A3Writer: Detailed Cartography: Meriville
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Detailed Cartography: Meriville


     Despite being founded many years after Fairhaven, the two towns were often thought of as being twins. Meridian was established because many of the loggers in Sherwood thought Fairhaven was too far away, especially since they would have to be up early and back to work. Meridian initially was nothing more than a few inns and taverns that were more respectable than those in Sherwood, but more convenient and cheaper than those in Fairhaven. Gradually, much of what Fairhaven had to offer became available in Meridian. Fairhaven's decline was Meridian's gain as the town became the focus for those living in Sherwood and Dante. It began to handle the banking and other needs of those people, at least until the Depression.
     The Great Depression virtually destroyed Meridian. With the collapse of banks and the joblessness, the very livelihood of Meridian dropped out, rendering many homeless. Many of the homeless and jobless ended up living outside the city, forming a shanty town with those from Sherwood and Dante. So many of the people were affected by the Depression that many began to refer to Meridian as a hooverville, or Meriville.
     To save the town, Meridian's mayor and council spoke with Fairhaven. They decided to incorporate into one city, which would help create new jobs and spur on growth. Soon Meridian became part of Belport, but its Depression era name stuck, turning it into the neighborhood of Meriville.
     Meriville is often thought of in the same way as New York's Greenwich Village with its quirky artists and odd way of doing things. The Grind became a permanent structure south of Meriville, but as time went on, Meridian Street, which used to mark the center of town, became its southern border as the Grind encroached.