Bill Caldwell: Rural sidewalk listed as historic place |

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If you're asked to name historic places, what comes to mind? Buildings, parks, battlefields, monuments, cemeteries, canals and archaeological sites would be logical responses. But do you ever think of sidewalks? Perhaps the Hollywood Walk of Fame would be a first thought. Yet there is a little-noticed sidewalk in the Tri-State District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. . . .

Even before the school consolidation, in March 1928, while walking along U.S. 69, two teachers and several children were on their way home from school in Franklin. One little girl, Enid Gardner, 6, darted into the path of a motor vehicle and was killed. Other accidents and deaths took place along the same route. Besides schoolchildren, adults without cars trekked the route to shop in Arma. A steady stream of pedestrians was common.

The Record reported on May 14, 1936, the decision was made to build a sidewalk along the route because of hazards to pedestrians walking to Arma. The Pittsburg Headlight identified the contractor as F.N. Freeto. That article, too, highlighted the sidewalk's purpose to help with the "safety of pedestrians who transact business in Arma."