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Neighborhood Histories

Run #1

Country Park, Military Park, Old Salisbury Wagon Rd, Battle Forest, The Bluffs, Lake Jeanette Rd, Country Park Acres

Battleground Parks District Plan

Lots of big cities like New York City, Chicago, San Diego, and St. Louis contain parks with large green space, museums, and other attractions for people to enjoy. Greensboro will now have that same type of park – the Battleground Parks District. Near the proposed urban loop in the northwest region of Greensboro is a collection of significant public amenities contained in a 400- acre green space. These facilities: Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Country Park, the Natural Science Center, Forest Lawn Cemetery and the Atlantic and Yadkin (A&Y) Greenway represent a significant opportunity for the city and the region to create a cohesive park that offers rich historic, educational, natural and recreational opportunities for both residents and visitors. Together these facilities will be known as the Battleground Parks District.

In 1887, the Guilford Battleground Company was formed. It was conceived by Judge Schenck as an organization dedicated to preserving and adorning the grounds of the Guilford Courthouse battlefield. Through the work of acquiring the battlefield land, the company laid the foundation for its eventual adoption as a national military park. In 1917, the battlefield of Guilford Courthouse, in the state of North Carolina, was declared to be a national military park. Guilford Courthouse, by this time had grown to one hundred and twenty-five acres marked with twenty-eight monuments and graves and was the first Revolutionary War battlefield preserved as a national park. (There’s more on Military Park below.) Country Park, part of a large tract of land purchased in 1924 with cemetery bond funds, officially open to the public on Independence Day in 1934. Work was initiated by Mayor Paul Lindley with assistance from the Civil Works Administration and the Federal Relief Administration. The bathhouse and boardwalks sited along the lakes were the main attraction. In 1957, the Natural Science Center opened. It was called the Greensboro Junior Museum and provided a small nature center and environmental programs. In 1964 the Lewis Center Rec Center was built in Country. In 1971, Greensboro Jaycee Park, the largest athletic complex, developed by the City of Greensboro, was built. In 1973, the Country Park zoo was deeded to the Natural Science Center, Inc. In 1978, the J. Spencer Love Tennis Center at Jaycee Park was built. In 1988, the Tannenbaum Historic Park opened to the public and hosted the first anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Park visitors learned about everyday life in the backcountry of North Carolina before, during and after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. That year, the Hoskins House Historic District, located at Tannenbaum Historic Park, was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1992 the Colonial Heritage Center opened at Tannenbaum Park. Ini 2009 a twenty-million dollar bond for the Natural Science Center expansion and renovation was approved by voters. (Info gathered from the Battleground Parks District Master Plan. For more info on the the proposed Battleground Parks District, check out this N&R article and this Yes Weekly article.)

Guilford County Veteran’s Memorial

This Labor Day Weekend, as the RunTheBoro Runners run through Country Park they will pass the Guilford County Veteran’s Memorial. The Guilford County Veterans Memorial is an approximately one-acre memorial dedicated to the Guilford County, North Carolina, veterans of our nation’s foreign wars. The Guilford County Veterans Memorial was dedicated on September 14, 2002, and the website was originally launched on Veterans’ Day, 2003.

Great Salisbury Wagon Road/Guilford County National Military Park

If you’re a runner from Greensboro, then more than likely you’ve encountered a short stretch of greenway just before the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park parking lot along Old Battleground Rd. that’s not paved with asphalt like the rest of the greenway. That entire stretch of greenway used to be gravel until several years ago when they paved the greenway. I always thought it odd that they left this 5-foot or so stretch unpaved. Well there is a reason.

Did you know..… that this pea gravel crossing is a part of the old Great Salisbury Wagon Road? Today this road is better known as New Garden Road. This pea gravel path actually begins near the Visitors Center further down New Garden Rd. and continues through Military park exiting the park across the street from the BP station on Lawndale where the rest of the paved New Garden Road picks up. RunTheBoro Run #1 runners will be running this historic road beginning starting in the middle of the park and then head through the park exiting right on the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway at Old Battleground Rd.

On March 15, 1781, having learned that his American counterpart General Nathaniel Greene had formed his army at Guilford Courthouse, Cornwallis advanced up the Great Salisbury Wagon Road to meet him. As he reached the 150-acre Hoskins Farm, the British general’s lead troops discovered the first American line of battle formed behind a rail fence with two pieces of cannon aimed directly down the road.To initiate his attack, Cornwallis moved his 1,800 men onto the grounds and fields of the Hoskins Farm. There he formed his lines of battle, deployed his own cannon, and prepared for the coming fight. A fierce 30-minute cannonade followed, with the British troops then advancing forward across the fields at the American militia waiting directly ahead of them. From this start, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse would accelerate into one of the key battles of the American Revolution. The Americans under Greene would badly bloody the British army and then retreat from the field in good order.Though he secured a tactical victory on the ground, Cornwallis would be forced to fall back to the coast at Wilmington in order to secure supplies and regroup. By fall he would be trapped at Yorktown and forced to surrender. The bloody battle that began on the Hoskins Farm set him on that road. 

Lawndale/Lake Jeanette Road Area

One of the earliest residences in the Lawndale/Lake Jeannette Neighborhood was built in 1917, just south of the intersection of Hillsdale Road (now Lawndale Drive) and Wray Road (now Lake Jeanette Road). The parcel it stands on was originally part of a 75-acre tract purchased by S.P. Westmoreland in 1911 for $900. At that time, the land stood approximately 2 miles outside the city limits. (I’m thinking this is the older wooden house located on the south corner of Lawndale Dr and Lake Jeanette Rd.) Another early house, built in 1939, stood just north of that same intersection, in what became the neighborhood’s first subdivision in the modern sense (I don’t believe this house is still standing). The 1950s mark the advent of a number of subdivisions in the Lawndale/Lake Jeanette neighborhood, and a surge of home building in response to the post-World War II boom.

Along what today are Kirk Road, Howell Place, and Country Park Road, Tatum H. Sparger and his wife, Nina, owned a large tract of land which would become the Country Park Acres neighborhood. Phase 1 of Country Park Acres was subdivided in 1955. Phase 2 of Country Park Acres, which included the roads and lots surrounding Sparger Lake, was subdivided in 1956. Together the two subdivisions included 77 lots and the area of the lake. Many of the homes in Country Park Acres were built in the 1950’s, and Sparger placed deed restrictions on most of the lots developed during this time. Restrictions included prohibiting the keeping of animals, although pets, ‘small scale poultry raising, and ponies and saddle horses,’ were allowed.

Run #2

Battle Forest, The Bluffs, Lake Jeanette, North Hills, Bicentennial Greenway

So what do Horsepen Creek, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, the Francis McNairy House and a library on Lake Jeanette have in common?

Well, around the time of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Francis and Mary McNairy and his family had a two story log house (later it was covered in clapboard) near Horsepen Creek. Today the basic vicinity of the house would be somewhere near the Bicentennial Greenway connect with Old Battleground Rd, near Horsepen Creek (the actual creek not the road.) Remember from reading above, that this was near Martinsville, a town now extinct (basically now Military Park). The couple purchased from Herman Husband a tract on Horsepen Creek, later famous as part of the scene of the Battle of Guilford Court House  during the American Revolution. North Carolina State Records show payment to one John McNairy for services rendered, but no details of his war service remain. Because of the close proximity to the battle, Nathanael Greene declared the McNairy’s house be used as a hospital after the battle. The McNairy’s had ten children between 1763 and 1786. The eldest, John, studied law in Salisbury, NC and became acquainted with Andrew Jackson. When John returned to Guilford County, Jackson came with him and lived in the McNairy home during 1787-8. And so this is how this white clapboard house that now sits downtown got its fame (it was moved to the Greensboro History Museum in 1967). We’ll pass the Francis McNairy House on one of our later downtown runs. This week, when you turn onto the Bicentennial Greenway off of Old Battleground Road, you’ll be in the general vicinity of the house’s original location.

