Middlebury Like your Humble Scribe, you need be merely an amateur student of history to earn a chuckle over the be careful what you wish for adage, because you may get it timeline of American urban evolution.
As the 19th century unrolled, farm population, thanks to productivity gains based on mechanization, was decreasing, and city population, thanks to an expanding manufacturing-and-trade economy, was increasing.
There wasn’t yet much of a middle class or suburbia in the modern sense, and as the post-Civil War years brought such urban amenities as sidewalks and running water, fire protection and sewage disposal, city taxpayers declined to extend these services to socially-lesser rural folks still out there beyond the streetlamps.
One of the first to draw its boundaries tightly around itself for economic separation from the countryfolk was St. Louis City, seceding from the eponymous county in 1876.
By 1892, Rutland City incorporated for the same reason. Urban-superiority attitudes haven’t changed much since: during the mid-1960s there was Carris Reels CEO Henry Carris, on a Rutland Area Vocational Center planning committee, telling his Shrewsbury counterpart that, “we don’t need your kids; all they bring us is the cowst on their shoes”. Tehn, during the mid-1980s, there was a group of Williamstown soccer-moms picketing the Vermont Health Department in Burlington. They told then Commissioner Roberta Coffin that, “you’re not going to treat us like a bunch of farmers”; they disapproved of her response to a water quality scare at the local elementary school.
•Irony number 1: by the time Rutland City embraced incorporation, the new electric street cars had already begun to sprout middle-class commuting suburbs beyond big-city boundaries.
•Irony number 2: since the late 1950s, there have been efforts by central cities to capture the wealth in the suburbs (urbanists now claim the money has been unjustly taken from the more deserving recipients downtown).