Courthouse Square in Decline
While it is said “a picture is worth a thousand words,” the October 13, 1868 Hillsdale Standard “Letter to the Editor” paints quite a different picture of the:
Court House Square
MR EDITOR: Some five years ago I spent a couple of days in your beautiful village, and was delighted to see how much care and attention had been given to your Court House Square, trees, etc. – then the most beautiful of the kind in the State.
I recently spent a week in Hillsdale, and oh, how changed! The trees, many of them dying, some already dead, several gone, many being choked to death by suckers at the roots, which ought to be removed; and, instead of a well cared for, well painted fence, I found most of the posts rotted, rails gone, gates broken, paint nearly all off, the grounds growing up to brush and weeds; and, strangest of all, a cow and horse pasturing therein. From all appearances I should judge the horse had pastured there all summer. The out-houses were filthy, and to cap it all – a full grown “hog-sty” in the middle of the grounds, with its occupant wallowing in filth.
Verily I said to myself, the spirit of the founder of that once beautiful ground has departed. Can it be possible that the once most ornamental and attractive feature of the village shall thus be permitted to go into general ruin?
I said to myself, if I was an occupant of those grounds, or the Court House either, I would see those things better cared for, and if the County refused to pay the bills, the citizens of the village would cheerfully do it.
I was comforted by learning that the Supervisors of the County were to meet soon, when this “field of desolation” will be renovated without doubt – and perhaps the Court House too, in November – unless the occupants take better care of the property entrusted to their keeping.