Weekly Acorns

Archive for January, 2008

Oak Crest Loses A Piece Of Its History

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

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Weekly Acorn #15

I have decided to interrupt my 10 part Neighborhood Boundries series to share with you the sad news that Oak Crest has lost another house.   This week the little house at 189 Crepe Myrtle Cr that sits behind 187 Crepe Myrtle Cr was demolished.  

Maple Springs United Methodist Church purchased the property in October 2006 .  At this time, I do not know what Maple Springs plans to do with the property.  

Both houses are located on the same property which was purchased by Ray E and Jennie L Cornelius in 1946.   From what I have been told by neighbors, the Cornelius’s first built the little house (189) right after WWII.   At that time building materials were very hard to get.  Much of the house was built out of salvaged building materials.  It was a cute little cinder block house that was painted white. 

The Cornelius’s lived in the little house until after their children were born.  Then in 1950 the larger house (187) was built in front of it and the family moved in it.  Since then, the little house has been used as a rent house and was even occupied until just a few weeks ago. 

Since the Cornelius’ passed away, their family had rented both houses for a while before finally selling the property to the church. 

This type of building pattern seemed to be common Oak Crest.  First a little house or garage/apartment was built and the family lived in it until they could afford to build their dream house.  Then the smaller house was used as a rental unit.  It is a clear indication that  Oak Crest was a highly desirable neighborhood and that families planned on staying here for good.  In fact, there are some families that remain in OC that have been here since the 1920’s. 

Over the years Oak Crest has lost several houses.   I think it’s sad and hate to see any of them demolished.  As we anticipate historic designation in the near future, I feel it is important that we as a community take a stand and try to keep the demolition and deterioration of our neighborhood to a minimum.  Each house we lose is a piece of history lost. 

A special thank you goes to Helen Etters for being instantly available to take these photos.  

Click on the photos above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

I will resume the Neighborhood Boundries series in my next post.  Part 3 will be information about neighborhoods along Bethabara/Old Town Rd. 

Neighborhood Boundries (Part 2) - Long Acres - Continued

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #14

In my previous post I discussed the “Long Acres” area neighborhoods along the south side of Polo Rd.  If you are reading my posts on a weekly basis, please read last week’s post again as I have made some revisions.  It may also be a good idea to read this entire multi-part series (Neighborhood Boundries) again when it is complete.  I plan for the series to consist of 10 parts. 

This week I will share with you the neighborhoods on the north side of Polo Rd and east of University Pky.  Then one neighborhood that is located on the east portion of Polo Rd to Cherry St and continues on the east side of Cherry St.   Here they are:

Old Town (Brookwood?) -  (from 1951 plat) This plat did not indicate a neighborhood title, so I assume it was just referred to as Old Town (indicated on the plat), which is the name of this particular township of Forsyth County.  I will explain this in further detail in a couple of weeks in Neighborhood Boundries (Part 4) of this series.  [I have been told by a resident in the area that this neighborhood was called “Brookwood”, which does make sense.  I will investigate further and correct as necessary].  The streets included in this area of Old Town (Brookwood?) are:

Polo Rd (north side only) - from University Pky (formerly Bethabara/Old Town Rd) to Delmonte Dr (including the ranch style house at the east corner of Delmonte Dr and Polo Rd).

University Pky - (formerly Bethabara/Old Town Rd) from Polo Rd running north to Long Dr.

Brookwood Dr (north) - From Polo Rd to Yellowstone Ln (formerly Cherry Ln).

Palm Dr - (formerly Pine Dr) begins at Brookwood Dr and runs west to University Pky (formerly Bethabara/Old Town Dr).  Pine Dr was changed to Palm Dr on 8/5/1957.

Yellowstone Ln - (formerly Cherry Ln) begins at Ewing St (formerly Oak Ln) and runs east to Brookwood Dr (for Old Town portion) and then continues and ends at Delmonte Dr.

Long Dr - Begins at Palm Dr (formerly Pine Dr) and at one time only went north to Yellowstone Ln (formerly Cherry Ln).  Later it was extended to University Pky (formerly Bethabara/Old Town Rd).  And then even later it was further extended and now comes back around and ends at Polo Rd at the stoplight where Wingate Dr goes into WFU.

