Goodrich family visits Grandma Digons at the upper place

Goodrich Family Outing

Summer 1912

The Red Rock Road Problem Solved

The development of the automobile at the turn of the 20th century brought with it a considerable problem with inadequate roads and by the 1930's Red Rock folks were fed up! Improvement associations formed to pressure the County to do something about the situation. This was about the time the depression brought a need for public works projects to employ the needy. Building roads was an obvious solution to both problems and the construction of Red Rock Road became a part of the widely adopted make-work relief projects. Work on Red Rock road started in July 1933 and was finally completed in November 1934. I found several articles in the Chatham Courier pertaining to this project.

1923-10-04 - WORKING THE ROADS


The Courer has previously made reference to the manner in which highways are worked (2) in the average town. It is a method that is being continued and we cannot understand why. The system we refer to is that of scraping the grass and dirt from the ditches into the middle of the road and, in many instances, leaving the sod in the road to be pulverized by traffic.

As we see it, the only benefit derived is that of cleaning the ditches and this is but temporary. This soil is worn out, powdered, pulyerized. It positively will not make rodbed but is shoved back into the ditches by automobiles, there to remain until it is again dragged into the middle of the rod. In times of wet weather it constitutes a menace to every person who passing over it in a car because of skidding inasmuch as there is absolutely nothing in this soil that will provide traction. On hills this is especially dangerous.

Apparently town road working methods have not kept pace with modern progress. In the days when the highways were used only by horse drawn vehicles, this method may have sufficed but it is antiquated now and has been for several years. As we see it nothing is worked but the taxpayers for it is certain that they get nothing of a permanent, or even semi-permanent, nature for the money expended.

We realize that all the roads in each town cannot be transformed into what are termed improved highways but it would seem that the local road-working forces could do the next best thing, namely remove this worn out soil from the roadways and replace it with good, clean creek gravel which is obtainable along the majority of the roads or, at least, without a haul so long as to be prohibitive. It as true that not as much road could be worked at one time under this method but it is also true that whatever was done would have a semblance of permanence, and, we believe, the result would be more satisfactory and much more economical in the long run.

Transcribed from: The Chatham Courier, Thursday, October 4, 1923, Editorial



Good Road Society To Be Formed at Meeting Tuesday.

Definite efforts to obtain at least graveled road through Red Rock will follow the organization of a Good Roads Society scheduled for Tuesday night, April 25, at 7:30 when a meeting of all residents of that section interested in an improved road will be held. The session will be conducted in the Red Rock M. E. church.

The meeting will elect officers of the new organization and the movement to secure some relief from the present impassable condition of the roads will be started at once.

Plans for the meeting were made Saturday afternoon at gathering in the Schiff home at Red Rock at which several residents expressed opinions on present conditions.

The road for which repair and surfacing is sought is known as the Morehouse Corners - Red Rock road. A petition bearing the name of ninety-eight taxpayers and asking for immediate reconstruction of the road was presented to a recent meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

Residents of the area served by the road claim that milk and other products for market are tied up, persons are unable to reach Chatham to shop and contract other business and that a real danger exists in case of sickness, with the condition of the road making it next to impossible to get in or out of Red Rock.

Transcribed from: The Chatham Courier, Thursday, April 20, 1933



Association Formed at Meeting Attended by About ;100 Seventy-five Members Signed, More To Be Enrolled.

Leslie Park, of Red Rock, was elected president of the Red Rock Improvement Association which was organized Tuesday night at an enthusiastic meeting in the Methodist church of that community.

Approximately 100 attended and participated in a discussion of the purposes of the new organization. Meetings will be held the last Tuesday in each month.

Other officers named were, Mrs. P. D. Stickles, first vice-president; Mrs. William Syres, second vice-president; P. D. Stickles, secretary, and E. H. Griswold, treasurer.

Several committees were named and these will meet in the near future to outline means of accomplishing the aims of the association.

Seventy-five have signed already for membership in the group and it is expected that many more will be enrolled.

The particular purpose of the organization is to secure action on improvement of the highway through Red Rock, the condition of which has been the basis for much complaint from residents this spring. Farmers, it is said, are held up on delivery of produce to market and other business which depends on getting in and out of the community is impaired.

It is hoped to secure at least a firm gravel surfaced road. More than ninety resident taxpayers recently signed a petition to the Board of Supervisors asking for relief.

