Sidewalk Begun At So. Deerfield
FERA Project Recalls Start of Similar Work in 1869
SOUTH DEERFIELD- The sidewalk project which is one of the items on the FERA
program from the $2000 allotment given to Deerfield for November, has created
unusual interest. The sidewalk starts at the driveway of the home of Edward
Rice and it is hoped will extend to Sprout's Crossing.
About 65 years ago Mrs. Samuel Billings, mother of the late Charles Billings
and grandmother of Mrs. Edward Dodge and George Billings, went on a visit in
Canada. On her return Mrs. Billings aroused the interests of her neighbors to
better the town by the building of a sidewalk such as she had seen on her visit.
The neighbors met together including some of the following families: Sprouts,
Baldwins, Phillips, Jacksons, Billings and others. A "sidewalk association"
was formed with officers. Every August a "sidewalk dinner day" was
held. The men gathered with teams, shovels and energy and labored strenuously
first building and then later filling in with gravel to prepare for the winter.
This day was looked forward to by young and old. The women set the tables under
the trees and served a tempting meal after which reports from the association
This lasted for many years. Thus the embryo of the sidewalk had started in
1869 now to be carried on. It is noticeable that although the women were supposed
to be more home loving than the modern women, civic pride was uppermost in their
mind then as now.