(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
HITCHING POSTS SHOULD GO.
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,
[Continued on page 2.]
HITCHING POSTS SHOULD GO.
[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.
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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.
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"Hitching Posts Should Go"
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Courier
| date Jul 26, 1913
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| height 8.25"
| width 2.25"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L02.081
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