But what about the library on Lake Jeanette Road? Well this new branch library was named for Glenn McNairy, a direct descendant of a family that has lived in Guilford County for about 250 years. (Yep, you guessed it, Francis McNairy’s family.) According to a News & Record article, “The McNairys settled in Guilford County in the 18th century. American troops under Gen. Nathanael Greene used their home as a hospital in 1781 during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The structure now sits outside the Greensboro Historical Museum.

In 1783, the son of family patriarch Francis McNairy became the first native-born resident to be granted a law license in Guilford County. Other McNairy family members became lawyers, doctors, teachers and school principals.

Glenn McNairy, the youngest of seven children, attended a one-room schoolhouse about a mile from the new branch library. He and older brother Walton owned and operated Tatum-Dalton Transfer and Storage, which grew from three trucks to 50. Glenn McNairy was active in the Greensboro Lions Club, Industries for the Blind, Meals-On-Wheels and the Greensboro YMCA. He died in 1998.”

Run #3

Downtown, Southside, Downtown Greenway, Ole Asheboro, East Market Street Area, A&T State University, Fisher Park, Westerwood, College Hill, Warnersville

Guardian II Sculpture

Guardian II Sculpture

Guardian II is a huge metal sculpture which its creator (Billy Lee) deems “appropriate” for Greensboro. “As its title implies, Guardian II’s posture, stature and presence is like a keeper/guardian of the city,” Lee said. The Guardian II is located on Market Street in front of the Guilford County Courthouse.

The Greensboro Coffee Cups Collaborative

Greensboro Coffee Cups Collaborative 

On February 1, 1960 the sit-in movement began. This historic event was commemorated by the creation of eight bronze coffee cups. Installed throughout downtown Greensboro and dedicated on the 50th anniversary of the inspired event when four African American students were refused service when ordering coffee, each bronze sculpture is placed on a stone pedestal, featuring the quote of an outstanding figure. The art project was a collaborative effort between The United Arts Council, The International Civil Rights Center and Museum, and Action Greensboro’s synerG Group. Each sculpture has a quote that demonstrates the courage of the four men who sat at the Woolworth lunch counter in 1960, starting the sit in’s.

The photo above shows all 7 cup sculptures. Both the long and short route for RunTheBoro 2022 Run #3 will pass all 7 cups! Be on the lookout. Can you find all 7!

The Education Cup is one of the most notable sculptures of the project. It is a bronze cup pierced by pencils, symbolizing the oppression of black students in educational institutions. This sculpture includes a quote by Booker T. Washington: “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” The sculpture was created by Gregory B. Colleton Jr. and is located next to the Central Library on North Church Street.

In the Face of Strange Fruit was created by artist Derrick Monk, inspired by the Billie Holiday song Strange Fruit. The sculpture depicts the faces of those who struggled for freedom and equality. Included is a quote by Antoine De Saint-Exupery: “He who is different from me does not impoverish me – he enriches me.” The bronze sculpture is located on the lawn of the Greensboro Cultural Center on North Davie Street.

The Cup of Freedom, located next to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street, was created by Greensboro artist Charles Jenkins. On the pedestal is a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The last cup installed for the project, it was unveiled on the 50th anniversary of the famous sit-in movement, on February 1, 2010.

Overcome, a coffee cup created by artist Rodney Bennett, is located on the Melvin Municipal Building lawn on South Greene Street. The sculpture includes a quote by Ambrose Redmoon: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

Spoons: Of his sculpture, artist Leo Morrissey has said that the cup, spoons and persons’ profiles represent the sit-in movement, the students and their collaborative spirit against injustice. Included is a quote by John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “It is in the American tradition to stand up for one’s rights – even if the new way to stand up for one’s rights is to sit down.” This stone pedestal and bronze sculpture is located outside the Carolina Theatre on South Greene Street.

The Pearl of Equity is a cup shaped like a flower with a pearl on an oyster shell. The pearl represents the civil rights struggle, the shell the status quo, and the flower symbolizes spring and rebirth. Created by Greensboro artist Timothy L. Daniel, it is located on Hamburger Square on South Elm Street. A plate on the pedestal features a quote by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

The Awake Coffee Cup, created by Kurt Gabriel, is meant to awaken the world from the deep sleep of indifference. Sculpted with large letters and a chain symbolizing bondage, it is located in front of the J. Douglas Galyon Depot on East Washington Street.

The above information was obtained from Click Here. Here is a map for a walking tour of all the cups. I

International Civil Rights Museum

International Civil Rights Museum

The building, built for Woolworth’s, opened in 1929. Like many other Greensboro buildings, it was designed by Charles C. Hartmann. It combines Art Deco, an elaborate style popular in that period, with classical elements. Notice the granite urns used as decoration along the roof line. This building gained international fame as the site of the February 1, 1960 sit-ins. On this date, four freshmen from nearby North Carolina A & T University, frustrated by the fact that African- Americans were allowed to shop in the Woolworth’s store but not to sit at its lunch counter, politely came into the store, sat at the counter, and asked to be served. Other students, including some from predominantly white colleges, joined the four young men (Ezell Blair Jr, now Jibreel Khazan; Franklin McCain; Joseph McNeil; and David Richmond). Today the building is the home of the the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

February One Place

February One Place

This street running beside the Civil Rights Museum, honors the date of the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in in 1960.

Millennium Gate

Millennium Gate, Greensboro (Greene St/ Feb One Pl)

Millennium Gate, unveiled in 2002, has become one of Greensboro’s most notable landmarks. Installed at the Municipal Office Building on West Washington Streetit was created by Jim Gallucci, a famous Greensboro artist. This bronze sculpture was inspired by the world’s greatest events, inventions and figures of the last millennium.

Nathaniel Green Traffic Circle

Nathaniel Green Statue  (McGee St/Greene St)

Nathanael Greene was a legendary major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, and the person after whom the city was named. In an earlier RunTheBoro Run, runners ran along the historic Great Salisbury Wagon Road which is the road Greene travel to Guilford Courthouse for the infamous battle with the British.

This life-size bronze statue was created by artist Jim Barnhill and installed at the roundabout of Greene and West McGee Streets in 2008. A plate on the pedestal features a quote by Marquis de Lafayette: “In the very name Greene are remembered all the virtues and talents which can illustrate the patriot, the statesman, and the military leader.”

911 Monument

9/11 Monument (Elm St and Martin Luther King Jr Drive

This impressive monument to 9/11 was created by Greensboro Sculptor Jim Gallucci. The monument is made from steel beams recovered from the rubble of Twin Towers.

Downtown Gate

Downtown Gate Sculpture

The Downtown Gate is a sculpture located in Southside. The sculpture is by Jim Gallucci who created the News & Record Bench (relocated to LeBauer Park). The Downtown Gate depicts Elm Street during the late 1950s. It’s hard to see clearly in the photo below, but the sculpture depicts part of the Jefferson building and 1950 model cars parked along Elm Street.

Martin Luther King Jr. Monument
Dignity Scupture

Martin Luther King Jr. Monument and the Dignity Monument

The city took down the Martin Luther King, Jr. bust of the sculpture for repairs, but it’s back and better than ever. It now sits on the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Bragg Street in Greensboro. To the right of the bust on the other side of the greenway you’ll see the Dignity Monument honoring a long list of human rights activists who have lived in and visited the city.

