It seemed an easy challenge - research the newspapers and put together an article on the building of the Pomeroy parking lots. Bob Graham had brought a picture that had been dated by a 1937 Ford car on the lot with the wall not completed. So, armed with microfilm for 1936 and 1937, I quickly found that most likely the photograph of the parking lot wall was not of the first one built, but is rebuilding of the lower lot, which had collapsed several months before the first council meeting in 1936.
So, this article will be on rebuilding of the lower lot, since that goes with the photo. Hopefully, by the next newsletter, research will be completed to do an article on the building of the upper lot and the first lower lot. A picture of Pomeroy that hangs in the museum was taken from the air and shows what looks like a footer for the wall. We have not dated the picture, but this research should help do so.
Pomeroy Council Meeting - Tribune-Telegraph, January 3, 1936
The proposed parking lot will be rebuilt on the site of the one which collapsed months ago and will make places for parking for at least 100 automobiles, extending from Court Street west to a point near the Haven pool room.
The amount of money necessary for the completion of the project has been estimated by the engineers drawing up the plans at approximately $85,000 of which the federal government has obligated itself to furnish approximately $79,000, while the balance or about $6,000 is to be furnished by the village.
Following the passage of the resolution, Mayor Hess appointed a committee for considering ways and means for the village to raise money to meet its quota. These men who will serve on this committee in order of their appointment, are Edison Hobstetter, an executive of the Pomeroy National Bank; Ralston Russell, village solicitor; George Faris, outgoing clerk, Theodore Reed, and executive of the Farmers Bank and Saving Company and Alvin Norris, incoming clerk.
Tribune-Telegraph, June 24, 1936
Preliminary work preparatory to the construction of the lower parking lot, a $93,000 WPA project to replace the $30,000 CWA job that slipped into the Ohio river shortly after its completion, is scheduled to begin here about July 8th, according to Jed Hartinger, WPA engineer in Meigs county, who said Tuesday that plans had been definitely completed for inauguration the construction work as soon as possible.
Containing a requirement for expenditure of $69,219 for payroll and $24,181 for material, the parking lot project us one of the largest jobs receiving approval of Ohio WPA autorities and when complete will be one of the largest WPA projects in the state. Hartinger said total estimate of WPA funds required for the project was $87,253 and total estimate of the sponsor’s contribution was $6,147. The latter amount is to be provided by Pomeroy Village, the sponsor.
Hartinger said Tuesday that as soon as preliminary surveys and office work can be completed he intends to start working several crews. One crew will be placed to a quarry to obtain stone for the walls; another crew will be put to work removing dirt and stone in the the destroyed lot; another will be put to work in preparing the present site for pile driving, so that as much progress as possible can be made while the river is at low water level and before the ususal January high waters, said Hartinger.
The proposed parking lot will be 506 feet long, 300 feet longer than the old one and approximately 200 feet longer than the upper lot. Specifications call for a 65 foot width and it is to extend from the levee a few feet from the upper lot to the edge of the old lot’s eastern wall.
The stone wall to be built parallel to the river will average 23 feet in height and iwll be constructed of a solid base which will include 30 foot piling with a reinforced concrete footer, 3 feet thick and 13 feet wide, according to plans. The plans were originally approved by U.S. Army Engineers before they were submitted as a WPA project, it was explained.
Capacity of the new parking lot will be 200 automobiles. A 25 ft driveway will extend through the center of the lot and cars may be parked on either side of the drive-way. The lot will be built ten feet from the outside rail of the C. & O. tracks and a guard rail will be placed at the edge to prevent autos from being placed too close to the tracks. The guard rail, the engineer pointed out, would be low enough to allow people to step over, but would be substantial enough to keep automobiles the required distance from the railroad.
Actual construction work will begin within the next two weeks and Hartinger said completion date had been designated as May 30th 1937.
Tribune-Telegraph, July 15, 1936
Should favorable weather conditions continue, a force of at least 75 men should be at work on the constuction of Pomeroy’s $92,400 WPA parking lot project within the next month, it was predicted Monday by J.E.D. Hartinger, WPA engineer in Meigs county.
Started last week, the project now has a force of 25 men at work, Hartinger said, and the rolls should be increased at least 50 in another month if the same progress can be made in the next few weeks as has been during the first few days.
Men now at work on the project are tearing away the lower parking lot wall and filling that was destroyed when the valuable CWA and FERA project slipped into the Ohio river shortly after it was completed. The destroyed lot will be removed, said Hartinger, although the new parking lot will be built above the site of the old one, starting at the upper wall and extending along the river bank to the entrance to the levee, a few feet from the lower wall of the upper parking lot.
Piling has been purchased and a crew of workmen will be put to work at cutting the piling within a few weeks. A government pile driving boat can be obtained at a ten-day notice, Hartinger said, and pile driving work should begin within a brief time.
Costing nearly $100,000 the new parking lot will be constructed on a base consisting of 36 ft. piling with a three feet thick concrete footer. The walls will be of cut stone, as those in the destroyed lot and as those in the upper lot, one of the few CWA projects that was finished and is now in use in the county.
......................Then there was the January 1937 flood, which delayed everything......and wouldn’t you know it - there is no newspaper microfilm or original paper available from August 1937 to July 1938, so I do not have a completion date. Hopefully I can locate another source to supply this information.