1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Back, Ghosts!

I just found out the U.S. Hwy 11 Antique Alley will be happening in our town May 12-15. I am so excited about this. It's sort of like the World's Longest Yard Sale (I've watched the shows about it on HGTV and could barely restrain my drooling).

Yes, 502 miles of antique and yard sales from Meridian, Mississippi, to Bristol, Virginia. Hurray! Our little town square will be all abuzz. I'm excited by the prospect of so many yard sales/antique booths in one spot and also that our dear town will be part of something big like this. If there are 30,000 people shopping Hwy. 11 as the Web site claims, we could have thousands of folks coming through Eutaw.

I wouldn't want our town to get overgrown and become Stripmallville, but I would like more people to notice it and realize what a nice place it is to live. I've been reading about ghost towns today, and I don't want Eutaw to become one.

Ghost Towns of America says the American History and Genealogy Project considers a community to be a ghost town if it exhibits at least one of the following characteristics:
  • It is a formerly inhabited area containing random debris or dense overgrowth
  • It has caved-in structures which have been partially destroyed
  • It is an abandoned community containing buildings which have been sealed off
  • It is an inhabited community containing many abandoned buildings
  • It is an historic community whose economy and population is much smaller than it once was
  • It is a restored historic community


Um ... according to the Greene County GenWeb site, the county had a population of 18,399 in 1870; 21,992 in 1890 and (drumroll, please) ... 10,210 in 1990. Ouch, that hurt. See point #5 up there: economy and population much smaller than it once was. Uh-oh, and then we also have point #4: many abandoned buildings.

Am I already living in a ghost town?

Dear Eutaw has a population of 1,800 now compared with 1,400 in 1890. OK, I admit that's not fabulous growth over a hundred years. But it doesn't show that halving of the population that the county saw. Maybe it isn't Eutaw that is shrinking in population but the many tiny "That was a town?" towns sprinkled around the county. Mantua, Union, Knoxville, Forkland, Boligee.

Maybe Eutaw isn't so much a ghost town as a stagnant town. Never changing, full of Old Greene County Families who will live and raise children and go to church and die here.

I guess we will be one of those families now. Only I am not content with stagnant. You can preserve the past, but you don't have to live in it.

That's why my mind is always buzzing ... how can we make Eutaw the shining example of townhood I know it can be?

Oh no. I'm turning into Cher from that movie Clueless, minus the thigh highs.

C'mon Dee, let's totally do a makeover!

3 Comments:

Angry Republican Mom said...

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Our county is the same story as yours, and when I attended an economic planning meeting a couple months ago, the state listed our stagnant grwoth as "stable". I guess it can't be more stable than remaining 850 people for 150 years, lol.

I know it's a law that all county's report there growth forecast to the state this year. I don't know if it's a ferderal or state thing (we're in IL), but maybe you should check your town clerk's office to get ahold of their "comprehensive plan" if they have one.

4:01 PM  
Brian Heckel said...

dont worry about the tags "THEY" put on your town.

a ghost town has a ghost, spirit or spectrum that has chased off the inhabitants.....just ask Shag and Scoob.

9:16 AM  
Jocelyn said...

I watch that World's Longest Yard Sale" on HGTV. I can't wait till I can retire (way long time away) and take a summer trolling that sale! You are so lucky to be in the middle of it! Around Chicago, we have Sanwich Antiques Sale and Kane County, which are nice.

7:43 PM  

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