Ole Asheboro

During RunTheBoro Run #3, runners will run by one of the oldest  still-standing firehouse, the G.D.F. Hose Company No. 4 in the Ole Asheboro neighborhood. This firehouse was built in 1905. It was an active firehouse until 1960. Currently its being used as the New Zion Missionary Baptist Community Enrichment Center. Originally, the firehouse used a horse-drawn wagon. In 1964, the station was moved to Gorrell St. This new station was the first firehouse was Greensboro’s first firehouse with African-American firefighters. The department was integrated in 1967. Interesting side note….notice the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company building beside the Firehouse in the picture from 1910-1930. Better known as the A&P Grocery Store, this was one of the first A&P stores built in Greensboro. The first opened at 326 South Elm in 1910. By 1930, A&P had twelve stores in Greensboro, seven of them downtown and five in streetcar strips and “outlying” areas such as Glenwood, College Hill, Warnersville, and the Asheboro Street neighborhood (all areas covered in RunTheBoro runs). That’s why I have the picture dated 1910-1930, more than likely the Asheboro store was built during that time. Not sure what happened to the building. It no longer stands beside Firehouse No.4 as you see in the current-day picture.

February One Monument

February One Monument (University Circle on NC A&T’s Campus)

On February 1, 1960 four African American students were refused service when ordering coffee at Woolworths on Elm St. The students were asked to leave by the store manager, but the students remained until closing time.

The next day, over twenty black students from surrounding schools including Bennett College, a college for black women in Greensboro, also joined. News reporters began covering the sit-in on day two.  By day three the sit-in numbers grew to over 60 people. By day three, over 300 people participated and the sit-in expanded to the lunch counter at Greensboro’s Kress store. As the sit-ins continued, tensions grew in Greensboro. Students began boycotting stores with segregated lunch counters. Sales at the boycotted stores dropped by a third, leading their owners to finally stop their segregation policies

Considered the birth of the American Civil Rights Movement, the Greensboro Four are commemorated by this monument created by A&T art professor James Barnhill. Located at North Carolina A&T State University, this ten foot bronze statue was unveiled on February 1, 2002, depicting the Greensboro Four: David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr. and Joseph McNeil. A&T is a beautiful campus and I have to tell you, as I walked up to the the Greensboro Four it really made a statement to me. It’s a very powerful monument to visit in person.

War Memorial Stadium

War Memorial Stadium (Yanceyville Rd) 

In 1925, the local American Legion post raised $100,000 in one week to build the stadium. It opened in 1926 in memory of soldiers who died in World War I. Due to the Greensboro trolley system in the 1920s and 1930, access to the stadium, even though it was away from town, was easy. It had one of the highest attendance for ball games of any stadium in the southeast.

Fisher Park

Fisher Park

Today, roads like Wendover and Battleground are the arteries of the city, pumping commuters to and from work. They’re vital to the life of the city, but the little capillaries like N. Park Dr., Bessemer, and McGee St. are the heart of the community. Tucked away in the capillaries of the city you’ll find culture, beauty, and the city’s history. Running along S Park and N. Park Dr. which runs between Elm St. and Church St in Fisher Park, you’ll see the beauty and nature of Fisher Park in between the two streets. This Saturday, the long route will take runners through the east side of Fisher Park. In the east side of the park,  you’ll see the Genesis Monument. This big stone monument marks the approximate site of the center of the county as determined by an unknown surveyor. Despite a counterpetition from the people of Northeast Guilford most of whom were Ulster Scots (Scotch-Irish) or English-Quakers, the General Assembly granted the request of the first petition and authorized the establishing of the town of “Greensborough” named for General Nathaniel Greene, leader of the American forces in the southern campaign of the American Revolution. Because this spot (where the monument is located today) was “low ground and somewhat swampy,” the commissioners picked a more suitable higher ground centered around the crossing of what are now Elm and Market streets for the location of the town. The new courthouse was located at this intersection which became known as Courthouse Square. The village was laid out in 1808 on the 42 acres of land purchased by the commissioners for $98 from Ralph Gorrell of the Alamance Church area, a Scotch-Irish settler from Northern Ireland.

Genesis Monument

West Fisher Park is located on the western side of North Elm Street.

Did You Know? Fisher Park is named for Captain Basil John Fisher, a Scotsman and Captain in the British Army, who immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Asheboro, NC, Randolph County with hopes of making a fortune in gold-mining. That being unsuccessful, Fisher began purchasing real estate, including some wooded land immediately north of the small town of Greensboro. The area, then known as “Lindsay’s Woods” was used as a littered dumping ground by city residents … quite humble beginnings.

The neighborhood traces it’s beginnings to 1902 when Captain Fisher donated 28 acres of his land holdings for development of a “suburb” of Greensboro. In exchange, the city paid $5 and agreed to build a “driveway” within the donated land. This “driveway” became our signature public streets, Fisher Park Circle, North Park Drive, and South Park Drive. Land lying within that space became a public park, Fisher Park. (Information obtained from www.firsherparknc.org)

Veterans Memorial

Veterans Memorial (E. Lindsay / Summit Ave) 

The Veterans Memorial was built in 2014. As reported in a News & Recored article, 632 men and women who died in World War II and wars since,  are memorialized at the downtown Veterans Memorial on plaques that once lined the walls of the old War Memorial Auditorium, which was part of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex but was demolished to make way for a 600-space parking lot.

The new downtown memorial plaza was built for about $90,000 and with the advice of veterans. It was designed with 3,000 bricks saved from the demolition of War Memorial Auditorium. The heart of it are the names — and a sign that reads in part: “Dedicated in 1959 to the memory of the men and women of Greensboro who gave their lives in the wars of our country.”

The “Metaphor” Sculpture

“Metaphor” by Ogden Deal (E. Lindsay / Summit Ave) 

Located in the same plaza as the Veterans Memorial is Metaphor scuplure, a famous work by artist Ogden Deal, is a twelve foot steel statue of a human figure stretching out its hands to the sky. Standing for nearly forty years, the statue is sponsored by the Greensboro Youth Council and installed on Youth Square at the intersection of Summit Avenue, East Lindsay Street and Church Street.

College Hill and Old Station No. 5

College Hill

Just as RunTheBoro Run #3 runners approach Spring Garden Rd via Mendenhall they’ll will pass by one of the oldest surviving fire stations in Greensboro. Old Station 5 located at 549 South Mendenhall Street was built circa 1897. The 2,670 square-foot two-story station originally housed a horse-drawn hose wagon. Located in College Hill, the historic engine house presently serves as a grocery store. Located between downtown Greensboro and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, College Hill is one of Greensboro’s earliest neighborhoods. Some of the best examples of late Victorian architecture in Greensboro can be found here. Although its history can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century, College Hill reflects life in Greensboro during the early twentieth century. There are examples of early homes and apartment buildings, churches, grocery stores, a drugstore, a mill, and two firehouses, one that dates back to 1890. Historic Greensboro College is situated within the neighborhood’s boundaries. RunTheBoro Run #6 runners/walkers will pass by parts of Greensboro College on the back-half of the run.

Downtown Greenway

One of the newest stretches of greenway, the Downtown Greenway, runs from Spring Gardent St. to Martin Luther King, Jr Dr. It’s absolutely beautiful! RunTheBoro Run #3 (long route) runners/walkers will access this greenway at Spring Garden St. Shortly after hopping on the greenway, they’ll encounter larger than life art replicas of furniture from the Blandwood Mansion (which runners will pass later in their run) created by artists Benjamin Kastner and Toby Keeton. The public art seating area reflects it’s proximity to Greensboro’s Blandwood mansion, and estate once owned by Governor John Motley Morehead, governor of NC in the late 1800’s, as well as to its location near “Foundation Place” a historic building that originally housed the executive offices of the Cone Export and Commission Company. Turn of the century furniture, including a traditional Victorian style settee and a more unusual “Tobacco Chair” found in nearby Blandwood Mansion, was used as inspiration for the creation of of this piece.

