Weekly Acorns

Archive for October, 2008

Oak Crest Businesses (Part 2) - Mrs Hunt’s Kindergarten

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #54

Growing up in Oak Crest was a fun and unique experience.  Over the past eight plus decades there have been many children that were lucky enough to grow up here.   Lots of memories and life long friendships, sleep overs, acorn fights, snowball fights, sledding down Idlewild Dr, first loves, bullies, pranks, you name it, they have all been a part of life in Oak Crest. 

Many of the children in Oak Crest had the priviledge to attend their very first days of school right here in the neighborhood at Margaret Hunt’s Kindergarten class.  Mrs Hunt lived at 133 Rosedale Cr and during the 1950’s and 60’s she taught kindergarten in the finished attic of her home. 

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This house at 133 Rosedale Cr was where Margaret Hunt taught Kindergarten in her finished attic.  Click on the photo above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

A typical day in Mrs Hunt’s class, which were half days in the mornings, might consist of reading stories, artwork that they would hang on the walls, gathering downstairs by Mrs Hunt’s piano to sing songs, outings to Wake Forest College, playtime in the back yard, and snacks.   There was even a little playhouse in the classroom.   The children would attend school Monday thru Friday.   Their parents would drop them off and pick them up at the side door of the house.  

The photo below is the class of 1962-63 and two of the girls from this class still live in Oak Crest.   Lisa Talley Palmer grew up on the other side of University Pky on Yellowstone Ln (her father, Hans Talley, named the street), and where her daughter, Holly, now lives.   Lisa now lives on Crepe Myrtle Cr.   Lynn Lincoln Biggam grew up on Rosedale Cr and still lives in her childhood home. 

In addition to Lisa and Lynn, some of the other children from this photo include Mark Boger, Tony Gent, Helen Saunders, Lynn Tillett, Chip Hamrick, David Bailey, Lynn Timberlake, and Steve Hoots (Lisa’s cousin). 

Lynn Tillett and her sister, Janine Tillett Phillips, both attended Mrs Hunt’s Kindergarten and they also grew up on Rosedale Cr.  Janine still lives on Rosedale Cr, three doors up from the house where she grew up. 

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This is the class of 1962-63 of Mrs Hunt’s Kindergarten made in her attic classroom.  Notice Mrs Hunt in the background as well as the playhouse, a built-in bookcase, and the students’ drawings on the wall.  Click on the photo above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

The Hunt’s lived in their house from 1948 until each of their deaths.  Mrs Hunt lived there for nearly 40 years.  After her death the house was sold in 1988 and again several times before eventually being purchased by Wake Forest University in 2000.   The university leases the house to members of their staff.  

Oak Crest Businesses (Part 1) - Oak Crest Florist

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #53

Over the years there have been several small businesses that were either located in Oak Crest or near the neighborhood that were a significant part of our community.   This multi-part series will cover those businesses.  

I will begin the series with the one business that included the name Oak Crest and the one that inspired me to begin the historical research of our neighborhood.   One day I was cleaning out my attic and found a box with a dried corsage from one of my sisters high school dances.   The box read “Oak Crest Florist, 314 Friendship Circle.” 

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This house at 314 Friendship Cr was the home of Ralph and Eleanor Lyon.  Mrs Lyon ran the Oak Crest Florist in her basement.  Click on the photo above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

314 Friendship Cr was the home of Ralph and Eleanor Lyon.  They built the house in 1947, which was just next door to Ralph’s parents (310 Friendship).  Eleanor started a florist in the garage area of her basement, called Oak Crest Florist.  Later they added a two car detached garage and two greenhouses behind it.

She ran the florist until she decided to sell it and raise their two daughters, Linda and Teresa. So, she sold the florist to Betty Cartwright Seivers who moved the business to her home in Walkertown.  Betty kept the name Oak Crest Florist and ran it until she retired.

