Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's a Rich Man's Road and a Poor Man's Tax

These notices to Ross Township taxpayers appeared in April 1922:

2015-11-24. Notice of road improvement bonds
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 14 Apr. 1922.

In view of recent complaints about the condition of local roads, some road improvements would seem necessary and desirable, even if interest-bearing bonds had to be issued to pay for them.

But by late May the protests of some unnamed "Ross Township farmers" had brought a member of the state board of tax commissioners up to from Indianapolis to look into the proposed work. The general objection was that the costs of construction were inflated. With regard to the Woods road, protesters were suspicious of the fact that the wealthy Gary citizens who used the Gary Country Club (at the site of the present-day Innsbrook Country Club) would benefit from the road while not bearing any of its cost.

2015-11-24. Protest against road improvements
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 1 June 1922.

Perhaps the awarding of the road-work contract to someone who wasn't local didn't sit well with them either.

I gather from the description in this article that the "Sam B. Woods road" to be improved was only five-eighths of a mile long. My guess at its location is marked in red on this excerpt from the 1926 Plat Book:

2015-11-24. Sam B. Woods road 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

The "Goodrich road" improvement area was 2.5 miles "running south and west from Ainsworth on the Lincoln highway" … so, some unspecified chunk of the Lincoln Highway between Ainsworth and Merrillville?

2015-11-24. Goodrich Rd 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

Hey, I just like making these little maps.

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