This Day in History: May 25th, 1919

This Day in History: May 25th, 1919

Milltown’s Fine Opportunity to Become More Attractive

In the second installment of hist Interesting article Mr. H. M. Olmsted continues his constructive suggestions for making Milltown an attractive place to live. In the first part The wrote about the many natural advantages already there for making a bigger development possible, in this The goes more into details for creating new features, besides developing the old ones, as follows:

A Cool Atmosphere.

If the reader has visited Salt Lake City, Utah, he will remember having- noted with pleasure the cool, frag- rant, bracing air of that city.

Also he will recall the rivulets of pure fast flowing water coursing down the regularly constructed concrete gutters at each curbing of the main streets. Long ago, that city decided to in- stall an improvement which is peculiar to Western towns, namely to take advantage of the natural pitch and tall of the city streets and the excess supply of water and to use these in the above manner to cool the atmosphere. You will find on every block of the main streets in that city one or two white enamel bubbling fountains alongside the curb where one’s thirst may be quenched with ice cold mountain water and you will note that this constantly flowing water wastes into the gutters, which are in reality concrete troughs two feet wide by two inches deep. In these gutters one can see the clean mountain water traversing block after block until it finds it way into storm water sewers, which lead out onto the farm lands lying far down in the valley and irrigating them to a point of rich vitality.

Throw a chip in the gutter at the upper end of a 600 foot long block and walk rapidly to the lower end of the block and you will see your, chin coming sailing by like an ocean freighter. Rubber tires, horses hoofs and wagon tires need cooling. This water does it perfectly. Then too. it cools the atmosphere, because of the evaporation caused by the sun. It is a natural thing there, for citizens to keep their streets clean. Dust may be swept into and away by the stream. Stubs of cigars and matches are never left on sidewalks in Salt Lake City because it is natural to desist them in the water where there will be swept out of sight in a moment. Well, this plan is possible in Milltown, along Main street and a number of other sloping roadways and it would lend healthfulness, cleanliness and coolness to the city in the hat weather of the summertime, Is this too progressive for you? I think it is not, and that it would soon pay big dividends in Milltown as well as elsewhere. It would be a paying advertisement for Milltown to be the first in this matter. Advertising is a tremendous factor in success today and always will be.

Importance of Signs and Lighting.

I have spoken previously of a lighting system which would prove a profitable investment in any city. As to street name signs I believe Milltown is far better off in that direction than is New Brunswick. The importance of handsome street name sign pests of metal-two to each corner-big letters easily read. cannot be underestimated in any progressive town. I once knew of a merchant who contemplated investing a large sum of money in building a branch factory in a certain city, who, when he got lost in that strange city, because there were no proper street name signs, promptly drove out of the place and infested his capital in a town where every single street was sign posted in a proper manner. In the matter of store signs hanging far out over streets-this is a thing which all progressive towns refuse to allow. It is a dangerous and unsightly method and should not be permitted by authorities.

A Bounteous Nursery of Trees and Shrubs.

In the woodlands south of the lake I saw thousands of trees, saplings, and bushes which might be culled. out here and there and with little expense transplanted along streets where trees are needed-and there are but few such places-also both saplings and bushes could be trans- planted advantageously in yard where needed. This would aid in the work of clearing out paths and roads in a parking plan a go a long ways in making for greater charm and beauty in the whole town. Perhaps an Arbor Day or Days might be arranged among the good citizens. and by united and co-operative work, each aid the other fellow to further adorn his own plot and garden, to the greater benefit and prosperity of the entire village. In those woods I saw any hundreds of varieties of plant life. With about twenty, in borers, a skilled gardener and competent direction, much transplanting. could be done profitably and at acost mere nominal to the actual value produced by the work.

On many of the U. S. Housing projects of 100, 200 and 300 houses, there was an allotment of nursery stock to each project of as many as 15,000 plants, trees, shrubs, vines, etc.-over 100 plants per house and the plots of ground rarely exceeded 25 by 100 feet per house. This illustrates the importance which the U. S. Government lent to plant life around its houses. Properly set out plants add charm, beauty and enhance property values far in excess of the cost of the plants themselves. As to paths around the park and along all brooks these might be constructed inexpensively by merely marking out the lines of the paths and filling in the pathways with a mixture of sand and gravel to be had in abundance from the gravel, pits in the hills of the woodlands. This same gravel would supply two of the ingredients needed for concrete bridges and other work. should estimate that with the proper utilization of Milltown’s nursery stock, water supply, sand, gravel and electric power plant in the ways I have named, she could add to her loral property values over 50 per cent. I mean that by utilizing these natural resources, each citizen could command 50 per cent higher price for his property holdings were he compelled to sell them. This is a strong statement but I believe, from experience, that it would prove correct, were the work done. Of course it would have to be a co-operative task and one upon which all citizens would have to first agree but this f could be done.

