for his animals. However, there should be provided near the center of the business section places where a reasonable number of teams could be hitched to accommodate those who for any reason do not wish to stable them, even though that be the best way of caring for them. It is unfortunate that the side streets are so narrow that teams cannot be accommodated there.

Main street below Miles and above Federal is not so congested but that it could be used for such a purpose for some time. It has been suggested that a portion of the Main street school yard, next Main street, could be fenced off and a hedge set out and thus provide a place where a number of teams could be disposed of in a central point and still out of the way. With proper safeguards to protect the passing school children there would be no danger, whereas the practice of hitching in the congested street is fraught with constant danger. The selectmen have done right in removing the posts from the business center of Main street, but the

[Continued on page 2.]


[Continued from page 2.]

interests of the farmers and others must be looked after. In connection with the passing of the hitching post the law of the road in regard to meeting, passing and stopping on the proper side of the road should be enforced, and automobiles should be allowed to stand but a limited time in the streets. Greenfield has reached the proportions where strict traffic rules must be adopted and enforced. A few of the merchants desire to have the hitching posts retained but in no case, it is said, has a post been replaced or has there been a request to have one replaced when they had been broken off in the past. The merchants want the farmers accommodated, but many of them do not favor hitching teams on Main street between Federal and Miles streets.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

label levels:

By 1913, Greenfield, Massachusetts, had been transitioning from being a rural market center to a manufacturing town for nearly a generation. By 1913, what had been a village had become a town. Symbolic changes included the construction, in 1911, of the imposing stone-faced Savings Bank, which replaced the wooden frame building Corner Store Block. Trolley tracks (referred to here as "electric car tracks") ran down the center of Main Street, causing a clear threat to the teams of horses tied in the midst of town. But probably the single largest factor, unstated in this article, came from the growth of the automobile. By 1913, cars had become roughly equal to horses for transportation. In only five to seven years they would overthrow the horse to become the transportation of choice.


top of page

"Hitching Posts Should Go"

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   Jul 26, 1913
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   2.25"
height   8.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L02.081

Look Closer icon My Collection icon Document Image icon Detailed info icon

ecard icon Send an e-Postcard of this object

See Also...

"A Dangerous Practice"

Main Street

Nichols family's first automobile

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback