Goshen News, Goshen, IN

February 15, 2013

Resistance to change has history


THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — I’ve been following the stories in The Goshen News on the proposed community center and some of the resistance to it. I also happened across an article about the 1896 water tower being demolished. That reminded me of several stories from the book, “Goshen — The First 150 Years.”  

There was much resistance to the building of the water tower in 1896 and neighbors ranted that it was a “menace to their property.” They were sure it would either blow down or spring a leak. The city fathers purchased other lots in town and moved the homes of the complainers to the new lots. Of course we now know that in 116 years there were never any major leaks, and it never blew over.

 Earlier in 1892 there was a dispute over paving the streets in Goshen. Some thought it was a waste of money. Some insisted they be paved in brick. Some insisted on stone. The council chamber had to be forcibly cleared at one meeting because council members were “fearful that men might take each other’s throats.” Now, those on South Sixth wouldn’t consider paving over those same historic bricks.

In 1930 the Goshen City Council was fed up with escalating electric rates and decided to build a new electric generating plant to control rates. A group of industrialists formed an association to fight the city on this. The group took out ads in The Goshen News-Times and threatened to cancel their power contracts with the city. The city went ahead with the plant and saved these same industrialists money on their electric bills.

 Sometimes resistance to anything new is a reflex action. Let’s look toward the future. Will those in future generations look back and find our objections worthy, or wonder what all the fuss was about?

— Rex Hooley

Goshen