Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Ancestors Land Went So Highways Could Be Built

Yesterday, I took a pragmatic stance on eminent domain.  No one is "for" eminent domain, but pretty much all of us, if we are being pragmatic, know we need it.
Economically, we all have benefited in our nation for three generations from having highways upon which to drive.  Our economic system has benefited from having them.  We, frankly, take them for granted.
Everyone who drives or has ever driven on a highway or eaten food that is delivered via a highway, has benefited from having such a mode of transportation. 
I'm not sure, even, the Amish could claim they don't benefit, at least indirectly, from this form of transportation.
My family has seen land it once owned given up for such a public good.  I have proof of that.  Here's just two of several such examples.

My great grandfather's former home in Cleveland, circa 1899, is now right of way for Interstate 90 in that city.

The Dayton neighborhood where the first two generations of one side of my family lived after coming here from Germany in the mid 19th Century is now under U.S. Route 35.

Now, I don't know whether eminent domain took their homes while they were still residents, but there's no doubt the property that once held their homes was taken for highway projects.

I'm sure this is probably the case, pragmatically, in many families.

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