Weekly Acorns

Archive for March, 2008

Oak Crest Loses Another Piece Of Its History

Saturday, March 29th, 2008


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Weekly Acorn #24 

Well, I am interrupting the Neighborhood Boundries series once again to bring you the sad news that Oak Crest has lost another house.  On January 26 of this year Maple Springs United Methodist Church had the little house at 189 Crepe Myrtle Cr torn down.   It sat behind the larger house at 187 Crepe Myrtle Cr.  Unfortunately, on Thursday, March 27 they had the larger house torn down. 

The house was built in 1950 by Ray E and Jennie L (Louella) Cornelius.  They had built the little house behind it a few years earlier just after WWII out of salvage building materials.  Then they built this as their dream house a few years later. 

After the Cornelius’s deaths Maple Springs purchased the property in October 2006.  They have told residents on Crepe Myrtle Cr that they plan to put a meditation garden on the property. 

You can learn more about this property in Weekly Acorn #15

Click on the photos above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.  Additional photos of this property are available in the Crepe Myrtle Cr and Other Photos sections of the gallery.

The residents of the neighborhood are devastated by the loss of such a beautiful home.  They/we all feel that the church could have considered other alternatives that would have prevented such a well built house from being demolished. 

I will say this again, 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.

Hopefully, if no more houses are destroyed, I will resume my series next week!

Neighborhood Boundries (Part 9) - History Of Polo Rd - Conclusion

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #23

Last week I began the history of Polo Rd and decided to break it up into two parts.  This week I am going to briefly list the neighborhoods along West Polo Rd and the streets in each, but not in as much detail as I did with Oak Crest and neighborhoods along East Polo Rd. 

Beginning at Robinhood Rd and heading east on West Polo Rd (formerly Mount Tabor Rd) the following neighborhoods are located on the north side (not including the apartment complexes, condos, or newer neighborhoods).  These are only the original neighborhoods.  Also, I am going to list the original street names as several of them have changed. 

Foxhall -  (established in several phases between 1964 - 1967) 

Polo Rd (north side only from Greenvalley to Petree); Abingdon Way; Foxhall Dr; Redoak Ln; Meade Ln; Greenvalley Dr; Willowlake Rd; Shelter Cove; and Petree Rd (west side only from Polo to Mt Tabor High School).

Knollwood - (estab date not listed) the oldest house I found was built in 1920.

Polo Rd (formerly Ridgecrest Dr from Petree Rd to Tabor St); Petree Rd* (formerly Carolina Dr from Polo to sharp turn at school); Millerwood Dr; Leafland St; Linbrook Dr; Benbow St (formerly Glendale Dr); Tabor St (only from Polo [Ridgecrest] to sharp curve, then Oakview St from curve to Benbow [Glendale]): Yates St (was supposed to extend west to Linbrook and east to Endsley but was never completely developed).

*An interesting note about Petree Rd is that a 1955 map shows it as Petree Rd from Polo Rd to the curve at Mt Tabor High School, then it becomes Old Town School Rd and runs into what is now Shattalon Dr and continues to Old Town School.    

Polo Acres (formerly Derby Heights) - (estab circa 1930) the oldest house I found was built in 1939.

Endsley Av; Faircloth Av (formerly Austin Av); Euclid St (formerly Fairview St); Rosebud St (formerly Woodland St); and Yates St (never developed to connect from Knollwood).  Ketner St (never developed) was supposed to be a connector that began at Yates St and ran south at the west ends of Euclid and Rosebud Streets and ending just south of Euclid St.  The street right of ways for both Ketner St and the unfinished portions of Yates St are indicated in the Forsyth County Geo-Data Explorer.

Polo View Extension - (estab date not listed)  the oldest house I found was built in 1925.

Stretch of Polo Rd (formerly New Mount Tabor Rd) across from ball fields and Speas Elementary School.

Now the neighborhoods along the south side of West Polo Rd heading east from Robinhood Rd.

Old Town (no designated neighborhood) - the oldest house I found was built in 1920.

Polo Rd (from Robinhood Rd to Whitaker Rd south side only); Lee St; Greenvalley Dr (formerly Violet St - south side only).

Carter Park - (estab date not listed)  the oldest house I found was built in 1930.

Polo Rd (formerly Ridgecrest Dr from Petree Rd to Tabor St); Whitaker Rd (formerly Clover St and was only a few  blocks long at the time); Carter Cr (the east stretch was formerly called Carter St).

Old Town (no designated neighborhood) - the oldest house I found was built in 1910.

Evergreen Dr (formerly Sylvan Rd); Merrimont Dr (formerly New Miller Rd) 

Clinard Oaks - (estab date not listed)  the oldest house I found was built in the mid 1950’s.

