Many municipal codes are relics

If you have a hankering to drive your milk wagon through an Ashland park, banish the thought. It's against the law.

A better pastime might be to listen to music on your gramophone or player piano, but not too loudly. You could be cited for disturbing other people.

The Ashland Municipal Code contains a number of similarly outdated regulations. But with the city's legal department busy on other projects and cases, city officials aren't thinking of cleaning up those sections of the code anytime soon.

In the meantime, the outdated laws provide a glimpse into the city's history.

As another measure to keep noise under control, the Ashland Municipal Code requires you to use a muffler on your steam engine.

The blowing of steam whistles is not allowed, except to let workers know when to start and stop work, or to warn of danger.

Merchants are banned from shouting, shaking a rattle or sounding a gong to attract attention to their wares.

"However, newsboys may sell newspapers and magazines by public outcry," the Ashland Municipal Code states.

Anyone who wants to make some cash by opening a slaughterhouse in Ashland should know such operations are illegal.

Long before video games and iPods came along, residents deemed piles of logs and big holes in the ground to be so alluring to children that they passed a law requiring people to put up barriers or other safeguards to keep little whippersnappers away.

Men are not allowed to enter women's rest rooms or to loiter about the entrances. Sorry, gentlemen, but that section of the code is silent on the subject of ladies and any undue interest they may have in your rest rooms.

Outhouses are illegal in Ashland, except for temporary ones put up in connection with construction projects.

People can't keep pigs in the city, unless they are miniature pigs. If you want to take your miniature pig out for a stroll, it must be on a leash not more than 6 feet long. And, like dogs, miniature pigs are not allowed in city parks.

If you've just ridden into town on your horse, don't hitch it to "any tree, shrub, railing, or other structure, except such as are provided for such purpose, or allow horses or other animals to stand unhitched while the driver or attendant is beyond reach of such horse or other animal."

Your stable must be at least 100 feet from your neighbor's house, and you must not let manure accumulate.

One law that may have seemed outdated just a few years ago has new application as more and more people become interested in raising backyard chickens.

Poultry must be kept more than 75 feet away from a neighbor's home, the Ashland Municipal Code states.

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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