Weekly Acorns

Archive for September, 2008

Weekly Acorns Turns One Year Old!

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #50

Exactly one year ago yesterday, September 26, 2007, was the debut of this blog and my first post.  

When my web designer, Carmel Hall, of Celeste Teal Creations designed this blog, I had no idea exactly how I was going to utilize it.  She designed the whole thing using the color scheme of my website, created the beautiful header at the top of the page and Carmel actually wrote the very first post and introduced the concept of “Weekly Acorns.”   With that, I took the ball and ran.  

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At first I had planned to fully utilize its functionality as an interactive blog.  But, I soon discovered that most of the comments I was receiving were regarding my massage therapy practice and had nothing to do with the neighborhood history.   To go further, I began to get comments and registrations from spammers that had nothing to do at all with the purpose of the blog.   So, I made a decision to restrict it to a non-interactive blog and to no longer allow comments.  

In the near future I will be having Carmel to redesign the header to say ”Weekly Acorns” instead of “Whoopee Hill.” 

Then in the months ahead you can continue to be educated and entertained by the fascinating history of our wonderfully unique neighborhood, Oak Crest.  

A New Beginning! What Does The Future Hold?

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #49

It has been six months now since the house at 187 Crepe Myrtle Cr was torn down.   Two months prior to that the smaller house behind it (189) was torn down as well.   Although it was a shame to see either of them go, time has a way of healing the hard feelings that a lot of people had when they were so suddenly taken down. 

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These two houses once stood on Crepe Myrtle Cr.  187 (left) was built in 1950 and the smaller house 189 (right) was built just after WWII using salvaged building materials.  The smaller house sat behind the large one and was the first house built by the Corneliuses until they could afford to build the larger one a few years later.   Click on the photos above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

So, why were these houses torn down and what is next for the property where they once stood? 

In October of 2006, the children of Ray and Louella Cornelius decided to sell the property and houses that their parents had called home since WWII, and where the children grew up, to Maple Springs United Methodist Church.   The Corneliuses had been long time members of the church and the children thought the church could use the property and houses for the good of the church.   They especially thought the larger house, at least, would be spared and used as a missions house or church offices.  

Over the years the church had acquired surrounding properties along Reynolda Rd and expanded the building and parking lot.   Then when they acquired the Cornelius property, instead of renovating the houses, or at least the larger one (which was a very well built house) for church use, they chose to demolish both of them and create a meditation garden (as the neighbors were told). 

In a nutshell, the church did not want to spend any money to renovate the houses and instead only wanted to property for added “green space” which was needed to fulfill the reqiurement for their large parking lots.   Also, earlier this year the church purchased the vacant property at the corner of Reynolda Rd and Woodberry Dr that has been used as a garden for many years.   I assume that property will apply as needed “green space” as well.  

As for the meditation garden,  how about an empty grassy hole where a house once stood?  That is all you get, but then again, meditation is all about “empty” thoughts.   However, I had envisioned a nice pathway with some landscaping and benches along the way and maybe a nice statue or fountain.   I will admit though that when I visit the property now it is very peaceful and quiet and the sound of the birds is very soothing.   

The church has added some child sized picnic tables down near the creek that runs along the back side of the property for the children to use.  

So, what does the future hold for this property?   I do not know for sure.   But I do hope that they will keep the area only as “green space.”  I would not mind at all if they would landscape it as I described above to make it a more functional and attractive meditation garden.   It would also be nice if the area were named in honor of the Corneliuses.  Many of the trees, shrubs, and flowers that the Corneliuses planted and maintained as well as a storage shelter and a unique driveway that Mr Cornelius and his son built brick by brick still remain.  

When the houses were torn down and the debris was being hauled off, I did salvage as much as I could from the site.   I got some windows, cinder blocks, and tons of brick.   I have used some of the cinder blocks to outline a raised bed vegetable garden and I am still chiseling mortar from the bricks which I plan to use to make a driveway and/or patio like Mr Cornelius made. 

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This is the property as it looks now.  The two photos on the left is where the houses stood.   The two photos on the right show the unique driveway and storage shelter that still remain on the property.   Click on the photos above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

The Two Houses Of 135 Rosedale

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #48

This address really tells a story.  In fact, I have already written about the property itself in a previous post (Weekly Acorn #37).  There I tell about the lot being the largest on Rosedale Cr and how it was intended to become a street, Belmont Ct, that was supposed to branch off of Rosedale Cr.  For additional information and early history of this parcel, please refer to that post.

