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2024 Neighborhood Histories

Run #4

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 #4 runners will run this Saturday along still another 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 #3

Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway, Guilford Battleground Military Park, Old Salisbury Wagon Road, Country Park* (*Long Route)

Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway

RunTheBoro Run #3 runners/walkers will run along a short 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. Further south on the greenway there is a tunnel that runs under Cone Blvd. Next time 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. There is also a mural on the interior walls of the tunnel that includes a painting of a train. Look closely at the train 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.

Currently the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway begins at Markland Rd (behind the target shopping center on Lawndale) and ends about 7.5 miles north at Hwy 220 in Summerfield. Construction has begun extending the greenway from Markland Rd along the old railroad tracks into downtown connecting with the Downtown Greenway loop. The expected completion date is 2026.

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.

This short 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 E. New Garden Road picks up. RunTheBoro Run #3 runners/walkers will be traversing this historic road beginning at the pea gravel path about half way around the Military Park Loop and heading through the center of the park exiting back on the Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway.

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. 

Where the Great Salisbury Wagon Road Crosses over The Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

Statue of General Nathanael Greene near the Old Salisbury Wagon Road in Guilford Battleground Military Park.

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 now has that same type of park – the Battleground Parks District. Near the 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 Greensboro 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 are 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. 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. In 2009, a twenty-million dollar bond for the Greensboro 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.)

Extra Stuff:

So what do Horsepen Creek, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, the Francis McNairy House and a library on Lake Jeanette Rd. 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 where the Bicentennial Greenway connects 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 a (from Herman Husband) a tract of land 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). RunTheBoro will 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 fairly 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 McNairy’s 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 #2

Bicentennial Greenway and Western Greensboro

Bicentennial Greenway

The Bicentennial Greenway is a 14.5 mile regional trail/greenway running through Guilford County, Greensboro, and High Point.  Developed and managed by Guilford County, approximately eight miles of the northern section runs through the City and an additional seven miles run from the Piedmont Environmental Center to Highway 68 in High Point.  Entities from the three jurisdictions are working on a plan to complete the missing segment between Greensboro and High Point.  When complete, the Bicentennial will provide an almost 20 mile greenway that connects the City of High Point to the City of Greensboro.

How do I get there?
The Bicentennial Greenway can be accessed just north of the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park parking lot on Old Battleground Road. The Bicentennial Greenway travels northwest along Old Battleground Road and then changes direction southwest through wooded open space. Cross Battleground Avenue and take the sidewalk along Drawbridge Parkway to Kernodle Middle School. Follow the trail signs across the road into the woods to its current terminus near Horse Pen Creek Road. The new sections can be accessed from Guilford Elementary School and the Leonard Recreation Center. 

Connections:
From the intersection of the Bicentennial Greenway and Lake Brandt Road in Greensboro, you can connect to the A&Y Greenway leading out to Bur Mil Park. The Nat Green Trail and Palmetto Trail are also accessible from the greenway (see map below for details). Guilford Courthouse National Military Park trails are accessible from the Bicentennial Greenway with parking available on Old Battleground Road.

The Bicentennial Greenway is a multiple-use trail. Bicycles are allowed and encouraged.

For more information about Greensboro’s awesome trails and greenways click here. For a map showing all of the Greensboro area trails and greenways click here.

Run #1

UNCG, Glenwood, Downtown Greenway, College Hill*, Greensboro College*, Westerwood* (*Long Route)

UNCG

Founded in 1941 by Gregory Ivy, first head of the Art Department at Woman’s College (now UNCG), the Weatherspoon Art Museum has grown from a university teaching gallery to a fully professional museum that is nationally recognized for its excellent collections and dynamic exhibition program. The Museum serves a broad audience of over 32,000 visitors annually, including UNCG students, faculty and staff; the Triad communities; and visitors from across the state, region, and nation; and an additional 24,000 students who take art history classes in the building.

As you pass the museum crossing over Spring Garden Street, be sure to look right over your shoulder and you’ll see the Pastoral or Third Sculptural Symphony II by Saul Baizerman.