Continuing down the greenway, runners/walkers will come upon an underpass beneath the still active Norfolk Southern Railroad. With the consent of the North Carolina Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railroad, a collaborative art project was conceptualized for the passageway, and in 2010 partial funding was awarded to the Greenway for the creation of this project. In the pictures below, you can see what the underpass looked like prior to revitalization

After exiting the underpass, runners will come upon one of the four Downtown Greenway Cornerstones. In celebration of the unique qualities of The Gate City, Greensboro, NC, and its citizens, the Greenway includes four major pieces of public art that recognize the four pillars that make Greensboro’s character unique. These four pieces of art will recognize Greensboro’s heritage and also look ahead to its future.

  • Motion – motion/education (southwest corner)
  • Tradition – history (northwest corner)
  • Innovation – industry/textiles (northeast corner)
  • Freedom – civil rights (southeast corner-still to come)

Warnersville

The Warnersville Community. Warnersville is the oldest historically African American Community in Greensboro. In 1865, Yardley Warner, a Philadelphia Quaker, sold 35.5 acres of land to recently emancipated slaves who yearned for independence and home ownership. From it’s beginning, the community was started as a planned effort to promote black independence and self-help, and to sustain community pride. Warner hired Harmon Unthank, an ex-slave with a keen business savvy, to divide the property into lots and sell it. Unfortunately much of the buildings and architecture of the Warnersville Community was lost during the 1960 “urban renewal” when many were taken down making room for public housing. Below are pictures from a thriving Warnersville. 
The sitting area you see pictured above is the first of 12 neighborhood benches to be commissioned for the Downtown Greenway. The design reflects input from residents of the Warnersville neighborhood who attended a series of meetings held by the artist, Gary Gresko. Warnersville was once known as Five Points, and so the number 5 is repeated in his work The five words (Triumph, Endurance, Hope, Strength, Faith) etched into the back of each chair were chosen by the residence to describe the essence of their neighborhood and its history.

Below is a short documentary exploring the lingering impact of a mid-20th century urban renewal program on the residents of Warnersville, the historic African-American neighborhood in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is told through the memories of James Griffin, who was raised in the community and became a leader in preserving it’s heritage.

O. Henry’s Book

O. Henry’s Book (N. Elm St / Bellemeade St

Located at 301 N. Elm Street, O. Henry’s Book is a huge 7 x 14 ft. tribute to the famous writer William Sydney Porter (better known as O Henry) who was born and lived much of his short life in Greenboro.. The Gift of the Magi and The Ransom of Red Chief are the two stories depicted on its pages.  Across from O. Henry’s Book is a life-size statue of O. Henry  and his dog “Pete” The works were created by artist Maria J. Kirby-Smith and unveiled in 1985.  A historical marker is located on Market St. between N. Edgeworth and N. Eugene marking the approximate birthplace of O. Henry.

Run #4

(East Greensboro, Dunleath, East Fisher Park, McAdoo Heights, Browntown, New Irving Park, Historic White Oak New Town Mill Village, Revoultion Mill.)

East Greensboro

Did you know the very first McDonalds in NC was built in East Greensboro? Yep! One of Greensboro Many Claims to fame. On September 30, 1959, the first McDonald’s Restaurant in North Carolina opened at 1101 Summit Avenue in East Greensboro. RunTheBoro Run #4 runners and walkers will pass this location on their run. 60 years later, there is still a McDonalds at that location (albeit a more modern Version.)

Did you know that Greensboro was home to a World War II Military Base? Sure was! On March 1, 1943, the U. S. Army Air Force opened a training base near the intersection of Summit and East Bessemer avenues in Greensboro. At 652 acres in size, it was the largest base in America located within the boundaries of a city. Placing the soldiers within walking distance to Greensboro businesses, Basic Training Camp Number 10 boosted the economy and the morale of trainees. The base operated in this capacity for fifteen months, during which time about 87,000 men and women prepared for the Air Force.

By May 1944, the Air Force had reached its projected capacity and the base became part of the Army Air Force Personnel Distribution Command. The Greensboro facility became the primary eastern Overseas Replacement Depot (O.R.D.), where soldiers were prepared and processed for overseas duty. In February 1945, the site’s responsibilities were altered again. At that time it took on added duties as Redistribution Station Number 5. In that role, it placed about 31,000 troops in the Far East as fighting shifted. Just after V-J Day, in September 1945, the station began processing personnel for separation from duty. Thus, during its period of service, the Greensboro depot provided services ranging over the full cycle of military duties. Over 330,000 troops were processed in or out of service or redistributed to another location through the center.

As many as 40,000 soldiers were stationed at the Greensboro facility at any given time. The base was comprised of 964 buildings, including five hundred barracks, fourteen mess halls, fifty-five recreation rooms, four movie theaters, ten PXs, five chapels, three libraries, and an equal number of gymnasia, and one large base hospital. Headquartered at the hospital were a newspaper and a radio station, both geared toward entertaining the troops in the Convalescent Training Program. The Greensboro base was closed September 15, 1946, and declared surplus eight days later.

There is a historical marker on Wendover that marks the approximate center of the base.

References: 
(Raleigh) News and Observer, January 24, 1994;
Greensboro News & Record, April 14, 2003; 
“Greensboro ORD: Its Past and Present,” contemporary report from the base on file in Research Branch, North Carolina Office of Archives and History

Did you know that Greenboro’s first drive and park shopping center comprised of multiple stores was built on a section of where the WW II military base stood? Yep! While on Summit, after runners cross over Bessemer Ave., they’ll see  a shopping center on their left. In 1950 Summit Shopping Center opened in the area that had been a World War two army base. This was Greensboro’s first (and NC’s second) center based shopping area with a new concept of parking your car and walking to numerous stores in one complex. Friendly Center did not open until 1957.

Dunleath

The Historic Dunleath neighborhood is located less than a mile northeast of downtown Greensboro along Summit Avenue. The area holds two levels of historic district designation, both as a National Register Historic District designated in 1993 and a Locally Zoned Historic District designated in 1984. Historically, the area was home to many of Greensboro’s middle and upper class residents and this can be seen through the variety of residential architecture in the area. The majority of the neighborhood was developed in the late 19th and early 20th century and is named for the public middle school located along Cypress Street within the neighborhood. The neighborhood is also home to the World War Memorial Stadium, one of the nation’s oldest surviving minor league stadiums, and the Greensboro Farmer’s Market.

The neighborhood was orignally named Aycock. The neighborhood board agreed to change the name to Dunleath. Neighborhood Board president David Horth says they put a poll out to neighborhood residents and others in the city asking them what name they wanted to see on the neighborhood and why.  He said Dunleath had the most support.  Dunleath refers to the estate of Robert Dick, considered to be the first person to settle in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood was orignally named after Charles B. Aycock, North Carolina’s Governor from 1901-1905.  He was known as the state’s Education Governor, but was also an advocate for white supremacy and segregation.

Guilford County Schools recently decided to change the rename of Aycock Middle School after Melvin Swann.  Swann was the district’s first deputy superintendent.  Last year, UNCG removed the name Aycock from its Auditorium and Aycock St was renamed for civil rights trailblazer Josephine Boyd.

Porchfest

Taking place on Saturday, June 11(12-5pm) the Dunleath Porchfest is a unique event in which the community is invited to experience the hospitality of the Dunleath Neighborhood while enjoying the richness of performing artists in our community. Neighbors offer their porches as performance venues, and area performers offer to share their talents. Performances are held the neighborhood, and guests can stroll from house to house enjoying community goodwill in a festival-like atmosphere. This family-friendly event culminates in a single performance at Sternberger Park to conclude the event. Admission is free and all are welcome. There will be food vendors, free activities for kids, event t-shirts, and to generate even more community goodwill, we collect canned goods for a local food pantry. For more info click here.

Hendrix St Foot Bridge

The Dunleath and Fisher Park neighborhoods are separated by a railroad track. Never fear…..RunTheBoro runners will travers the awesome Hendrix St. foot bridge to cross over from Dunleath to Church St.

