At the beginning of the twentieth century my grandfather left his mark on his community in Central Pennsylvania. Being a concrete mason, he did every kind of concrete work you could imagine. A few years ago my brothers and I went looking for pieces of his work and found several that still had his name and the date carved into them. The little town of Allensville had his sidewalks until the 1990’s. My brother-in-law was there when some of his sidewalks were being torn up and replaced. He salvaged a few pieces with names and dates on them . I took the 1914 piece, in the photo, and embedded it into a brick wall I built in my back yard. There it can live on. This poem is a tribute to my grandfather, Christian Roth.
In 1914 he made this mark carved in wet concrete
Lived on the sidewalk for ninety years
His hard back breaking work complete
With progress comes change and new town walks
Grabbed a piece while being broken up
Saved for conversation memories and talk
The quality of his work was undeniable
A hundred years later still solid as rock
A fine lasting piece still carrying his label
C. Roth found in concrete all over the valley
1912, 1914, and many more were there
Leaving his mark too many to tally
Walks, Watering Troughs, Sinks, and Ponds
Bake Ovens, Cow Stables, Root Cellars and Walls
A century of quality was his lasting bond
Now I plant this piece of stone from a century long gone
A tribute to my Grandfather
For the next hundred years on…
Photos: Dwight L. Roth
Headstone made of concrete and crushed glass was made for his son who died in a car wreck in 1926.
The wash house stove hearth was made in 1912 for my Great Grandparents.
The bake oven was built on a farm an is still in the yard. It was repaired and repointed by my uncle and my cousin over fifty years ago.
The 1914 piece from the town sidewalk.