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The View From The Courthouse Tower

26 August 1881
New Castle Courier

   From its very foundation New Castle has been a thriving, growing town. Surrounded by a splendid country settled by thrifty pioneers, the town has always kept pace with the improvements and developments about it, and by reason of being the county seat, has had much wealth concentrated within its corporate limits. There has existed too, for various good reasons, much local pride, which has resulted in the erection of many handsome buildings, public and private, until we have been able to assert without fear of successful contradictions that New Castle stood without a rival as a well built beautiful town. Up to this year our progress has been simply what local advantages permitted. But now, New Castle seems to have been "struck" and is beginning to feel the impulse of a "boom," an impulse that all classes appear to understand and appreciate, which we are sure may, and sincerely hope will be made to work greatly to the advantage of the town and every resident thereof. The Courier no longer feels the need of "bragging" merely, but is quite satisfied to present the cold facts, that "he who runs may read" and judge for themselves.
   A few days since a Courier representative sought the top of the courthouse tower, as a convenient point for observation and information. The view of the surrounding country is a delightful one, and no visitor should be permitted to come and go without the memory of such a sight. As far as the eye can reach, up and down the valley, north and south, and out upon the hills and rolling lands to the east and west, beautifully landscapes are unfolded to view. Splendid farms and cozy looking homes are seen everywhere, and below is the town, its streets thronged with busy people, teams, wagons and other vehicles. The observer who looked down from the courthouse tower a year ago and remembered what he saw, will be struck by the change in scenery. Then an air of quietness reigned, today all is hustle and bustle. Then, few roofs glistened in the sunshine. Today they are seen on every hand, and the noise of the hammer and the clink of the trowel make welcome music. More, straight south, cuts and fills and the dull iron track mark the course of the New Castle and Rushville Railroad, and over to the north and west the winding grade of the I. B. & W. extension, literally alive with men and beast, tells plainly that we are soon to hear the whistle of the iron horse over there. I tell you, the fellow that does not believe that New Castle is "booming" needs to be coaxed to the top of the tower. It will pay anyone to go there and let his eyes behold the change being wrought. Our reporter noted down the evidence of material prosperity as he saw them, and descended and mounted a horse and rode over the town interviewing property owners, builders and others, to ascertain the estimated cost of the improvements. He took account only of buildings completed in the year and actually in the process of construction at the present time. He was pointed to scores of lots where owners propose putting up homes before cold weather sets in, or as soon as carpenters can be bought or hired.
   Sixty-two buildings completed, being constructed or improved, the total cost amounting to $84,000. We are aware that these figures would not sound big for Chicago, New York or London, but we do know that it is a handsome showing for New Castle, and we would like to see the county seat, with the same population, that can beat them. We doubt not that many of our own citizens will be surprised; but here are the facts, and we are downright glad to be able to present them. Before this season closes there will be many more buildings erected, and we dare to guess that $100,000.00 would not cover this years investment in that line. New Castle is on the "BOOM." Let every man put his shoulder to the wheel and keep her rolling.
Remember now; this is 1881, not 2004. What happens now? Where do we go from here?

UEB 2004

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