Transcribed from: The Chatham Courier, Thursday, April 27, 1933

1933-05 - To The Editor Chatham Courier

Editor Chatham Courier:

I am told that some "individuals" are very much concerned over the resolution or petition signed by about one hundred citizens, taxpayers, residents, motorists and business people, calling upon certain town officials to fix the highway leading from State Road Route 203, Chatham-Spencertown- Morchouse Corners to Red Rock.

That is a mighty fine "concern" because anyone and everyone knows that if a "little" piece of this highway was "improved" it would not be very long before all the rest of it would be "improved" and anyone and every one knows that an important farms-to-market, -residence to trade center road like this one should be given attention consistent with its importance and use. This road does not serve merely a few "summer residents" just a few days in the best part of the year, but serves large number of all-year-round residents every day in the year.

It accommodates, or should accommodate, school transportation, mail routes, religious gatherings and trade necessities also, what is more important, the daily delivery of farm products to markets. It certainly does not occommodate if it is left in a neglected condition. President Roosevelt has said that one way to give "farm relief" is to lift the country people out of the mud and lessen the cost of necessary trade and social transportation, make the country a better place to live in all the year around, thus encouraging the tired relief organizations in the congested centers by inducing more people to reside in the country "where the dandelions do grow."

Whether or not our President is right or wrong, most of us do know that he is aiming to encourage the most of us at the earliest possible moment.

Our local officials should at least try to do the same. Encourage the greatest number at the earliest possible moment, and let me say right here that an improvement to the above mentioned road would most certainly encourage a large number of people and induce others to seek a share in that encouragement.

Extending friendly hands across the "border" is soon to be a pleasant activity and so we might say to our local officials, "extend a friendly and helpful hand" across the "lines" and let our neighboring townsmen feel that we recognize them as neighbors and want to help them by giving them encouragement to come into our town when on their way to their trade centers for their trade necessities.

And so we come to that part of our "conversations" when a little comment upon that "great concern" mentioned at the beginning.

Had it been as much the desire of the originators of that resolution or petition to merely "write" in names for the purpose of making a long list as it is for "some local officials" to dodge some of their most important duties to themselves and their neighbors by neglecting or refusing to improve this important "farms to market" highway, the petition would have borne the names of all the people in the three towns affected by this important highway, and I dare say there would have been but few protests as most people are quite certain that money has been appropriated several times to make the needed improvements to this road.

Because you live beside the "concrete" or "macadam," is no reason why you should refuse to extend that 'friendly hand' across the "line." Let it be our aim "to help the most at the earliest possible moment," in whatever activity we may he engaged.


Transcribed from: The Chatham Courier, May 1933, Editorial column



RED ROCK — What might have been a serious accident occurred last Thursday evening on the bridge near the Garden Tea Room when George Hitchcock's and a Stranger's cars collided, neither one seeing the other on account of trees and bushes which obstruct the view of the road.

Mr. Hitchcock was accompanied by his family. Although all suffered from shock, no one was seriously injured.

Mr. Hitchcock’s auto was damaged and the other car had a bent fender.

Several accidents have occured at this point which for a long time has been a menace to all who travel this road and it is hoped that action by town officials will be taken immediately in order to avert another and perhaps more serious accident.

Transcribed from: The Courier, June 1933



Forty-five Men To Get Employment When Job Opens.

Will Increase to Sixty; Five Miles Work Planned.

Reconstruction of approximately five miles of highway from Morehouse Corners, through Red Rock, to the East Chatham road will be started Monday on Tuesday, according to announcement today by Joseph A. Boucher, manager of the Temporary Emergency Relief Work Bureau for the county.

Forty-five men will be given employment with the opening of the job, he said, and this number will probably be increased to sixty within a short time. The men will be chosen chiefly from the emergency lists covering the towns of Chatham, Ghent, Canaan and Austerlitz.

Work assignments, Mr. Boucher said, will be based on the urgency of the individual’s need for employment. Men with large families will be given a full week’s work and the program will be graded below that standard to give as many as possible a share of employment. The maximum will be a forty-four hour week, or five and a half eight hour days.

Work on the highway will include widening, improving of drainage facilities, including digging and clearing of ditches and construction of culverts, and the elimination of curves which now prove a danger to traffic.

A rock base will be used in the reconstruction and this will be topped off with gravel. This, Mr. Boucher said, will allow for future finishing with a permanent surface.

The project has already been given approval by New York headquarters of the Temporary Emergency Relief Association.

Its completion, besides the employment benefits, will mean a great deal to the Red Rock area from both economic and convenience standpoints. The present road has been a barrier to farmers trucking produce to market. At certain periods of the year, residents have complained, the section was almost inaccessible.

The Red Rock Improvement Association, recently formed, has been active in agitating the need of reconstruction of the highway.