Betty was a close friend and employee of Eleanor’s.  Betty also grew up in Oak Crest. Her father, Walter Cartwright, farmed the land of Sunnynoll Farm (the Egbert Davis estate corner of Reynolda Rd & Polo Rd).  The Cartwright’s lived in a small brick bungalow on the farm.  The brick on the house matched the light colored brick on the main house of Sunnynoll. The little house, now demolished, was located on Polo Rd (north side) where the bridge crosses over Silas Creek Pky.

Eleanor later joined her brother at Sherwood Flower Shop on Robinhood Rd until she retired.  After the death of her husband, Eleanor decided to sell the home.  She has since remarried and lives in town and is now Eleanor Brown.

Oldest House In Oak Crest - Update

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #52

Last December I wrote a post (WA #10) about the oldest house in Oak Crest (1203 Polo) being restored by owner Steve Russell.   It has been nearly a year and one can see that progress is being made.  Steve is doing the renovations mostly by himself.  

There is a noticible difference on the outside of both the house and the garage.   The garage has a new tin roof and a fresh coat of primer.  The house is almost complete with a coat of primer as well.   The original color of the house in 1925 was a light gray, similar to the color of the primer.   Steve found some wood siding pieces that contained the original color and plans to have it matched when he paints it.  

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This is the house and garage as they look now.  Click on the photos above to view an expanded version or visit the entire Historic Oak Crest Photo Gallery.

As for the inside, not much has been done yet.   A new heating and cooling system has been installed.  The huge basement has been cleaned out (which even extends under the front porch) and it also has a fireplace. 

My favorite feature is the original prairie style rope and pulley windows.  They really make the house look very attractive and add such character.   I am glad they are being preserved.  

Steve’s goal is to restore the house to the way it was when his parents bought it 1956.   Steve’s great aunt and uncle built the house in 1925 and at that time owned several adjoining lots which made up their farm.

Historic Oak Crest - Project Update

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Weekly Acorn #51

I thougt I would begin the second season of Weekly Acorns by giving a quick update on the Historic Oak Crest project. 

Currently, I am still working on house histories.  What that entails is tracing back all of the owners of each house and lot(s), the year the house was built, identifying the style of the house, and noting any significant stories about the house or families who have lived there.   This type of information is required in order to petition for historic designation for the neighborhood.   I have completed about a fourth of this information.   This is usually good “winter time” work for me, so I hope to make a lot of progress this winter.  

Soon I will begin working on an Oak Crest timeline.  I will present maps indicating the growth of the neighborhood in either 5 or 10 year increments.  This will also accompany another multi-part series of Weekly Acorns.  

Another topic I plan to cover is about Oak Crest business owners.  Several residents of OC ran small businesses either in their homes or in the community.  I will be interviewing some of the residents to learn more about these businesses and business owners.   And as you might have guessed, I will probably create a multi-part series of Weekly Acorns on OC businesses and their owners.  

I also plan to check the archives of Bethabara and Old Salem to hopefully learn more about the Bethabara to Salem Road that passed through Oak Crest back in 1766.  There is a chance that the name Oak Crest could have derived from the Moravians.

I also hope to increase the Vintage Photos section.   Several people have mentioned that they have old photos to share.  As soon as I get copies of them, I will be publishing them in the gallery.  

There are a few other topics currently in the works for future WA posts.   As of right now, I should have another 6-9 months worth of material to post.   I try to publish each post on Saturday’s, however, due to my schedule and responsibilities being quite full, I may not always get them published on time.   This post being published today (Sunday) is a good example.   There may even be some weeks that I may not publish one at all.  In those cases I may just post a message saying “Sorry, no Weekly Acorn will be posted this week.  Please check back next week.”  But, I will try to keep those to a minimum. 

I want to say thank you to all those who support me and my efforts to preserve our neighborhood and to those who actually read these posts.  Please tell your family, neighbors, and friends about this site.   I am amazed at how many people in the neighborhood that still have no idea we are called Oak Crest and that their is a website that contains the rich history of OC available to them.  

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