As one may realize, his thought as to a park system, is given without mature study and I have mentioned it only in a hopeful fashion as a big possibility. The plan would involve a greater amount of thought and study that such as it is I have given it freely in this article as only one of the possibilities of Milltown.

Beautifying Factories.

A great deal of thought and work. has of late years been expended on beautifying factories. Few realize how much our offices and places of work consume of our working and leisure time. Why should not these, places be harmonious and as attractive as one’s home? There is but one answer-they should be so.

The National Cash Register Co. of Dayton, Ohio; the Doubleday, Page Co., of Garden City, IL. and hundreds of other great factories have landscaped their buildings and grounds. to such a large extent that they are places of wonderful beauty and attractiveness and this simple expedient has become an asset of tremendous monetary value to such factories. The employees health and working spirit has been quickened. They are rested and refreshed at work and when leaving work and their output has been doubled and trebled merely by the wholesomeness, and beauty by which their shops are surrounded. Curved charts have been made on such work and these charts show that an investment in trees and bushes pay thousands of per cent yield on the capital invest- ed.

Thought of a Wayside Restaurant.

An ideal spot for the location of a family and motorists’ co-operative restaurant is seen from the bridge. I judge that the location would be on Washington avenue, near the railroad tracks. That hillside looks inviting for just such a purpose, and it would take care of the overflow of diners which will surely follow any expansion in Milltown’s present population.

The restaurants in Milltown are fine and hospitable but they will be taxed in the days to come. think you will smile over this idea. of a co-operative vile covered restaurant but look at it from another angle and perhaps we can agree on the matter. Have any of you folks ever stopped to consider that the girls get tired cooking and serving at home every day and that they want a change once in a while from home cooked meals? Then too, women now play a big part in the civic life of every city. Even now they do so in Milltown, Are not your wives, mothers, sweethearts and sisters entitled to this recreation? I am sure you will say they are, so that ends the argument socially. On the other hand, picture the delight of every motorist passing over that bridge and spying pretty way-side restaurant perched up on that hill and then his immediately going there for his chicken dinner. This will bring much money into the town. Every motorist who stops or is induced to stop by reason of a restaurant, leaves about $10 of his money in the town that catches him. A restaurant, by all means, I know you will now say.

A Progressive Community.

A visit to Milltown will prove that it is a progressive town. Its 5.000 citizens. are people with heart, brain and sentiment and this is proven by their homes and the town itself. I should not be surprised to learn that its slogan For the next two years will be Ten Thousand Population.” This will raise it to the classification of a sure enough city.

in point of American loyalty there is probably not a finer town in the entire state. To know this one has but to see the large wooden sign board adorning Main street. near the bridge, with its dozens of names of brave and loyal soldiers who gave up their all to advance the cause of humanity and democracy in the great war which has but ended. Again I would not be surprised to learn that the citizens of Milltown had erected a permanent concrete of granite tablet with copper name plates for each hero on that list, in place of the wooden sign board now in place, These men deserve the tribute and it is worthy of the town as well.

On many sides there was report of the splendid work of the Michelin Tire Company doing their share. in promoting the best interests of the city. I was told that Michelin never intruded into the politics of the town but steadfastly aided and did his part like a man when the opportunity presented. Many of the citizens spoke in favor of paying the Michelin people a tribute so the thought naturally occurred to me what finer tribute could be rendered anyone so helpful, than to

change the name of the town. so that it would bear the name of one of its best citizens. The name “Milltown,” is now slightly misleading, because in no sense is that town a mill town. It is not a place of or for any rough element. but a little city of refinement, charm and real homes. I believe if a new name were voted upon, every single citizen would vote “yes” to the change I have named, as a tribute to the bigness and civic pride of that citizen.

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