McAdoo Heights

McAdoo Heights was one of the earliest residential and commercials districts of Greensboro. It was often called a “Town within a City.” It got this name because of the many businesses in the area which catered to the residents of the surrounding Cone mill villages such as White Oak New Town. McAdoo Heights was developed in the early 1900s.  The area thrived through the 1930s. It provided restaurants, pharmacies, apartments, churches, hardward stores, and even a theater. The neighborhood had ists own police officer and school. According to a News & Record article, some who did not live in the area, thought it to be an unsafe place because of its rowdy bars and smoky pool halls. But as the article shared, the people who lived there remember it as a close-knit community where everyone helped one another. There was a restaurant, Mashburn’s Cafe that everyone referred to as “Pop’s” that was the popular place for residents to hangout.

People began to move a way in the 1960s and the theater began playing X-rated movies and decline set in. People began shopping at newly built Friendly Center in 1957 and later (1974) Four Seasons Mall.  In 1983, the shops on State St when through a major rennovation. Developers John Harmon and Lynn White created a village shopping district with French architecture with striped canvas awnings and brick sidewalks. The newly transformed business district was upscale and people once again began to return to McAdoo Heights. This lasted for about 20 years before merchants began to struggle in the mid to late 2000s when the economy tanked. There are still awesome shops, restaurants and businesses on State Street. You should check it out!

Cone Mills

Did you know that the swanky Proximity Hotel and upscale restaurant Print Works on Green Valley Road were named after two of the four Cone Mills in Greensboro? On the RunTheBoro Run #4, runners will run between two of the 4 mills (Revolution Mills and Proximity Mills) while running down Yanceyville St. Cone Mills was founded by Moses and Ceasar Cone. In 1895, the Cone brothers constructed a denim mill on land they owned in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since the plant was near its supply of raw materials, the cotton fields of the South, the Cones named their new factory the Proximity Cotton Mill, and set up a holding company for this plant and the others in which they held an interest called the Proximity Manufacturing Company. In 1896, the first lengths of fabric rolled off the big looms at Proximity. Ceasar Cone felt that denim, a sturdy fabric for use in work clothes, would be in constant demand as the United States expanded and industrialized.

In1899, the Cones opened Revolution Mills, a modern facility to weave soft cotton flannel. In 1902, a second denim plant was under construction. Called White Oak, it was named for the enormous tree that grew on its site. With ten different warehouses for cotton and its own power plant, the mill began turning out indigo blue denim by 1905. A fourth mill, the Proximity Print Works, was built in 1912. It was designed to “finish” or print cotton with multiple colors, creating a type of cotton product new to the South. The Cones built 5 mill villages for the workers to live in.

Revolution Mill

Mill villages were company-owned towns, built from scratch by textile mills to house their factory workers and their families. In the early 1900s, Cone Mills Inc. built five villages (Proximity, Revolution, White Oak, White Oak New Town, East White Oak) to serve its Greensboro factories. RunTheBoro Run #4 will run through White Oak New Town which was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1992 These villages included churches, schools, ball fields, community centers, and company stores. Thousands of workers and their families made their lives in these “towns within a town” until the company began selling the houses (sometimes to workers) in the late 1940s. Check out the great History Timeline at the Revolution Mill website.

White Oak “New Town”

Did You know? There is an almost intact mill villlage in Greensboro? RunTheBoro Run #4 long route runners will get to run through this historic site. Tucked away on the other side of Church St. Across from Ceasar Cone Elementary School is the White Oak “New Town” mill village. The village was listed on the National Register of Historic Place in 1992 . The White Oak New Town Historic District is exceptionally intact. All of the one hundred hollow-tile walled, one- and two-story, stuccoed houses built there by the Cone family’s Proximity Manufacturing Company about 1920 survive. Sixty-four car sheds, erected by the company in the late 1920s, continue to bracket the alleys that parallel the district’s regular grid of streets. All of these buildings contribute to the integrity of the White Oak New Town Historic District. Only three small, frame, one-story classroom buildings (erected at 2507 and 2509 Hubbard Street and 2504 Cypress Street), removed after the 1935 construction of the Ceasar Cone Public School just west of the district, are no longer extant. The houses still stand on the same small lots in the same relationship to the car sheds, streets, alleys, and each other as they always have. All but two are still stuccoed and their exteriors have been little altered. For more info on the village go to http://www.livingplaces.com/…/White_Oak_New_Town_Historic_D…

Life in the Mill Village

What was life really like in these towns within a town? From what I’ve read, work in the mills was hard and dangerous. The workers didn’t get paid much and the goods sold to them in the village stores were overpriced. If a worker lost his job, he lost his house. It was a hard life. But one thing, I found underlying all the stories I read was that there was a strong sense of community and support among the villagers. Below are links to audio clips of people who lived in the Cone Mill Towns sharing their memories about life in the Mill Town. When I did the RunTheBoro Run #4test run through the White Oak “New Town” area I could hear these people (sharing below) in my head and see them standing on the stoop or sitting on the portch.

Listen to Helen Thornbro talk about the teenage club above the company store.  Click Here

Listen to Brenda Zeigler talksabout visiting the drug store on Thursday nights while waiting for the boys to get out of the Boy Scouts meetings across the street.  ClickHere

Somewhere on 16th Street, Larky Johnson’s grandfather used to decorate for Christmas. Click below to hear Larky describe the unique decoration he used.  Click Here

Listen to Leroy Paris tell a great story about the White Oak Mill whistle blowing at the wrong time. Click Here

Listen to Kenneth Brady discuss the significance of baseball in the Revolution village.  Click Here

Buffalo Lake and Lake Jeanette
Did you know….Buffalo Lake and Lake Jeanette are the creation of Cone Mills Corp. RunTheBoro Run #4 long route runners will run by Buffalo Lake. Lake Jeanette is further north up N. Elm St. Cone still owns both lakes, after selling land along their shores for expensive residential neighborhoods, such as New Irving Park and Northern Shores. Cone built 100-acre Buffalo in the 1920s and 260-acre Jeanette in 1943 to supply drinking and manufacturing water to the company’s once large cluster of factories and mill villages. Village houses eventually hooked on to city water, but Cone factories continued to draw water from Buffalo, Jeanette and several smaller ponds. Cone has since closed Proximity and Revolution mills and Proximity Print Works operation. In December 2017, the last remaining operational plant (White Oak) was closed after being in operation for 112 years!  As long as White Oak was in operation, Cone needed Buffalo Lake and Lake Jeanette.The plant drew 1.5 million gallons daily from Buffalo. Jeanette, connected by underground pipes to Buffalo, serves as a backup and keeps Buffalo’s water level from falling. I’m not sure what happens to the ownership of the lakes now that the last mill has closed.

According to an article in the News & Record, “For the first time since the late 1800s, Greensboro workers will no longer make a product under the name Cone, one of the city’s indelible founding families. White Oak, once the world’s largest denim plant at 1.6 million square feet with 2,500 workers at its peak, has been hailed in recent years as an innovative survivor in an economy that has been brutal for the textile industry, using its vintage looms to make denim in small batches for high-fashion jeans. ” Cone Denim was founded in 1891 by brothers Moses and Ceasar Cone under the name Cone Mills. The White Oak Plant opened in 1905. To view some great vintage photos of White Oak and it’s workers click here.
White Oak was the plant that put the jeans in “Jeansboro.” Did you know Cone denim was part of the jacket and jeans outfits Ralph Lauren designed for the U.S. Olympics team in 2016.
There were also other lakes created and used by Cone Mills. At one point in the early years of the mill, the White Oak Mill had a lake in front of the plant. That lake is no longer there, but you can see where is used be in the attached picture. There was also another lake across Church St. from the White Oak New Town mill village which was located directly in front of Page High school. Buffalo Lake is still behind Page, but when Page was first opened in 1958, there was a lake in front. I believe this is where Page got its mascot “The Pirates” from, because it was almost like Page was located on an island. Even today there is a wooded area in front of the school with picnic tables called “Treasure Island.” See the attached picture of Page High school. At some point the lake was filled in and houses and condos now reside there. I’m not sure if this lake was used for recreation, or drinking water for the mill village or by the factory.

