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Newspaper Page Text
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9 This Entire Village Is to Be Drowned By HOWARD EGBERT O shorn, Ohio, is to lose its life, to be used as a dam site for the protection of neigh boring cities. ma SHL' SYsVtsftl 0- i RN, OHIO is to go out of existence. Count less other communitiei have sunk into oblivion through natural phenomena, or have been buried by volcai k eruptions, or have been demolished by the chtriot oi war but Osborn, Ohio, committed suicide. The mark of the "deserted village" already is upon the town. On all sides can be heard the rumblings of oblivion; for the twenty million dollar flood project of the Ifiimi Conservancy District has found it necessary to uallov up the whole town. If necessary Osborn will be buried under fifty feet of water, in order that other thriving points in the great Miami valley may be lived from inch a catastrophe as the one which came near wrecking the most fertile section in southern Ohio. Tin Miami ( onservancv District bought the village of Ol horn outright. It cost a million dollars to swing the transaction. It is the first instance in community life in the United State s where a village has voluntarily quit functioning. Osborn lie northeast of the city of Dayton, and is in the district originally designed as the site for the Hoffman dry reservoir, which is one of the series of such agencies designed to hold millions of gallons of flood water. Its natural location made special appeal to Chin Engineer Arthur K. Morgan. He took one look at Osborn and reported the next day to the con servant directors that the village would have to be taken over. A check for one million dollars was forth coming and in two weeks' time every farm house, tbousai of cattle, sehoolhouses, banks, lodge rooms, private residences and what not, passed into the hands of the I onservancy District. Another two months and Osborn will be to modtn merica what Grand Pre was to the early ?ff.C KVhe.viM'ge i shnrn- hio' to He the site of an immense dam. During the p.st week effort, h.ve heen m.de to save some ol the hu.ldintft but the whole site of the v.ll.e .. to he .uhmerged nSu Tories will have tied and its village streets will be deserted Late comers on their way home will shudder as the hoofs of" their horses click against the cobblestoned streets and travelers will breathe a sigh when they have left the deserted village far in the rearward. Osborn is now a village of at least one thousand uCU,)t!C' ,S ,Kar,' thrcc Quarters of a century old and has been the center of a thriving, busy, prosperous and wealthy agricultural district. It was no small task to drive the village to suicide. Traditions of many years had clustered about the homes and public highways. Many had grown old and died in Osborn and the little cemetery hard by the hamlet marked the last resting place of the early settlers In area the village and immediate environs covered (, 180 acres. Three railroads, the Baltimore and Ohio, the New York Central lines and the Ohio Electric Inter urban lines all touched the community. It was in in stant communication with the outside world. By reason of plans of the Miami Conservancy Dis trict all three traffic lines were obliged to remove their tracks to the south, out of the dry reservoir district. This occasioned an expense of no less than four mil lion dollars. Already the great dredging machines are approach ing Osborn. The concrete dam to be built all around the .site of the village is under way. All the residents have to be out and away with their property and pos sessions within the first half of the year. The idea has been suggested that the village en masse move to a new location about two miles away, where a new community can be erected and life resumed as before. But this will take time. It may be a quarter of a century before affairs of the new hamlet will be in order again. Thirty-five per cent of the inhabitants al ready have gone elsewhere., Many have hoped to die before they witnessed the utter demolition of the town. The Miami Conservancy District is making it as easy a, possible for those who are obliged to move to new Quarters. It is proposed to sell lots, lay out a new town and assist in every way, with the big mod ern machinery which the district possesses, to renew life in a second village. The buying of Osborn was a good business invest ment for the Miami Conservancy District. If this had not been possible it might have cost $3,000,000 to dis cover another location for the dry reservoir which was needed in this particular locality. The city of Spring field, with its 80.000 inhabitants, together with nearly $10,000,000 worth of farm land adjacent to Osborn, will be completely protected against future floods, when the Huffman dry reservoir is completed. "The Deserted Village" is the name that will soon apply to Osborn. "Sweet Osborn, loveliest village of the plain" brings a suggestion of Goldsmith's poem of the long ago. Memories, naturally, still cling to the town's early history. Romance and industry have been there for half a century. Lovers met beneath the shade of the village trees and plighted their troth, and Dbys and iris ascended into young manhood and young womanhood as the village grew. But the eternal principles of progress must be con formed to Osborn goes out of existence that $250. (KX).O(X) worth of property elsewhere in the great Miami valley may be preserved and protected. 9 Ullltnw m W.-A-rfM s 3 nStH Z. - : . I WC- T MflsjsJtfHsVi WSBBOMagSljSjgMi BBlriTBlSPFIIPv Msl ' . fsi " hHbhbhP II The school house of Osborn. Typical street scene in Osborn. One of the churches of Osborn. . t lWVtt T ' ''""'"",ti . ,,, wwptp . water. The darkened portion shows extent to which the village will be under water. The dam.