These photos were taken from my car near Moon. Not near the moon, but near Moon. Downtown Moon consists of an old--very photogenic--post office (no longer used as a post office); a cemetery; some winding roads and trees. That description pretty much applies to most of inland Mathews County.
For possibly the first time ever, today's photos actually have some relationship to the post. It's a novel concept, one which very rarely occurs to me.
In the Glimpses Into the Past section of this week's Gazette Journal, there was this:
90 Years Ago
from the Mathews Journal
"The law relating to automobiles takes up a whole chapter of the State Code and is of course too lengthy to be printed here. However, here are some of the things it provides which are pertinent. A speed of not more than 10 miles an hour is prescribed when rounding curves, at the intersection of cross roads, in any village, or on any road where there is a collection of horses or persons. In passing a vehicle a machine should go to the left and not over 10 miles an hour in passing. When none of the above conditions exists, a speed of 20 miles an hour is permissible. Drivers of machines are also required to slow up when meeting vehicles and to stop when signaled to do so."
This was obviously around the time the automobile was introduced to the county, yet horse and buggies were still very much in use. Most interesting to me is that 10 mph speed limit at "the intersection of cross roads"--meaning there was no requirement to stop. You could make a turn left or right as long as nothing was coming and you lowered your speed to 10 mph. (Chances were very good that nothing was coming.)
Not that long ago, back when
(This applied to almost any intersection east and south of the Court House. In nearby Gloucester at Flat Iron, home of my great-grandfather and his blacksmith shop, there was only a yield sign leaving what is now referred to as the Taliaferro Wayside. If you were leaving Ware Neck heading to Mathews, when you hit Route 14 you hardly had to look left and you certainly didn't have to stop. This is a topic for another time, because my mother can describe that intersection from the horse and buggy days, and it was very different.)
There were also intersections where stopping was optional even though a stop sign stood proudly. When there's nothing coming for 15
All this is leading up to a point, which is bound to make itself apparent here soon.
Mathews County has no stop lights other than the obvious red light when the Gwynns Island bridge is open. Ninety years ago, there was no requirement to stop at intersections and crossroads; you could take them at 10 miles per hour. Now, there are stop signs and for the most part people
What will these intersections be like 90 years from now? Will there be stoplights?
Although we could seriously use one at the Route 3/198/Get-n-Zip intersection.