Transcribed from: The Chatham Courier, Thursday, July 20, 1933

1933-07-20 - RELIEF IN TWO DIRECTIONS, An Editorial


Announcement of the start of reconstruction of the Red Rock highway, scheduled for Monday or Tuesday, will come as welcome news to many in that section who have suffered too long for the want of a decent road.

Five miles of work will be done, it is said, the road widened, drainage bettered and dangerous curves eliminated.

The project has been included as a “relief” project and it is that in more ways than one. While its immediate purpose and probably greatest benefit at the moment is the furnishing of employment to many local men, its completion ultimately will benefit a far greater number.

When one considers the conditions under which residents of the Red Rock area have suffered for years in their need of a good highway, it is easy to imagine their “relief” next spring at being able to move in and out of their farm homes without the aid of a derrick. It is to be hoped that nothing will hinder an early completion of this needed work.

Transcribed from: The Chatham Courier, Thursday, July 20, 1933, Editorial

1933-09 - 93 Employed in One Day on Red Rock Road

93 Employed in One Day on Red Rock Road

All interested in the meetings of the Red Rock Association should bear in mind the date for the next meeting, Tuesday evening, Sept. 19, at the church.

Road improvements are progressing. Extensions are being added to all bridges. The largest number of men employed in any one day so far was 93. This week ten men were removed from here to work on the Taconic Park Development near Bash Bish Falls.

Transcribed from: The Chatham Courier, September 1933



County Supt. Reports On Highway Jobs Program.

The Red Rock road project, a hold-over job from last year, with 227 men employed, is expected to be completed about the middle of August, according to an oral report of road construction in the county given by Superintendent of Highways L. Proceus Hover before the Board of Supervisors last Friday. A new project will be started immediately upon completion of this work.

Nineteen men are employed on the Hillsdale road, also a hold-over, twenty- three are working on the Churchtown-East Taghkanic road and nineteen on the Linlithgo-Livingston highway. Twenty-four men are listed on the Elizaville project which has just been set up and twenty-four more will be employed there in two wecks. Approximately twenty-four also will go to work on the proposed Chatham Center-North Chatham highway.

It was pointed out by the Superintendent that no man can work over four days a week on highways and period rounds down so that one full-week man employed means practically twice that number working in the total part time.

Under the present schedule the money appropriated will carry the work until December 1, Mr. Hover said, with three new jobs to be started in the next three weeks. A minimum of forty men will be used on the Stuyvesant-Kinderhook road and there will be eight miles of surfacing done on the Livingston-Elizaville road, employing about twenty. Five miles of resurfacing must be done on the Aneramdale road and twenty will be employed in resurfacing from Copake to West Copake.

Transcribed from: The Courier, Thursday, July 12, 1934



County Withdrawal On Tuesday Night Was Shutdown Cause.

Hope to Complete No. Chatham Bridge Before Halt.

Construction of the Red Rock road which was rumored suspended indefinitely after a shutdown on Tuesday night, was scheduled to be resumed today under TERA auspices entirely, according to Lloyd M. Nicholson, county TERA executive.

The work has been carried on as a regular county highway project, with TERA furnishing only a small percentage of the labor and the project has been financed from the fund allotted to highway work, which was approximatcly forty-live per cent of the allotment to the county for relief labor.

The Red Rock job is about ninety-five per cent completed, Mr. Nicholson said, and will be finished soon. Approximately twelve men will be employed in graveling and otherwise completing, the project. Some of these will be transferred from the Copake road job.

The Red Rock project is one of six highway jobs being returned to TERA auspices. Of these, the Ancram highway is fifty per cent complete; North Chatham-Chatham Center, thirty-three per cent; Gallatin, forty per cent; Hillsdale, ninety-five per cent; Livingston eighty per cent; and Red Rock ninety-five per cent. The county is withdrawing from these projects at this time because of the state’s demand that highway cquipment be placed in winter storage before bad weather prevents its being moved. Considerable equipment was thus marooned last winter, it was said.

Work, under the TERA, however, will be continued at Ancram where it is understood the township will furnish its trucks and equipment without cost; at Gallatin, which will be completed to about fifty per cent; and Hillsdale, which will be finished entirely.

Efforts will be made to complete the bridge on the North Chatham-Chatham Center highway and as much of the road as possible before weather halts the work. The Churchtown-Taghkanic-Copake road project has been completed. The Ancramdale road, which was built last year, has been topped off this season and the Livingston project also will be finished.

Transcribed from: The Chatham Courier, Thursday, November 1, 1934