Lancaster St; Truman St; Glenwood St; Jeffrey Ln (formerly Turner St); and Spradlin St

The remaining neighborhoods on West Polo Rd from Speas Elementary School to Reynolda Rd are discussed in detail in Weekly Acorn #20 (I will be making some revisions on that post this week as well).

Next week I will discuss the neighborhood directly south of Oak Crest, Woodberry Forest.  

Neighborhood Boundries (Part 8) - History Of Polo Rd

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #22

I am not sure exactly when Polo Road was created.  The City of W-S Streets Division does not have any records dating back that far and the earliest map I have been able to locate is a Forsyth County map from 1907.  I am still searching for information in the NC room at the library. 

Polo Rd is divided into two segments, West Polo and East Polo, with Reynolda Rd being the dividing line.  Most people do not distinguish between West and East any longer, but those terms were widely used in the mid-century.  I am going to distinguish between the two for the sake of this history lesson.  

West Polo - The oldest stretch of Polo Rd is West Polo Rd.  I am not sure of its date of origin, but the earliest history I have been able to find is on a 1907 Forsyth County map.  It does not have a name and the map legend refers to it as a “public road”.  It only shows it running from Robinhood Rd to Reynolda Rd.  I am sure it was a dirt road in those days. 

Over the years West Polo has gone by several other names.  I am not sure of the order or the dates or the boundries of these names, but I will tell you what I know so far.

Mount Tabor Rd  - It was named after Mount Tabor United Methodist Church on Robinhood Rd (formerly Brookstown Rd).  Brookstown Rd was named after Brookstown United Methodist Church on Yadkinville Rd (formerly…….).  I have seen Mount Tabor Rd listed on several maps

New Mount Tabor Rd - I saw this name on one plat along the stretch where the polo field was located.   

Ridgecrest Rd - This name was only indicated between Petree Rd (formerly Carolina Rd) and Tabor St.  

The neighborhoods of Knollwood and Carter Park were along the stretch called Ridgecrest Dr.   Other neighborhoods along West Polo are Foxhall, Derby Heights (now Polo Acres), Clinard Oaks, Polo View, Polo View Extension, Polo Grove, Polo Grove Addition, and Amherst.    I will continue this segment and discuss these neighborhoods in my next post. 

East Polo - This segment of Polo Rd was not on the 1907 map.  However, there was a “cartway” that ran just south of the present East Polo Rd.   It began in the vicinity of Maple Springs United Methodist Church on Reynolda Rd and ran east and ending either at Indiana Av or Patterson Av.  Then a 1927 Forsyth County map does show East Polo Rd at its present location*.

*Some new found information has just revealed that a sand clay rd was completed by the county circa early 1923 and began at Reynolda Rd (referred to as the concrete highway and the Boone Trail Highway) and continued east connecting with the Old Town, Rural Hall, and Walkertown roads. 

Somewhere between 1907 and 1923 is probably when East Polo originated.  It was definitely present when Oak Crest was Platted in June 1923.  I also saw a map of it referenced in the book Reynolda: A History Of An American Country House by Barbara Mayer.  The map references a 95 acre parcel of land purchased for Reynolda in 1920 from H A Nading along Sand Clay Rd (East Polo).  I believe this is the parcel where WFU is now located. 

Like West Polo, East Polo went through several name changes as well.   

sand clay road - This is what East Polo was called before it really had a name.  I believe it was completed circa early 1923. 

Oak Crest Dr - This name was quite possibly the first name and was used when the neighborhood of OC was platted in June 1923.  The only place I have seen this name indicated is through the Oak Crest neighborhood.  

Polo Rd gets its name for a large polo field that existed where Speas Elementary School and its ball fields are now located.   The big white house (2078 Polo) adjacent to the field on the west side served as a clubhouse for the polo field.   Both the polo field and the clubhouse were part of the Reynolds estate. 

I am not sure when Polo Rd was named.  My guess is sometime between 1928 and 1937 (based on plats and maps I have studied).  I am also not sure when Polo was paved.   I do believe it was paved in segments.   I have been told that the segment through Oak Crest was possibly paved around 1936. 

I will continue the History of Polo Rd in my next post.  

Neighborhood Walks Through Oak Crest

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #21

I am interrupting the Neighborhood Boundries series as I continue to do research on the final three parts.  With spring just around the corner and many of us probably having cabin fever, I thought I would take this opportunity to invite my neighbors to join me in daily walks through Oak Crest.  It’s a great way to socialize with neighbors, enjoy these beautiful sunny days, and get some exercise.  

