28 October 2007

Rambler #5 (1914)

[Image of the 1908 Rambler advertisement linked from the Wikipedia commons. See also the article on the Rambler.]

The fifth and final installment in the "Rambler's Musings" series, published in the Chatham RECORD on Feburary 18, 1914, follows:

Is it not aggravating for a man to sit down and build air castles and then have a puff of wind blow them into a thousand pieces? That's what Rambler did, or rather let his imagination take him a hundred years ahead to see the "new" Pittsboro. What he thought he saw was enough to make most any of the people here today wish they could live that long. But it is not to be and although one hundred years from today Pittsboro may have a population of 50,000 souls, may have factories, paved streets, trolley lines and everything up to date, not a living soul here today will be here then. Every single person -- man, woman, child -- will be dead and forgotten.

Then while we are living today why not let us make the best of it? Let us get some of the pleasures and advantages that the people a hundred years hence will be enjoying.

Other towns are growing, why not this one? People here want industries to come; they want people to move here; they want paved streets and they want good roads leading into town.

But strange as it may seem and bad as they wish for these things, some of them put a check to the growth of the town when a person proposes to buy land and bulk here. If you buy my land, they say, you must pay for it. I don't blame a man for trying to get all he can for his land. It is natural that he'd want to do so, but there are times and places where a little foresight could be used in reducing their property value. It would be. more beneficial to them In the long run, help reduce their taxes, fill up the vacant places and cause Pittsboro to start to grow. Some people never stop to think of old man Malaga Grapes. He owned land, had money, horses, everything, and he probably thought he'd take it with him -- BUT HE DID NOT.

Tell me why dirt in Pittsboro should be priced so high and I'll tell you why there is no money at the end of a rainbow.

If Pittsboro was filled with manufacturing plants; if it even had a population of 10,000; if it had electric lights, paved streets, water, sewerage and no hog pens, people might have some cause for raising the price of their property, and unless property owners place a fair value on their lots people will not come here, nor will any enterprises, which so many people crave, ever be started here, and the owners of these high-priced lot will go the way of their fathers. It is true it can be left to their children. Malaga Grapes did that very thing.

Rambler knows of a case where the owner of 300 acres of land is od and feeble. He cannot work. But before he'd sell that land for $4,000, which he has been ofered, and place the noney at interest he rents it for the magnificent sum of $90 and has to pay the taxes on it.

Why not cut up his big farm into fifty acre plots, if he does not care to sell, and rent them out. He could get at least $25 a year for each farm and there would be six ears of corn grown whre only one is grown now.

"Everybody to his own notion," said the groundhog, as he went into his hole to escape the snowstorm.


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