Ewing St - (formerly Oak Ln) begins at Palm Dr (formerly Pine Dr) and at one time only went north to Yellowstone Ln (formerly Cherry Ln).  Later it was extended further north and now ends at Long Dr.   


Click on the plat above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Brookwood Addition - (established December 1956) This neighborhood is located on the north side of Polo Rd consists of Minorcas Rd, Delmonte Dr, and a portion of Yellowstone Ln (formerly Cherry Ln).  The land was owned by Charlie A and Ida Long. 

Delmonte Dr - (once spelled Del-Monte Dr) begins at Polo Rd and runs about one block north of Yellowstone Ln (formerly Cherry Ln).  The apartments at the very end of the street are not part of the original neighborhood.  They were added in the mid-late 1970’s.

Minorcas Rd - Begins at Polo Rd and ends at Yellowstone Ln (formerly Cherry Ln).  Original plans indicate that the street was intended to extend north of Yellowstone for several blocks and was divided into lots only on the east side of the street.   A portion of the planned extension is still visible today. 

Yellowstone Ln - (formerly Cherry Ln) the portion from Brookwood Dr running east and ends at Delmonte Dr (for the Brookwood Addition).


Click on the plat above to view an expanded version.  To view additional plats of this neighborhood, visit the Other Plats photo album or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Daltonia -  (no est. date listed) This neighborhood consists of Polo Rd (both west and east of Cherry St), Cherry St, Gossett St, May St, McCanless St, Dalton St, and Reich St.  All of the houses along Cherry St and on the streets east of Cherry St are not included as part of Long Acres or the University Area Neighborhood Association (UANA).  This land was owned by families of Daltons and Reichs.

Polo Rd - From just east of Delmonte Dr (north side) and The Sunshine House playschool (south side) to Cherry St.  Then Polo Rd (south side) from Dalton St to the RJR Archer Plant. 

Cherry St - From Howell St to Polo Rd. 

McCanless St - Begins at Cherry St and runs east ending at Dalton St. 

Gossett St - Begins at Cherry St and runs east ending at Dalton St.

May St - Begins at Gossett St and runs north ending at McCanless St.

Dalton St - Begins at Polo Rd and runs south ending just past Gossett St. 

Reich St - Begins at Polo Rd and runs south several blocks to a dead end. 

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Click on the plat above to view an expanded version.  To view additional plats of this neighborhood, visit the Other Plats photo album or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Please check back next week for information about neighborhoods along Bethabara/Old Town Rd. 

Neighborhood Boundries (Part 1) - Long Acres

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #13

A trip to the main library today helped to clarify some questions I had and enlighten me as well.  I was trying to get a better understanding of the exact boundries of Oak Crest and determine if any of the “Long Acres” area was ever part of Oak Crest.   Well, I stumbled on to a lot of interesting information regarding “Long Acres”. 

Until now we have been claiming the area of Polo Rd between University Pky and Cherry St and all of the side streets north and south of Polo to be Long Acres.   Well that is not the case at all.   This area is really comprised of several neighborhoods.   I also discovered that some of the street names have been changed over the years as well.   I examined two Forsyth County maps from 1907 and 1927 and a Winston-Salem City map from 1955.  Then I examined old plats from 1975. 

With that said, here is a breakdown of these neighborhoods: 

Long Acres - (established August 1959) This neighborhood consists of only one street.   It was part of C. A. Long’s dairy farm along Polo Rd.  It was supposed to have one side street that would have connected to the adjacent neighborhood of Lakewood. 

Marlowe Av - (Originally Marlowe Drive) This is the only street in the Long Acres neighborhood. 

Ambridge Rd - This street was never developed.   It was supposed to begin off Marlowe Dr on the east side and run about a block or so and connect with Lakewood Dr.


Click on the plat above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Lakewood - (no est. date listed) This neighborhood consists of Lakewood Dr and Brookwood Dr (south) from Howell St to Cherry St.  It also includes portions of Polo Rd, Cherry St, and University Pky.

Lakewood Dr  - Begins at University Pky (formerly Bethabara Rd/Old Town Rd), crosses Brookwood Dr and curves around to the north and ends at Howell St.  However, the street has been baracaded in the middle of the curve making it impossible to pass through.  One can access it from Howell St, but it only goes a couple hundred feet before the baracade.  At one time it was intended to continue north across Howell St and come out on Polo Rd approximately where the playschool is now located but it was never completed.   

