Remembering Dorchester, Jan. 23, 2019

From the pages of the Banner
50 years ago
A slum landlord in Cambridge who pays $30 or $35 a year in city property taxes can collect that much in rent each week by dividing his house into three substandard units. The landlord who raises his rent $4 a week to take care of improvements averaging $600 to $900 a year is realizing a return of 20 percent on a $1,000 investment.

“Citizens who are indignant at the national image of Cambridge during the Sixties must recognize that there is some justification for it.”
These facts and observations are culled from a 28-page Housing Report prepared for the League of Women Voters of Dorchester County by its Housing Committee. At a recent meeting, the League accepted the report and agreed to support:
Improvement of existing housing through:
Establishment of a minimum code for Dorchester County through enactment of a statewide code
Improvement of the housing code of Cambridge
Funds and necessary personnel for both
Prompt demolition of condemned housing to prevent re-use

The committee makes it clear that public housing compounds a social problem by segregating the poor. Public housing in the midst of a poor district soon degenerates into another slum, the report adds.
It notes that 40 families in the Calvin W. Mowbray public housing project are earning incomes above established levels. They have had their rent raised 20 percent and been given six month to find other places to live, but none is to be found.

100 years ago
Only two new cases of influenza have been reported today to Dr. Wolff, health officer for Cambridge.
The emergency nurse contributed her life to help save the people of Dorchester from the terrible epidemic of influenza. What is your contribution to the Emergency Hospital to help blot out the scourge?

Mr. James E. Andrews, a member of the Andrews Packing Co., received this week a letter dated Dec. 18, from Private Carlie M. Dunn, of this city, now in France, inclosing a label taken from one of their tomato cans. Private Dunn stated that he is well, but that the climate of Cambridge is the best that he has ever found, and that he hopes to get home soon to enjoy it.
First Lieutenant J. Spence Phelps, Company I, 115th Infantry, has arrived home on a furlough of 30 days. Lt. Phelps was in the thickest of the fighting and was severely wounded, it being feared for a time that he would lose the use of his right arm, but the wound finally healed nicely and the government expert medical authorities assure him that he will recover complete use of the arm.

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