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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Main Street Display at the Pocahontas Library

artifacts and photos from banks in Havelock and Laurens

What did the Main Streets of our small towns provide in the early 1900's?  How has that changed and why? The Pocahontas Library is now hosting a new display that tries to answers these questions. 

Towns grew up quickly in Pocahontas County after the 1880's to serve area farm families. Travel was difficult and needs were fewer back then. Small towns provided anything that couldn't be raised or made on the farm as well as services like doctors and blacksmiths. On Saturday night, farm families often went to town to socialize and to sell surplus farm products like eggs and butter. Some folks called these "egg and daughter nights." That phrase makes me glad that some things have changed!

So what happened to these Main Streets? The same technology that later eased the lives of the early settlers also shrunk their small towns. Machines on the farm led to fewer and fewer farmers. Automobiles and good roads made it easier to drive to larger towns where
more goods and services were available. Businesses lost customers and were forced to close. 

This brings history to the present. How can we keep alive the Main Streets we still have?
Is it a question of going back to how they were, or do we need to create something new?