Saturday, June 28, 2014

Subdivision Stories: Stratford Knolls

In the summer of 1960, the first of ten Stratford Knolls subdivision plats went on the market.  Lying south of Walton Boulevard and west of Old Perch Road, the new development was laid out on land that had once been farmed by early Avon Township settlers Adam Manwaring and Wilson Fenner. In the later nineteenth century, the land was owned by Albert G. Griggs and had contained a large peach orchard.  (Local legend says that the name of Old Perch Road resulted from a misinterpretation of an old map which had labeled the road "Old Peach Road" in reference to the peach orchard.  Someone read "perch" instead of "peach," or so the story goes, and the error was cemented into fact when it was repeated on subsequent documents and maps.)

College Park Development was the company that platted Stratford Knolls, and Weinberger Homes was the builder.  At that time, Weinberger Homes was southern Michigan's biggest custom home builder and even sponsored a racing team in the Indy 500. The company's designs offered all of the modern amenities of the day in houses that ranged in price from $21,000 to $35,000.  Advertisements for the new subdivision, which held a grand opening sale in July 1960, boasted of the winding streets and large wooded lots that were available in the new development.

The final Stratford Knolls plat, No. 10, was opened in 1976.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the subdivision when it was first being sold. They had about 12 model homes along Walton Boulevard (University Drive) and Avonwood Boulevard just west of Old Perch Road. The subdivision abutted the grounds of West Junior High (middle school now). It didn't achieve full build-out until the mid 1970s, with the orchard area (Chalet and Wayward Lane) being the last to to be built in. The land was sort of wet and swampy in some spots and they final had divert storm water to an area that is now called Stratford Lake. I still have friends whose parents live on Clairhill Drive that moved in during the summer of 1970.