The first house that was built on this property was built in 1936 when it was owned by T L and S C Ogburn.    The house sat way back off the street.   The original subdivision of this property had a proposed street running along the east edge of the property and contained seven large lots along one side of the street.   Reynolda was on the other side. 

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This house was the first house at 135 Rosedale Cr and was built in 1936.  Without being moved, but instead the property being subdivided, this house is now 135 Aaron Ln.   Click on the photo above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Later, when the Aaron’s purchased the property in 1943, they had the proposed street changed to run down the middle of the property with smaller lots along both sides of the street.   After Mr Aaron’s death in 1952, Mrs Aaron was left to decide how to develop the property.   It was during this same time that Wake Forest College was building their campus on the portion of Reynolda that was adjacent to the Aaron’s property.  So, Mrs Aaron negotiated with the college to allow access to her property from the campus.  In exchange, she agreed to give Wake Forest staff members priority and a special price on the lots. 

The original proposed single street, Belmont Ct, was changed to two streets, Aaron Ln and Belle Vista Ct.   The existing house was now closer to Aaron Ln, so the address was changed to 135 Aaron Ln and became the first house in the “new” neighborhood and was actually built before the neighborhood.  

This left a large vacant area that was no longer serving as a front yard to the house.   So it was sold as single lot fronting Rosedale Cr and another house was built on it in 1958.  The address of the new house was able to keep the original house number, 135 Rosedale Cr, since the address of the original house became 135 Aaron Ln. 

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This is the second house at 135 Rosedale Cr and was built in 1958.  If the original proposed street (Belmont Ct) had been connected to Rosedale Cr, this would have been the location of the intersection and this house would not exist.  Click on the photo above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Oak Crest (Part 18) - Idlewilde Ct And Idlewilde Heath - Conclusion

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #47

This week I am going to conclude with the discussion of the creation of Idlewilde Heath.   This will also be the conclusion of this multi-part series.  

Idlewilde Heath was the last subdivision of Oak Crest and is located at the end of the cul-de-sac of Idlewild Dr.  

In May 1936 Idlewild Dr was created and was subdivided into 26 lots from the original parcels 8 & 9 of Oak Crest.   In September 1936, Annie S Koontz purchased lot #’s 12 & 13.  Later in April 1937 she purchased an additional parcel adjacent to lot 13 on the north side that was almost 5 acres and was owned by C B and Bertha J Whicker.   This became lot #101 and was incorporated into Oak Crest. 

Then in March 1944 all three lots (12, 13, and 101) were purchased by L Viola Stith.  The Stith’s built a house on lot 12 in 1946.  Lot 12 with the house was passed to Frank A Stith, Jr in December 1965 and later to David Stith in July 1992.   The Stith’s sold the other lots (13 and 101) to Victor M lefkowitz and wife Judith in May 1977.  In July 1984 Victor M Lefkowitz was listed as sole owner of the property.  Finally, in March 1985 it was sold to B M W Developers. 

B M W Developers created a subdivision called Idlewilde Heath and divided it into 19 lots.  They cut two streets through the property.  The main street is called Idlewilde Heath Dr with a hairpin curve and ending in a cul-de-sac.  The second street branches east off of Idlewilde Heath Dr.  It is called Idlewilde Heath Ct and is a short curved street also ending in a cul-de-sac. 

Most of the lots now contain houses with two new houses currently under construction. 

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This current (2004) map of Oak Crest and original plat of the Idlewilde Heath subdivision are shown together here for comparison to illustrate how portions of the original parcels 9 & 10 were subdivided to create Idlewilde Ct.  The map (upper left) shows lot #13 in the cul-de-sac of Idlewild Dr and lot 101 just to the northeast of it are outlined in green to show the boundries of the Idlewilde Heath subdivision.   A revised plat of original parcels 8 & 9 of Oak Crest (upper right).  The original plat of Idlewilde Heath subdivision (bottom).  Click on the map and plats above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

Well, this concludes the creation of Oak Crest series.   I would say that this 18 part series is the most significant of all of my posts.  Please continue to stay tuned as I have a lot more interesting information about Oak Crest and the families who helped shape the neighborhood.

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