Buffalo Creek

If you’ve run down Cone Blvd, you’ve seen it. If you’ve run along the Lake Daniel Greenway, you’ve crossed it. If you live in Latham Park, your house may have been flooded by it. What is “it?” North Buffalo Creek! North Buffalo Creek meanders all through Greensboro. Several of the upcoming RunTheBoro Routes will run by it and/or over it. This week’s long route will also pass by Buffalo Presbyterian Church named after the creek. The creek was named Buffalo because of the large herds of wild buffaloes that formerly ranged along its borders. No one is sure when or who named the creek. The church was founded about 50 years before the village of Greensboro was established, so many believe the creek was named by the Native Americans from this area. Hard to image a herd of buffalo roaming along Cone Blvd! This is just one of the cool facts you’ll learn when participating in the 2021 RunnerDude’s RunTheBoro. The first RunTheBoro run starts on September 4th. Get all the details at http://runnerdudesruntheboro.com. Be sure to sign up for the RunTheBoro Newsletter (if you signed up for the newsletter at a previous RunTheBoro, you’re good to go.)

Loewenstien House

Architect Edward Loewenstein moved to Greensboro in 1945, after marrying Frances Stern, the daughter of a prominent Greensboro family. He established a design practice and then partnered with Robert A. Atkinson Jr. in 1953, becoming a local leader of modernist design. Over three decades, Loewenstein and Atkinson completed 1,600 commissions, including Loewenstein’s own residence, a masterpiece of modern architecture set in a two-acre wooded suburban lot approximately three miles north of downtown Greensboro, located at 2104 Granville Road. Runners will pass the house just after turning off Cornwallis Road onto Granville.. It is surrounded largely by Georgian and Colonial revival structures, some of which date from the 1920s.

The Loewenstein House exhibits many characteristics of midcentury modern design: a single-story, open floor plan that stretches out horizontally on the site; flat and low-sloped roofs; large expanses of windows; an informal relationship to the street; and connections from the inside spaces to the surrounding landscape.

Loewenstein became a significant figure in Greensboro not just for the infusion of modernism to the landscape of the city, but also because of his progressive ideas. Loewenstein taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, then known as the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina. A house designed by his class of twenty-three female interior design students in 1958 was profiled in McCalls magazine. This course for “college girls” was intended to “demonstrate actual planning, design, construction, and finishing of a home.” It was hailed as “a unique project … an educational first!” for a profession that was largely dominated by men. Loewenstein was familiar with pushing social norms. Loewenstein and Atkinson was the first white firm in Greensboro to hire African American architects and design professionals, among them William Streat (Loewenstein’s MIT classmate) and W. Edward Jenkins.

Today, the house is occupied by the architect’s daughter, Jane Loewenstein Levy. It is a private residence that is not open to the public.

The house is also home to a pretty cool sculpture garden. One sculpture is made from recovered airplane part and if you look carefully, you’ll see a giant pearl necklace sculpture!

Browntown

RunTheBoro Run #4 long route runners will turn off of W. Cornwallis Dr. into a little known neighborhood called Browntown. The Browntown neighborhood is located at North Elm at Cone Boulevard and backs up to Kirkwood and Irving Park.* This part of town is called Browntown because it was developed by the Brown Corporation- in the 1950’s. Although built at the same time as the other houses in the neighborhood, this house shown has more of a modern take on the 1950s style.

New Irving Park

The area where New Irving Park is located today, I believe used to be undeveloped woods owned by the Cone brothers. I believe it was sold and the present day New Irving Park development begin in the 1960s. This week’s long route runners will run through a small section of New Irving Park.
One of my runners, Kara French, is as curious about neighborhood history as I am, and she shared the info below with me today that provides even more background on New Irving park. “I asked my dad, (who is a walking encyclopedia of G’boro housing history in the time frame of 1970-1995) about New Irving Park and yes you were right that the Cone Brothers owned all the land. A big chunk was sold to Brown Realty Co who developed and built most of the houses in the late 60’s-mid 80’s. Interestingly, at that point, the Cones decided to try their own hand at land development and formed Cornwallis Corp. Cornwallis opened the door to smaller builders by selling building lots through a lottery type system. I’ve always been curious about a big chunk on the northwest side that was owned by a family named Tannenbaum. It remained woods for like 40 years and was finally sold in recent years for gigantic houses (The Noles of Irving Park). The land had a “haunted house” and old stone swimming pool.”
Did you know that one of the most famous science fiction authors of our time, Orson Scott Card, lives in New Irving Park! Card is the author of the popular Ender’s Game series of books (you may have seen the movie with Harrison Ford). Below is a picture of Card’s home in New Irving Park.

Run #5

Starmount Forest, Hamilton Lakes, Hamilton Forest*, Forest Valley*, Green Valley* (*Long Route)

Friendly Center

Friendly Center 1957

In the late 1950s, downtowns still dominated retail. Major stores like Thalhimers, Montaldo’s and Meyer’s lured shoppers, dressed to the nines, to the Gate City’s center .

Families though, were moving to new suburban neighborhoods such as the ones Starmount President Edward Benjamin built near the future site of Friendly . People had good jobs, money to spend and, most important, cars. After World War II, shoppers no longer needed to take a bus downtown. The family car could carry them anywhere in Greensboro.

To serve these newly mobile shoppers, strips of stores, including Summit and Lawndale shopping centers and Irving Park Plaza, sprang up outside the central business district. The state’s first major retail center , Cameron Village in Raleigh, proved that shoppers liked driving up and parking right at a merchant’s door.

Those centers already were thriving when Benjamin began looking for ways to serve shoppers in the affluent, growing northwest area of Greensboro.

“He said that he wanted to smell the fresh air as he walked from store to store,” says Elvin R. Parks, a former Starmount president who retired in 1992. “He wanted it open.”

Benjamin first hoped to build the village-style retail center on Madison Avenue, in what is now part of Starmount Forest.

But a consultant told him that Friendly needed to sit on a major thoroughfare.

“There was room to expand,” Parks says of choosing what was then Friendly Road. “But it’s also on what was thought would be a major artery between Greensboro and Guilford College.”

Starmount cut lease rates and lured tenants including Woolworth’s, Belk and the Colonial Stores supermarket for Friendly ‘s opening. On Aug. 1, 1957, Benjamin’s wife, Starmount co-founder Blanche Sternberger Benjamin, cut a tulle ribbon and welcomed shoppers. By 10 a.m. that day, all 1,300 parking spaces were full.

More than 25,000 people stopped by that first day. (Source: News and Record)

Former Burlington Industries Headquarters

RunTheBoro Run #5 will begin at the newer section of Friendly Center. Did you know….that the Burlington Industries empire headquarters was located on that very same spot? The building which opend in 1971 was located in close proximity to where the large BB&T building is located today on Friendly Ave. The Burlington Industries building was quite an architectural feat and was a landmark in Greensboro for years. In 2005 the building was demolished and plans for the new section of Friendly Center was made.

