April 4, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 14

From wood planks to gravel

In July 1936, Petersburg’s main street was under construction. The previous street was built on piling and was surfaced with wooden planks. At this time, planks were removed and the street right-of-way was filled in with gravel. The building at the extreme left of the image, with a wood-rail balcony across the front was the local hotel, located where the Scandia House sits today. The construction firm of Stock and Wright which did the street construction work, offered to move the Wheeler Drug building (center background of photo) along with two other structures 20-feet back from main street for $26,000, with the property owners paying half the cost and the city the other half. The frugal city council refused to pay, so the main street bottleneck was never resolved until 1972.

Photo courtesy of Clausen Museum.

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