Saturday, February 19, 2011

Subdivision Stories: North Hill Gardens

Lying east of Rochester Road and south of Tienken, the North Hill Gardens subdivision was opened in 1941 in part to answer the community's desperate need for additional housing for defense workers. During the summer of 1941, National Twist Drill & Tool Company was expanding its factory on the northeast corner of Tienken & Rochester in order to take on more defense contracts to fill the nation's Lend-Lease orders. McAleer Manufacturing had just moved to Rochester from Detroit in June of 1941, and was readying its factory at Fourth and Water to fill military requisitions for polishes and abrasives. Both companies were hiring more workers, and the Rochester area didn't have enough housing to accommodate their needs.

Three Rochester businessmen joined in partnership to develop the North Hill Gardens subdivision and provide affordable housing for factory workers. They were Ford dealer Larry Jerome, clothier Roy J. McCornac, and lumber dealer Russell Nowels. When the opening of the subdivision was announced in October 1941, the Rochester Clarion made these remarks, which give us a clue to the reason for subdivision's name:
The choice of this site on Tienken road southeast of the new National Twist Drill and Tool Co. plant is especially fortunate. It offers all the conveniences of the village with the low cost of land and beauty of country life. The gracious plots of ground in North Hills subdivision make it possible to have large gardens. Families should have an abundance of fresh vegetables - making it healthful and an economical place to live.
The story went on to comment about the affordability of the housing:
The lots will sell for from $235 to $495. Houses will be built as quickly as needed, the interior roughed in to be finished by the owner.
The street running through North Hill Gardens was named Orchard - a fitting label since the property in the area was an orchard, but the Township of Avon renamed it Red Oak in August 1950, when dozens of street names were changed at the recommendation of the county road commission.

1 comment:

  1. We have an antique business sign for National Twist Drill & Tool Company that was found in our Grandmothers home after her recent passing. Would anyone know if this has any value?