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The brick roads: remembering
Nanty Glo's first paved roads

In my very early years living next to the lumber yard on Second Street, I remember playing with the neighborhood children on the road. In those days the street was dirt. One of our pasttimes was rolling hoops. A lot of products, like pickles and nails, came in kegs and we would get the hoops from around the kegs to use. Most clothes lines were wire and we would get a piece of wire from them, bend one end around to make a handle and the other end was bent at a right angle to the back and then to the left side and around to the front making the bottom into a U shape. We would run around on the dirt road pushing our hoops with the wire contraptions we made. There was a lot of dust on the road and it felt like vevlet on our bare feet. Of course our feet got very black and had to be washed every evening.

The family's first car was an open touring car. I barely remember going up Pergrim Hill, then a dirt road, and a storm coming up and that near Mundy's Corner we rushed into a friend's house until the storm subsided and until dad could get the side curtains on the car. The curtains were fastened with buttons. They were made of leather and ising glass, also called mica.

Not long after that, we were again going to Windber and this time we went up Roberts Street past Finney's ball diamond and at the Teeter School turned left to Ford's Corner. When we asked our dad why were going that way, he said that Pergrim Hill was being paved. The road was paved with red bricks the whole way to Johnstown. It went up Pergrim Hill past the tile houses (Christoff Street) and that above the wooden houses it made a sharp curve to the right and then one to the left. There was no cut into the hillside like the present day road.

Several years later it was black-topped. I know that Lloyd Street was paved with the bricks starting at Roberts, and I believe Roberts was also paved from the bridge. I remember Roberts Street being paved from Lloyd to Rodgers by the WPA (Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration) workers. Roberts from Rodgers was not paved until several years later in the 'forties.

George E. Dilling

Biographical profile of George Dilling

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