a pictorial tour of our neighborhood including histories of each home along with other interesting historical information

187 crepe myrtle ~ rubble.jpg
187 crepe myrtle ~ rubble104 viewsThe beautiful house that once stood at 187 Crepe Myrtle Cr was demolished on March 27, 2008.

The neighbors that witnessed the demolition said it took less than an hour. One neighbor even said it was about a half an hour. I spoke to one of the demolition crew who said they removed the support poles that were located in the basement. Then they began pushing on the front of the house with the backhoe and eventually the house just collapsed.

Terry Radomski who lives acorss the street at 190 Crepe Myrtle described it saying that as the chimney began to collapse it reminded her of the twin towers as they began to fall. And then the whole house just fell in on itself.

Lisa Palmer who lives at 134 Crepe Myrtle said it was like a death in the family. She described it as an "emptiness" as she looked at the rubble Thursday evening. She said she just felt like crying.

Martha Kennedy, Nick Bragg, Charlene Watkins, Kenneth Hauser, Pat Vickland, the Stanley's, and Michael Royall all expressed their sadness and that they wished Maple Springs UMC had considered other options that would have saved such a beautiful and well built house from being demolished.

They didn't even allow anyone the chance to go in and salvage some of the materials. Habitat for Humanity or someone else could have salvaged some good materials. What a shame!

A lady who lives on Belle Vista Ct drove by on Sunday and was shocked to see that the house had been destroyed. She told me how she would drive by every few weeks to see if it was ever "for sale" because she wanted to purchase it and have it restored!

There were many options that should have been considered such as a guest house for missionaries, a temporary home for displaced families in need, or they could have donated it to someone who was willing to have it moved.

The excuse was that it needed some electrical work, new heating and air, and that it only had one bathroom. Well, the Cornelius' raised an entire family there with only one bathroom. My father and mother both grew up in houses without any bathrooms and they survived. Besides, how difficult is it to install an extra bathroom? Probably not as much as the cost of a demolition crew to tear it down and remove it!

What a waste of a beautiful home!!
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187 crepe myrtle ~ rubble 2126 views
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187 crepe myrtle ~ rubble 3111 views
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187 crepe myrtle ~ rubble 693 views
189 crepe myrtle - being demolished.jpg
189 crepe myrtle - being demolished98 viewsThis little house that sits behind 187 Crepe Myrtle Cr was demolished on January 24, 2008.

Maple Springs United Methodist Church purchased the property in October 2006 . At this time, I do not know what Maple Springs plans to do with the property.

Both houses are located on the same property which was purchased by Ray E and Jennie L Cornelius in 1946. From what I have been told by neighbors, the Cornelius’s first built this little house (189) right after WWII. At that time building materials were very hard to get. Much of the house was built out of salvaged building materials. It was a cute little cinder block house that was painted white.

The Cornelius’s lived in this little house until after their children were born. Then in 1950 the larger house (187) was built in front of it and the family moved in it. Since then, this little house has been used as a rent house and was even occupied until just a few weeks ago.

Since the Cornelius’ passed away, their family had rented both houses for a while before finally selling the property to the church.

This type of building pattern seemed to be common Oak Crest. First a little house or garage/apartment was built and the family lived in it until they could afford to build their dream house. Then the smaller house was used as a rental unit. It is a clear indication that Oak Crest was a highly desirable neighborhood and that families planned on staying here for good. In fact, there are some families that remain in OC that have been here since the 1920’s.

Over the years Oak Crest has lost several houses. I think it’s sad and hate to see any of them demolished. As we anticipate historic designation in the near future, I feel it is important that we as a community take a stand and try to keep the demolition and deterioration of our neighborhood to a minimum. Each house we lose is a piece of history lost.

Photo courtesy Helen Etters
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189 crepe myrtle - being demolished 295 viewsPhoto courtesy Helen Etters
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189 crepe myrtle - being demolished 390 viewsPhoto courtesy Helen Etters
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189 crepe myrtle - being demolished 492 viewsPhoto courtesy Helen Etters
location of harmon sisters' house89 viewsClick on the "satellite view" to enlarge and then click on it again to enlarge even more to read.

This is the location of the Harmon Sisters' cabin. The cabin was torn down in the mid 1970's to make way for the expansion of Woodberry Forest. Aaron Ln was extended two blocks to the west of Woodberry Dr. Harmon Ct was also added off of the new branch of Aaron Ln. Both streets end with a cul-de-sac.

The cabin was located where the house at 2575 Aaron Ln currently sits.

The original branch of Aaron Ln is about one block long and is not part of Woodberry Forest at all. It is accessible from Allen Easley Dr (formerly Faculty Dr, North) located on the campus of WFU where Faculty Apartments are located. This original portion of Aaron Ln and its side street, Belle Vista Ct, were originally intended to be one street (Belmont Ct) connected to Rosedale Cr and considered part of Oak Crest.

W C Aaron and his wife Rosa Anna purchased the land in 1943. Mr Aaron passed away in 1952 and Mrs Aaron negotiated with Wake Forest to have the property connected to Faculty Dr, making two streets instead of one as originally planned. Aaron Ln is, of course, named after the owners of the property. Belle Vista Ct is named after the Aaron's daughter, Belle Aaron Montgomery.

For a more detailed history of these streets and photos of the houses on them please refer to the following links. (you will need to copy and paste these addresses as they are not hyperlinked)



Satellite view courtesy Carmel Hall

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parks' grocery store97 views
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