RunTheBoro Run #1 runners/walkers will traverse the UNCG campus.  The school was established as a women’s college by legislative enactment on February 18, 1891 as the State Normal and Industrial School and opened October 5, 1892. The school provided instruction in business, domestic science, and teaching with a student body of 223 and a faculty of 15 in its first year. R. S. Pullen and R. T. Gray gave the original 10-acre site in Greensboro, N.C. where the first building was erected with state funds totaling $30,000. It is the first and only public university in North Carolina founded for the purpose of educating women. In 1949, it became the largest all-female institution in the United States.

Peabody Park in the heart of today’s UNCG campus is a beautiful park-like campus area, but over 100 years ago when the school was just forming, this area was an untamed area of trails and paths.

The school has seen many names over the years, changing from the “State Normal and Industrial School” to the State Normal and Industrial College in 1896, and again in 1919 to North Carolina College for Women. In 1932, it changed to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, when it became one of the three charter institutions of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, and changed again to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro when men were first admitted to the school in 1963. It is remembered fondly by many graduates of the Woman’s College simply as “the W.C.”

It’s a good thing RunTheBoro Run #1 is early in the morning, because I’m sure some of the runners (myself included) would be tempted to pull over at Yum Yum (near the UNCG campus) for some ice cream or a hot dog. Did you know? Yum Yum Ice Cream in its first incarnation was sold from a cart beginning in 1909 in downtown Greensboro. An early Greensboro postcard features the ice cream cart in front of the Courthouse. In the 1920’s, the business was moved to a free-standing building at the corner of Forest and Spring Garden Streets. Since the location was at the western limit of the city, the owner called the business West End Ice Cream. Around that time, he introduced the ice cream flavor Yum-Yum, a flavor that is believed to have included grapes, raisins, a grain. At any rate, people began saying, “Let’s go get some of that Yum-Yum ice cream.” The name stuck and became the official name for the store.

The shop is actually an ice cream factory with the product made in a back room, the old-fashioned way with vintage 1920’s equipment. They have had the same ice-cream maker for 25+ years now. He is very picky about the source of his ingredients as well as quality and consistency. The proof is in the taste of the ice cream. Currently, they feature 18 flavors. The store is, perhaps, equally famous for its tasty, bright red hot dogs” Yum Yum is surrounded on all four sides by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Glenwood

During RunTheBoro Run #1,  runners/walkers will travel down Grove St. in the Glenwood neighborhood.  Did you know….during the early 1900s, Grove St. was an important hub of commercial and social activity. Several small grocery stores operated in Glenwood from the early 1910s up to the 1960s, most owned and operated by Glenwood residents. During the 1920s, new brick commercial buildings were built in the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Glenwood Avenue to house such businesses as a grocery store, drug store, barber shop, dry cleaners, butcher shop and cafe. New brick commercial buildings were also being built along the 1300 block of Grove Street. The largest commercial building to be built on Grove Street was the two-story brick building located at 1311 Grove Street. This building housed a grocery store downstairs with apartments above the store. With these and other amenities, Grove Street quickly became an important hub of commercial and social activity.

Did you know…..that in the late 1890s the area that now makes up Glenwood was away from the city and mostly farmland. Development of Glenwood began around 1906. The Carolina Real Estate & Investment Company began construction of the first 50 homes in the area using innovative methods for the time. Home buyers actually selected their home from a catalog of floor plans, then all the lumber arrived at the construction site pre-cut and ready to assemble. An interesting note about the Carolina Real Estate & Investment Company involved them offering the State of North Carolina 25 acres of free land in Glenwood, in order to entice relocation of the state capital from Raleigh to Greensboro – the state respectfully declined this offer.
Like any older middle class neighborhood, there are some houses that need some tender love and care, but as I ran through Glenwood, I discovered some of the most beautiful cottage style homes on Glenwood Ave, Marion St., Lexington Ave. and Haywood St. Here are a few of my favorites.