Mayo Sculpture

You may think that the 14-foot steel sculpture below was newly crafted for the new section of Friendly Center, but actually this sculpture known as “Mayo” has made the corner of Friendly and Hobbs home since 1971 when the Burlington Industries headquarters opened. When the Burlington Industries building was demolished in 2005, the “Mayo” sculpture was moved in front of Fleming’s restaurant near where RunTheBoro Run #5 will take place this Saturday. “Mayo” was designed by Irish sculptor Robert Costelloe at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Did you know that the building across from Friendly Center where the K&W Cafeteria is now located use to be a mall called the Forum VI?
Forum VI, a six-story shopping mall that opened at Friendly Center in 1976, was Starmount Co.’s answer to the rise in popularity of enclosed malls. But the mall, an investment of more than $13 million, never caught on with shoppers. Starmount allowed the building to be foreclosed, and eventually it was remodeled into Signature Place office building. Photo taken June 13, 1982. (source: News & Record)

Green Valley

Green Valley Office Park

But from a historical perspective, Green Valley may not have become an office park at all, recalls Elvin Parks, who retired in 1992 as Starmount’s president.

The Benjamin family, which owns Starmount, acquired the Green Valley golf course in 1931. It was just nine holes then, and closed after a few years, reopening in 1948.

As a public course so near Greensboro’s growing middle class neighborhoods, it became a favorite spot in a golf crazy town.

“It was just an average course from a competitive standpoint,’ recalls Irwin Smallwood, retired News & Record sports editor and golf expert. “It had a lot of ditches running through it. But it was a wonderful little oasis in the middle of the city.’

The course, remembered fondly in Greensboro native James Dodson’s recent golf memoir “Final Rounds,’ slowly fell into decline in the early 1980s. Never much of a money-maker for Starmount, Green Valley began losing money. And Starmount, which was running out of land to develop, was not in the business of losing money.

“Initially, we had not planned that land as an office park,’ says Elvin Parks says. “But the golf course was not carrying its burden financially. So we had to take a look at it and decide what to do.’

Starmount executives, in consultation with the Benjamin family, discussed three options: push for expanded retail development, fill the land with houses, or develop an upscale office park.

Parks said the commercial development idea was dismissed as unnecessary with Friendly Center so close by, and not good for the surrounding community. The residential idea didn’t make sense either, he says; it would have meant rows of small houses with little open space left over.

Thus, a spacious, well-landscaped office park, which would fit well with the neighborhoods and shopping areas already in place, was deemed the best way to go. (Source: News & Record)

Starmount Forest

Starmount Forest

Starmount Forest was platted in the mid-1920s as part of the Hamilton Lakes subdivision. The neighborhood was cut from the eastern part of Hamilton Lakes by local developers Edward and Blanche Sternberger Benjamin in 1927. Building began in earnest after the close of World War II and includes the Starmount Country Club, a focal point of both Starmount Forest and Hamilton Lakes subdivisions.

Starmount Forest developed quickly in the years following World War II, resulting in homogeneity of style, form and detail. The housing of Starmount Forest is mostly brick, well detailed, yet modest in size. The majority of dwellings are one or one and one-half story “Cape Cod” form houses. Two-story dwellings are concentrated on Madison Avenue, which transverses the neighborhood from east to west. The predominant style is Minimal Traditional, defined as side-gable or gable-and-wing dwellings with Colonial Revival details such as door surrounds with broken pediments and pilasters, six-over-six or eight-over-eight windows with shutters, dormers, and Chippendale balustrades. As one travels north toward West Friendly Avenue, ranches and split-level houses are interspersed with the predominant Minimal Traditional dwellings. The details of these 1950s and 60s-era houses display a preference for the Colonial Revival. (Infor obtained from Greesnboro’s Historic Homes)

Hamilton Lakes

Hamilton Lakes

This week, RunTheBoro Run #5 will take runners through the Hamilton Lakes neighborhood. Did you know….that Hamilton Lakes once was a separate town from Greensboro? Yep! Hamilton Lakes was created by Alfred Moore Scales and his business partner Alexander Worth McAlister. Scales was an attorney and also the nephew of a Governor with the same name. He and McAlister began purchasing land north and west of Greensboro as early at 1900. Most of the land purchased was farms owned by prominent Quaker families-the Caldwells, Coffins, and Ballingers. Scales’ goal was to create a resort-like community for the growing middle and upper class in Greensboro. His efforts culminated in the creation of the Town of Hamilton Lakes which was founded in 1920 and incorporated in 1925. At the time is consisted of 1600 acres, water and sewer mains, recreational areas, and 10 miles of roads. A good portion of these roads were paved a tan-color of asphalt making Hamilton Lakes standout. Prospective homeowners were enticed with ad pitches like the following….“Out from the crowded streets of the town, far from the congestion and traffic, a beautiful village is designed to soothe the senses. Parks and lakes replace crowded corners – the songs of birds, the noise of motors and trolleys – and flowers and shrubs bloom on every side. Thousands of rose bushes grace the roadsides, and dogwood, redbud, and laurel have been planted in the work of beautification.”

In 1930, Scales opened the Hamilton Lakes Golf Course. The Great Stock Market Crash occurred in October 1929, but overbuilding in Greensboro in the years prior caused the financial panic that threw highly leveraged investors such as Scales into foreclosure with their lenders. Scales had received financing from the Sternberger brothers, Emanuel and Herman, investment partners with the Cone family and the Cone Mills Corporation. Upon foreclosure, the 4,683 acre tract of land assembled by Scales became the property of Emanuel’s daughter Blanche Sternberger Benjamin and her husband Edward Benjamin.

Benjamin was instrumental in developing residential areas closer to Greensboro by extending Market St. westward. The Sternberger name might seem familiar. Blanche Sternberger Benjamin donated a nine acre tract of land for the Sternberger Elementary School, which honors her mother, Bertha S. Sternberger.

In 1957, the Town of Hamilton Lakes was annexed into the City of Greensboro. The town’s small police force and other services were disbanded, but the community maintained its own parks and walking trails through neighborhood association dues and private contributions.

For more great information on Hamilton Lakes be sure to check out Preservation Greensboro’s website.

The earliest houses in the Town of Hamilton Lakes were erected in the neighborhood in 1926 and 1927, many designed by distinguished architects. One of the first homes built was Hamilton Lakes creator A.W. Scales’ home. RunTheBoro Run #5 runners will run by this grand neoclassical home located at 1207 Lakewood Drive. The house was designed by architect Christopher Gadsen Sayre, at that time a resident of the city, and an accomplished architect who was among the first in the state to be licensed. The brick house overlooks Lake Hamilton and features two remarkable facades one focused landside and the other looking lakeside.

The Scales family lost their impressive home to creditors during the Great Depression. They ended up moving in with Scales’ brother across the lake in his home known as Tar Haven. This loss may be the reason why Scales’ son Junius Irving Scales turned against Capitalism. In 1935, Junius began frequenting the Intimate Bookshop in Chapel Hill, an off campus gathering space for “intellectuals and bohemians with a clandestine Communist Party printing press in a back room. He was soon hired as a clerk in the store at the age of 16, and started attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the following year. In 1939 he joined the Communist Party and quit school to become a union organizer in the Southern textile mills. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought an end to his organizing efforts, but he returned to Chapel Hill and completed work on his bachelor’s degree after serving in the Army. He became the state Communist Party chairman in 1948, serving openly and publicly, leading to newspaper stories that alarmed his once wealthy Capitalist family.

The FBI periodically monitored him, leading to an arrest in 1954. He was not charged with any overt acts, but was indicted under the provisions of the Smith Act as a member of an organization which advocated violence.Scales lost his final appeal, Scales v. United States, in the United States Supreme Court on a 5-4 decision. He served 15 months of a six-year sentence at Lewisburg Penitentiary in Pennsylvania before President John F. Kennedy commuted his sentence on Christmas Eve, 1962. He became the only Communist Party member to serve in prison on these charges.”
For more information on Scales, be sure to check out Preservation Greensboro’s website


Did you know….there are two lakes in Hamilton Lakes. One is called Lake Hamilton and the other is called Lake Euphemia named for A.W. Scales’s mother.

