#Flashback Friday: The Mean Streets of Cody

Images of Sheridan Avenue from the early days reveal that the street, when dry, was a dusty, rock-strewn road that seldom received any meaningful maintenance. With a little rain or snow-melt it quickly turned into a muddy, pond-filled morass irritating for automobiles & all but impassable to foot traffic. [image: Image 3-a.jpg] By the late 1920’s it became clear that with Cody’s increasing population & the growing volume of traffic moving through town this dusty and/or muddy situation could no longer be endured. In an attempt to quickly begin improvements the city council created a downtown “paving district” in early 1929 as an emergency measure. But a group of Cody business owners, sardonically christened “the Backwoods Bunch” due to their apparent lack of support for modernization, took the city to court in a successful attempt to halt the hastily initiated improvement plan. [image: Image 3-b.jpg] The “Backwoods Bunch” won their case because the judge found that although paving Sheridan Avenue was obviously needed, it was clearly not an emergency, which was the rationale the city council had used to push through the measure so quickly to begin with. Not to be deterred, in early 1930 the city again created a paving district encompassing only a few blocks of Sheridan Ave. from 9th St. to 12th St. When the city was informed by the Highway Department that the project qualified for subsidies from the Federal Aid Fund they expanded their plan to encompass the length of Sheridan Ave from 8th St. to 17th St. [image: Image 3-c.JPG] The entire project was projected to cost $100,000, with the Federal Aid Fund contributing a quarter of the money & the city paying the rest. Paving began in September of 1930 & the first section from 9th St. to 12th St. was completed by April of 1931. The rest of Sheridan Ave. & many of the side streets were paved shortly afterward. [image: Image 3-d.JPG] H/t Park County Archives #reboot #news