Celebrating The History Of The Brick
While driving down Grafton Street or visiting the Dublin Dr Pepper plant you may have noticed a peculiar sound or feel under your tires. You look out the vehicle window to discover the street is not the normal blackish gray asphalt, but instead it is a deep red that shines in the sunlight.
You are driving on what remains of Dublin’s brick streets.
These streets have been around for almost eighty five years! What brick portions that remain are still holding up today just as well as they did when they were first hand laid into the dirt. Oh, the stories they could tell.
Jim Daley, who founded The Dublin Progress as a teenager, was a huge backer of the paving project in 1926. Dublin was falling short on the financial side of the project, so Daley endorsed a plan in which local home and business owners would pay for their portion of the street to be paved in front of their residence or business.
Jim was able to find more than sixty willing community members to sign a petition showing their support of the project.
By October 8, 1926 a $38,000 bond election passed. Through the project eighteen city blocks would be paved. The only portions that would not be paved were those of the townspeople whom refused to pay for their section of street.
The supporters of the paving project considered this to be a huge victory. They believed that by paving the streets Dublin would begin to grow economically. The streets would show visitors that the town was on the up and up.
Once the fine details were worked out, the bricks were trucked in from Thurber, Texas. Men were quickly hired and immediately put to work. The workers did everything from lay brick to directing traffic. By April of 1927 Dublin was the proud owner of beautiful hand laid brick streets. There would no longer be trudging through choking dust or mud in Dublin!
Dublin was said to be embracing the times. Today, some of these streets are falling into disrepair. We must stop taking the easy way out and start preserving what is left of them or we will lose a valuable piece of Dublin’s history.
So as you drive down the brick streets, take a moment to gaze upon an example of hard work and determination that was carried out by our early community members…Stephanie Keith