Downtown Greenway (Gate City Blvd to Spring Garden)

The Motion cornerstone is located where the Downtown Greenway crosses W. Gate City Blvd. The structure is made of stainless steel, with parts of it coated in three additional colors.  Its appearance will change with the weather and with the time of day, and objects within the framework will rearrange themselves depending on where the viewer stands.  The structure includes seating, allowing viewers to look up into it—and it is lit at night.  Greensboro artist Frank Russell worked with students at Jones Elementary School to find or create the objects that are embedded in the stainless steel framework.  Although the Cornerstone will not be designed to give viewers a specific message, the way the imbedded objects interact with each other will allow themes to emerge.

As you continue down the Downtown Greenway you’ll come to 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. Just past the railroad underpass you’ll come to the grand Downtown Greenway arch. 

Just before reaching Spring Garden Street, you’ll encounter larger than life art replicas of furniture from the Blandwood Mansion  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

College Hill

Shortly after the long route runners, turn on to Mendenhall St., they’ll be entering the College Hill neighborhood. In that first block on Mendenhall, runners 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 and UNCG are situated within the neighborhood’s boundaries.

Greensboro College

Long route runners will run by Greensboro College.  It was the first college to open its doors within the town of Greensboro and was originally named Greensboro Female College. The College first opened its doors for classes on April 15, 1846. Eighty-seven young ladies were in attendance at that time. Prior to the actual opening of the College, Greensboro Female Academy, which had begun as the Greensboro Female School in 1833, continued to operate and educate young Methodist ladies. In June of 1848, six young women became the first graduates of Greensboro Female College.

Upon arriving at the College, each young lady was tested in a number of areas (reading, math, writing, knowledge of specific topics, etc.) according to her interests, and based on her performance she was placed into one of four classes – first, second, junior, or senior. Consequently, it was possible for the young ladies to graduate from the College in as little as one year if their prior schooling had been sufficient to prepare them for the entrance tests at the College. Classes taught here at the College included arts, sciences, foreign languages, religion, and philosophy, in addition to music, art, and sewing.

Upon their graduation, each young woman received either a certificate of proficiency or a diploma depending upon her course of study. It was not until 1886 that the College began offering a true collegiate course of study that required four years of study regardless of how well the ladies tested upon their admittance. And it was not until 1913 that the College granted its first A.B. degree. In 1926, the College (then Greensboro College) underwent another major educational development when the College was admitted to membership in the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the Southern States.

During the College’s early years, the movement and behavior of the young ladies was rather restricted and closely monitored. As the time between, 1846 and 1941 passed, the young women gradually gain more rights and privileges. In 1912, the faculty, administration, and alumnae successfully petitioned the Trustees of the College to change the College’s name from Greensboro Female College to Greensboro College for Women because they felt that the term “female” used in conjunction with “college” demonstrated a lack of progress in terms of educational development. And in 1920, the young women of the College and the alumnae successfully petitioned the Trustees to change the College’s name from Greensboro College for Women to simply Greensboro College because they felt that the term “for women” was unnecessary. Men were not admitted to the College as degree-seeking students until 1954

Westerwood

The houses shown below are just a few examples of the types of houses you’ll run by in the Westerwood neighborhood during RunTheBoro Run #1 this Saturday. Westerwood is centrally located between downtown Greensboro, UNCG and Friendly Shopping Center.

When it was built in the early 20th century, the neighborhood was one of Greensboro’s first planned communities. A 2001 study by the City of Greensboro’s Department of Housing and Community
Development concluded that “Westerwood may be one of the better examples of an early, planned community for middle-income groups in North Carolina.”

And that “as one of Greensboro’s earliest neighborhoods, Westerwood is a treasure. … Because of its traditional design, shady streets, proximity to thoroughfares, public transportation, parks, the downtown, colleges, schools, churches, and neighborhood shopping centers, Westerwood may well be the most ‘livable’ neighborhood in the city.”