August 03, 2021

Main Street to be resurfaced

Brick paved streets started in Osceola in 1907. At one time most of the bricks on Main Street were torn up and re-laid but that didn’t seem to help.

Brick paving had been suitable for ordinary city traffic for many years but had been a continual source of annoyance due to the fact that it was difficult to keep it smooth under the pounding of heavy trucks. The brick disintegration was due largely to excessively heavy loads put over it by federal highway traffic carrying passengers and freight.

In July of 1940 Osceola’s Main Street brick paving was to be resurfaced laying black top over the brick street.

The work to be done entirely at the expense of the state and the new surface to extend from curb to curb from the north end of the brick pavement to the south end. Work was expected to start the end of July and completed mid-August.

In early 1948 the Highway Commission announced for a mile of new concrete paving along the east side of the square. It was to start at the north end at McKinley Street. The old concrete base in the section from McLane to Pearl Street was all removed and the section brought up to grade. There had been much speculation in recent years concerning future plans of the commission in by passing the city. The new paving indicated no immediate plans for such change. .

Main Street brick paving was torn up at a fast clip. All of the brick north of the C B & Q tracks torn loose leaving only a one block section on the east side of the square intact. At least four crossings were left open for fire protection purposes, it was possible to cross at a few places but it was not advised to do so except in an emergency. The closing of Main Street during the paving operation cut out parking spaces for a large number cars, adding to the congestion on the other three sides of the square making it difficult to find parking spaces.

A formal dedication of the new paving with free shows, merchandise sales and pavement dance was held September 30. A special wax coating was poured over 6,000 feet of the paved surface for dancing space insuring a smooth dance area.

Marie White

My name is Marie (my maiden name was Gardner) White, I have always lived in Clarke County. Married to Bob White, daughter and son in law and 2 grandchildren. Son passed away in 2017. Graduated from Clarke in 1962. I have been a member of the Historical Society since 1971.