Run #6

Delwoods Park, Guilford Hills, Garden Homes, Westwood, Lawndale Homes*, New Irving Park* Brookwood Gardens*

*Long Route

Guilford Hills, Garden Homes, Westwood

Guilford Hills, Garden Homes, and Westwood Neighborhoods

You might not know this neighborhood’s name, but if you’ve been to the old Women’s Hospital, the new Aldi, the Elks Club or Starbucks, then you;ve been been to Guilford Hills, Garden Homes and Westwood. Guilford Hill is the area just west of Battleground Avenue and north of Green Valley Road.  The northern border is David Caldwell Drive and the westernmost street is Benjamin Parkway/Bryan Boulevard.  Guilford Hills is actually less than one square mile and has less than 2,000 people living in it. Many of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  An older, Greensboro Daily Photo reader once shared that he used to ride horses on his friend’s farm in Guilford Hills. Can you imagine that less than 70 years ago this area was farmland?

Times certainly do change the landscape. Did you know that back in the 1920s-early 1970s there was a hatchery “Carolina Hatcheries” at 1947 Battleground Ave (corner of Battleground Ave and Cornwallis Dr. )? Yep, according to Images of America: Greensboro Volume II Neighborhoods, at the southern border of Guilford Hills neighborhood and the location of today’s vacant Fink Jewelers, once was a hatchery. This Saturday’s RunTheBoro won’t be running past this location, but next time you pass through the intersection of Battleground and Cornwallis, remember it used to be a hatchery!

In 1962, the picture below shows what the area near the intersection of Battleground Ave and Pisgah Church Rd looked like. If I’m not mistaken, the road in 1962 is dirt. The view is looking south down Battleground ave. Mt. Pisgah Church could be found on the left (1962 and 2019) and today, Lowes is located on the right. Between this intersection and the Cone Blvd intersection, the Garden Homes subdivision was created in the 1950s.

Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway

RunTheBoro Run #6 runners will run this Saturday along a stretch of the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway.
Did you know…that this stretch of greenway is the former rail bed of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railroad? The Atlantic-Yadkin Railway’s lifespan covered 1899 to 1950, but some of the rails were laid in the 19th century as part of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway (CF & YV). The CF & YV ran from the Atlantic port of Wilmington, NC to Mount Airy. This railway transported mostly granite and at one time took travelers to visit the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Runners and walkers will pass through a tunnel that runs under Cone Blvd. As you run through that tunnel take a look at the walls leading into and out of the tunnel. They’ve been crafted to look like granite blocks in homage to the granite transporting Atlantic and Yadkin Railroad. There is also a mural on the interior walls of the tunnel that includes a painting of a train. Look closely at the train patining and you’ll notice it’s carrying granite blocks. This is all to honor the history of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway and its importance to Greensboro.

Run #7

Guilford College, Bicentennial Greenway, Madison Woods

The story of Guilford College/New Garden begins around 1750 with Quaker settlers emigrating from Pennsylvania and New England. They formed a worship group and erected a meeting house approximately six miles west of the present center of Greensboro. A stone on the Guilford College campus marks a corner of the property purchased in 1757 for New Garden Friends Meeting and Burial Ground. New Garden was a peaceful farming village when British and American soldiers skirmished on the morning of March 15, 1781 leading up to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The meeting house was used as a field hospital and Quakers cared for wounded soldiers and buried the dead. Quakers were actively involved in the antislavery movement and New Garden was part of the network of trails and safe places used by runaway slaves. The first documented case of Underground Railroad activity was in 1819 when Vestal Coffin aided local slave John Dimrey. After the Civil War New Garden Quakers helped previously enslaved African Americans to establish communities such as Collins Grove, Persimmon Grove and Woodyside.

The School

Guilford College began as New Garden Boarding School in 1837, the first co-educational institution of higher learning in the South. Built in 1885, Archdale Hall is the oldest building on campus. It was named for the Quaker governor of the Carolinas in the late 1600s, John Archdale. New Garden Hall, built in 1912 in the Neo-Classical Revival style, was the meeting house until the present building was constructed. The current Founders Hall is a 1970s replica of the 1837 building that housed the New Garden Boarding School.

The Town

In 1890 the Town of Guilford College was chartered. By 1935 the population had grown to 2500. After World War II, the rural character of the community began to give way to suburban expansion. Family farms were subdivided to meet the growing demand for housing and commercial development. In 1972 the Town of Guilford College was annexed by the City of Greensboro. Today, street names are reminders of the community’s rich history. Friendly Avenue is a reference to the Religious Society of Friends. Dolley Madison Road was named for the wife of President James Madison. Cannon Road was named for Joseph Gurney Cannon who was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1903 to 1911. Muir’s Chapel Road was named for Reverend Thacker Muir of Muir’s Chapel United Methodist Church, established in 1822. Lindley Road was named for the Quaker family that established Lindley Nurseries, the first of its kind in North Carolina. J. Van Lindley donated part of his vast land holdings for Lindley Park and Lindley Field, now Piedmont Triad International Airport.

Entering the campus, runners and walkers will head down Levi Coffin Dr. The road is named after famed abolitionist Levi Coffin, a New Garden Quaker who grew up on the land that would become part of the boarding school a decade later. This location is where Coffin began his Underground Railroad activities. Escaped slaves came to the woods of New Garden and were aided in their flight to freedom in the North by Quakers in the New Garden community. Guilford is one of very few college campuses listed by the United States Department of the Interior as a National Historic District. The school remained open throughout the Civil War, and, with support from Friends in the North and Great Britain, gained strength during the Reconstruction era.

The Guilford College Farm


The start of both routes for RunTheBoro Run #7 will run by the Guilford College Farm. The mission of the Guilford College Farm is to serve as a learning laboratory while producing fresh, locally grown produce for the community in an economically viable framework. And it’s a popular site for work-study students plus a wide range of volunteers from the off-campus community.

The Farm has seen steady growth. It encompasses three cultivated acres, including a 5,000-square-foot tunnel enabling year-round production of more than 10,000 pounds of food a year. Nearly all the crops are started from seed in our propagation greenhouse. The Farm produces a wide variety of vegetable crops utilizing sustainable farming practices, and all soil amendments and pesticides used are
Organic Materials Review Institute approved.

The Farm serves the greater Guilford community by providing fresh vegetables for the College’s Dining Hall, a student operated farmers market, a steadily growing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, a few local groceries, and a couple of local restaurants.

Madison Woods

RunTheBoro Run #7 long route runners will explore the Madison Woods neighborhood before heading back to Guilford College. This neighborhood gets its namesake from Dolley Madison. Did you know Dolley Madison was born in Greensboro?

Dolley, who was one of our nation’s most beloved first ladies, was born to a Quaker family in the New Garden area, now part of Greensboro. Her home and birthplace once stood at the location of 5505 W. Friendly Ave. Today that is the location of the After Hours Veterinary Hospital (see picture below). In 1930 the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a stone marker marking the location (see picture below). I don’t believe that marker is still there, but it’s cool to know where Dolley was born.

Although her family moved away from the state during her early childhood, we still claim her proudly. She is known as an accomplished hostess and also the woman who maintained the presence of mind to save a renowned portrait of George Washington when the British burned Washington, DC during the War of 1812. She is the only First Lady from NC. The Greensboro Historical Museum has a Dolley Madison Collection with some pretty cool items in it. A beautiful peach colored silk gown was the first item to form the museum’s collection. Donated in 1950 by Dolley’s great, great niece and the great granddaughter of Dolley’s youngest sister, Mary Payne Jackson, this empire style gown was passed down through the Payne family. The Dolley Madison Memorial Association purchased a collection from the estate of another descendant, Neva Kunkel, the wife of Dolley’s great-great nephew and donated it to the museum in 1963. One of the most significant collections of Dolley’s belongings known to exist in the United States, it remains a national treasure. Personal items used at the Madison’s home, Montpelier, came from descendants of James Madison in the mid 1970s providing another look at the life the Madison’s shared.

Run #8