Brookwood Dr (south) - Begins at Cherry St and runs north to Brookglen Apartments.  Then it continues from Brookglen Apartments to Polo Rd running through the Wake Homes neighborhood. 

Wakefield Dr - (formerly Pine St) begins at Brookwood Dr and ends at Howell St. 

Howell St - Begins at University Pky (formerly Bethabara Rd) and ends at Cherry St.  A portion of Howell St is called Aspen Way and goes through the middle of Aspen Park apartment complex beween Brookwood Dr and Lakewood Dr. 

Polo Rd (south side only) - From University Pky (formerly Bethabara/Old Town Rd) to where The Sunshine House playschool is located.    

Cherry St - From Reynolds Blvd to Howell St.

University Pky - (formerly Bethabara Rd/Old Town Rd) from Reynolds Blvd (including the portion of Bethabara Rd that still branches off Reynolds Blvd) to the Wake Forest University entrance. 

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Click on the plat above to view an expanded version.  To view additional plats of this neighborhood, visit the Other Plats photo album or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Wake Homes - (established October 1961) This neighborhood consists of the portion of Brookwood Dr (south) from Polo Rd to Brookglen Apartments and University Pky at the Wake Forest University entrance to Polo Rd.  All of these are ranch style homes built in the 1960’s.  The land was owned/developed by Paul H. Dunnagan.

Brookwood Dr (south) - Portion that runs from Polo Rd to Brookglen Apartments.

University Pky - (formerly Bethabara Rd/Old Town Rd) from the Wake Forest University entrance to Polo Rd.


Click on the plat above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Please check back soon for more information about the neighborhoods along Polo Rd between Univertsity Pky and Cherry St. 

Happy New Year

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #12

Happy New Year Oak Crest Neighbors!   I want to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2008!  

Last year was a great year for Oak Crest.  We made a lot of progress towards the revitalization of the neighborhood and our relationships with the community.   Here is a brief look at what we accomplished in 2007:

University Area Neighborhood Association (UANA) finally got a much needed website so members can keep up with what’s happening in the neighborhood.

UANA is also establishing relationships with other neighborhood associations in the area in order to be more effective in addressing mutual concerns. 

Dedicated residents have taken the time to assist in patrolling the area to help reduce disturbances and to create a more peaceful environment for residents to enjoy. 

A newly formed group called the University Area Community Partnership (UACP) between UANA, WFU Residence Life and Housing, WFU-PD, and Winston-Salem PD are working closely together to address concerns in the neighborhood and implement plans of action to effectively resolve the issues.

I (Kent Strupe) had this website created that contains the history of Oak Crest and also includes a large photo gallery and this blog for documenting the fascinating history of our neighborhood and the interesting residents that have made it so special. 

It is our goal that 2008 will bring forth even more progress in our efforts to revitalize Oak Crest (and Long Acres) and put us much closer to our petition for the historic designation of Oak Crest.  Here is what I plan to do to contribute to this effort:

Resume interviews with OC residents for complete and accurate facts about our history.

Continue to update the website, photo gallery, and this blog with interesting facts as I learn them.  

Continue to build the vintage photos portion of the photo gallery.

Create a “time-line” using maps of the area to illustrate the growth and development of OC from 1920 - present.

Become involved in a newly formed organization, Preserve Historic Forsyth, that is focusing on learning the histories of structures and preserving them.

Explore options for possible signage and public recognition of OC (i.e.  a “Welcome to Historic Oak Crest” sign along Polo Rd, or little “Historic Oak Crest” toppers on all existing street signs in the neighborhood, and also some media coverage on our neighborhood and what we are doing to preserve it). 

Form a sub-group(s) to focus on other areas of my original proposal to preserve and improve the neighborhood. 

Learn more about and begin the formal process of petitioning for historic designation.

This is a very exciting time for Oak Crest!  I want to encourage everyone to show your support by getting involved, attending UANA meetings, attending picnics and other social functions, sharing your thoughts, and actually BEING part of this wonderful neighborhood! 

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