Mud!

15-year-old Helena wrote a hundred years ago today:

Tuesday, January 24, 1911. It’s getting so terrible muddy. Wish it would snow. I love to take sleigh rides. Don’t get many though. I feel rather sleepy just now. Will soon be asleep.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I tend to think that winter weather was historically very harsh in central Pennsylvania.  But the diary entries indicate that many days were above freezing during January 1911. In more recent years the temperature typically is below freezing at night but above freezing during the daylight hours. And, there are almost constant freezing and thawing cycles. I suppose the weather patterns were similar  in 1911.

 Mud was a huge problem a hundred years ago. The roads both in McEwensville, as well as in the outlying rural areas, were not yet paved in 1911. According to George Wesner in his History of McEwensville , there was even a boardwalk that went from McEwensville  across Warrior Run Creek to a train station which was about half a mile north of town.

 The route was muddy at times and dusty at times . . .To alleviate the situation an elevated boardwalk was built from the station to the old bridge (which crossed the creek at right angles not diagonally) and from there parallel with the highway to the borough line.

George Wesner

The McEwensville railroad station is long gone, but this photo was taken near the location of the old station and looks toward town. It's difficult to envision where the boardwalk once was.

One Response

  1. […] Mud was a huge problem a  hundred years ago. Neither the streets in McEwensville nor the rural roads that Grandma needed to walk to get home from school were paved. A muddy Main street in McEwensville in the early 1900s. Photo from Watsontown, McEwensville, and Delaware Township: A real Photo Postcard History by Robert Swope, Jr. (Photo used with permission) Recent photo showing the same section of Main Street. The paved road is a definite improvement on muddy late winter days. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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