I usually walk in the early afternoon (just after lunch) and begin on Harmon Av at Polo Rd.  I generally take the following route:  Harmon to Hobart; Hobart to Rosedale; Rosedale (south and east) to Polo; cross Polo to Friendship (east end); walk all the way around Friendship (to west end); cross Polo to Crepe Myrtle; loop around Crepe Myrtle back to Polo; Polo back to Harmon. 

Please feel free to join me either as I begin at Harmon and Polo or just “fall in” where ever you wish and tag along for the rest.  I would love the company. 

As the weather gets warmer I will probably begin early in the mornings or early evenings when it is much cooler.  

If enough folks are interested in participating, we can adjust our schedule as needed.  So come on out and let’s have some fun!

Neighborhood Boundries (Part 7) - West Polo Area

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Weekly Acorn #20

West Polo Rd is the oldest segment of the road.   It begins at Robinhood Rd and runs east ending at Reynolda Rd.  East Polo Rd picks up at Reynolda Rd and continues east and ending at Indiana Av.  There are quite a few neighborhoods along  West Polo Rd, but I am not going to list them all.   I am going to mention a couple of neighborhoods that begin along Reynolda and extend out along West Polo Rd.  Here They are:

Amherst, Polo Grove, and Polo Grove Addition - (no est. date listed) these neighborhoods begin at the intersection of Polo Rd and Reynolda Rd and run west for a couple of blocks.  They were all clumped together without any specific boundries of designation other than the entire plat of all three.  

Reynolda Rd (West side only) - Extends north of Polo Rd to include the veterinary clinic (2600) and the former home of Dr Cox (2608).  Then it extends south of Polo Rd to include Dr Speas’ house/office (2598), Clyde Myers’ house (2594), and Dr Speas’ first home/office (2586) on Reynolda. 

Polo Rd (formerly Mount Tabor Rd) - Beginning at Reynolda Rd and extending west to the first lot past Wake Dr on the north side and to 1718 Polo on the south side.   

Owen Dr (formerly Montgomery St/Oak Dr) - Beginning at Polo Rd and extending south one block and ending at 2560 Owen on the west side and 2551 Owen on the east side.  This street does continue several blocks south, but is part of another neighborhood (Polo View) and also has been divided by Silas Creek Pky extention.

Polo View - (no est. date listed) this neighborhood picks up adjacent to Amherst, Polo Grove, and Polo Grove Addition and runs west to where Speas Elementary School is now located.  It also includes the area between Polo Rd and Reynolda Rd west.

Reynolda Rd (west side only) - Beginning at Silas Creek Pky bridge (formerly 2576 and 2566) and extending south to 2422 Reynolda Rd just before the BB&T Business Center (formerly Western Electric).

Polo Rd  (formerly Mount Tabor Rd and also Polo Dr) - Beginning at 1735 Polo on the north side and running west and ending at 1839 Polo (at Polo View).  Then beginning at 1732 Polo on the south side and running west and ending at 1830 Polo (at Meadow View Dr).

Henning Dr - This street begins at Reynolda Rd (between 2440 and 2512) and extends west ending at Owen Dr.  This street originally ended at Quincy Dr.  The original plats and old maps show it as extended all the way to Polo Rd (between houses 1798 and 1800).  Silas Creek Pky extention has now divided the original street and as a result, Quincy Dr was extended about one block southeast.

Owen Dr (formerly Montgomery St/Oak Dr) - Picking up at 2540 on the west side and 2539 on the east side and continuing south and ending at Henning Dr.  The original street has now been divided by Silas Creek Pky extention. 

Quincy Dr (formerly West Dr) - This street branches west from Owen Dr, then curves south a couple of blocks and ends.  This street gained an additional block of what was originally Henning Dr when Silas Creek Pky extention was cut through. 

Meadow View Dr - This street only exists on the original plat and old maps.   It is located on the south side and just west of 1830 Polo Rd and is about one block long.  I do not think it was ever used.  It may have been intended as a right of way to some property further south off Polo Rd.   

Polo View - This street only appears as a driveway now.  I seem to remember it being a short street with oil and gravel.  It is located on the north side and just west of 1839 Polo Rd and is about one block long.  I believe it served as an access road to some property behind 1839 and 1903 Polo where Polo Oaks is now located.  It is only used for driveway access for those two addresses now. 

Wake Drive Neighborhood - Wake Dr branches off the north side of Polo Rd on the west end of Polo Grove.  Since it is another neighborhood, I will not be including it in this post. 

One last thing, Ransom Rd was formerly Old Brookstown Rd as indicated on a 1955 map.

In my next post I will discuss the history of Polo Rd. 

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