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Title: The Proposed New Blocks
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The idea of building ten new brick business houses in Williamsport has at last culminated into something more tangible than a mere idea, and the preparatory part of the work is begun. For several years past, much has been said about the improvement of our town, and a revival of its former flourishing business, yet no one felt interest enough to bestir himself in the work necessary to bring about so desirable a result, and nothing was done.-During the latter part of last winter we called the public attention to the necessity of putting up more business rooms, by way of inducement to business men from abroad to settle here, and become citizens and with us, build up the commercial interests of the town. A few thought the suggestions were good, and acknowledged that something of the kind should be done, while the mass of our citizens sneered at the idea of ever trying to improve Williamsport. The petty jealousy which existed between the citizens of the old and the new town seemed to be a barrier against building at either point, and the failure of the new town to put up the block which was commenced there some years agoonly seemed to excite a stronger determination at that location, that no buildings should be put up under the hill. Accordingly the project of putting up two substantial brick blocks in the old town was pronounced the dhighth of folly on the part of the projectors. And when it was fully demonstrated that the new town would never go on with the buildings already commenced; and was not at all a suitable location for a town, one of our most energetic and thorough going men, Richard Nodurft, caught up the idea we had previously advanced in these columns, of building some business rooms on the public square in the old town. He saw at a glance that such an undertaking was the only salvation for Williamsport, and his sagacious foresight told him at once that if ten first-class business houses were erected here during the present season, they would be filled with goods as soon as finished, thereby settling forever all future anxiety and excitement about a relocation of the county seat, or county division.-What Mr. Nodurft has accomplished by his energy and perseverance is already known to our citizens. After removing many obstacles which seemed insurmountable, in the way of procuring titles to the grounds upon which to build, and enduring the taunts and ridicule of opposers, he has finally succeeded in procuring grounds, and a company is organized, and pledged, and bound together in a written article to put up ten two story brick buildings, between this time and cold weather next winter. But before the foundations for the new buildings can be put down, there are several old houses to be moved from their present sites to give room for workmen. Mr. Nodurft is now moving buildings and clearing up his lots to begin the foundation. Except some unforeseen event renders it impossible, the buildings will go ahead. They are to be put up, not by the monied men of the place, as a general thing, but mostly by those who desire the welfare of the town generally. The parties who are to build are men who will have to strain every nerve to accomplish the undertaking, and who do so, not merely for selfish purposes, but to secure a settled state of business affairs in our town, and to enhance the value of all our real estate. When these buildings are all under contract, and the work actually commenced, there is not a piece of property in Williamsport but that will be increased at least 25 per cent in value, and more than double that amout when finished. then it is to the interest of every citizen to encourage this work, and if necessary put a shoulder to the wheel by way of a little assistance. It is the very enterprise that will make this a town, and give an impetus to its growth that will make a thrifty and prosperous village. It is the very first step that will secure the building of a new court house precisely upon the site of the old one, and give to every citizen an assurance that he can safely invest his means in our midst. Then we say to the property holders in Williamsport, "come and help us." We want a donation sufficient to move Mrs. McAlilly's house from the ground on which we are to build. Perhaps it will cost 80 dollars to do this. It should be done by citizens outside the building committee.-Mrs. McAlilly is a widow lady and should not be expected to move it at her own expense. She kindly, and for the general good relinquishes her right to the site it now occupies, and one or two parties of the building committee convenant with her to have it moved to another lot. We expect you, fellow-citizens fo furnish the money necessary to do this. Will you do it? or for the want of this money shall the building be stopped? A subscription paper will soon be presented you and we know the money will be donated. It is to your pecuniary interest to contribute to this fund. You will make money by it.-Then we will want a few day's help from young men of the town. Besides money, we must have labor-hands to assist in the work of moving; and those young men who will thus help us a little will stand good chances of getting work on the new buildings if they desire it. Friends and citizens, lend us a helping hand in this enterprise for the common good.

[Page 56 of scrapbook.]

Date: 4/29/1869
Origin: Warren Republican
Record ID: 00001895
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Clippings scrapbooks
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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