Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hertel Avenue - Not Worth A Sewer!

Hertel Avenue As It Is - 1887

Old House On Hertel Avenue, Near Colvin Street

   Buffalo Express April 3, 1887 The public-spirited citizen of Buffalo in these days finds many questions, touching the prosperity of this city, well worth careful consideration.  One of them is building a sewer through Hertel Ave.  This avenue is nearly four miles long, and runs from the Niagara River at lower Black Rock across the extreme northern side of the city, to Main Street.  For the greater part of its length it is a country road.  The land through which it runs is largely held by land associations and others who anticipate a rapid development of the section as a residence neighborhood. 

Hertel Avenue, Buffalo -- Near Cornelius Creek

  These property holders are of course eager for improvements, and claim that many would follow the construction of the desired sewer, concerning which THE EXPRESS has said: "It is difficult to present any good reason for building the proposed sewer. No truthful man in his senses will maintain that the sewer is needed now, or likely to be needed many years to come. It's only present use would be to create a demand for outlying farm lands cut up into city lots, and that is only a personal and local reason which should have no weight whatever with the Legislature. The business of the Senate and the Assembly is to legislate for the public interest--and not for individual.  The proposed law to bond the City in order to make this local  improvement, which is not even needed, would be special legislation of the most glaring character."
  The accompanying illustrations well show the character and scenery of the Hertel Avenue District.  The old stone house, shown in the picture, stands at the head of Colvin Street, and is uninhabited. The lintel over the front door bears a remarkable inscription in what appears to be misspelled Dutch, as follows: 18 { MACH - TAILENA - PEOHL - W } 45  The members of the Historical Society or any local archeologist who can render this into intelligible English, and concoct a theory to go with it will deserve the renown given by Dickens to the Pickwick Club. The interpretation may be "Magdalena Pfohl", or it may not. The reader may formulate a better translation if he can. 
  The third illustration gives a view on Hertel Avenue, looking through the Erie Trestle near Cornelius Creek.

Hertel Avenue Looking Through the Erie Trestle

Editors Note:  Of course we all know now what Hertel Avenue has become, one of the most vibrant and active thoroughfares in Buffalo. But in 1887 it's potential was not as easily recognized, at least not by the Editors of the BUFFALO EXPRESS anyway. Oh, and by the way, can anyone interpret the words on the lentil of the house above, MACH - TAILENA - PEOHL - W ?  

No comments: