The Highland Park neighborhood of Hamilton, one of the city’s most charming, will have a party May 4 (a Saturday) to celebrate its centennial.
It is a neighborhood made up of diverse and attractive homes, tidily kept, over-arched by a canopy of trees.
For Joan Crane, 88, there’s hardly a better place to live. She grew up there, and for almost the past 60 years she has lived in “the house I always wanted,” just blocks from Fort Hamilton Hospital, where she was born when the hospital was only 1 1/2 years old.
The neighborhood was in the spotlight recently when Mark Ruffalo was there, shooting the yet-to-be-released film, ‘Dry Run.’
Linda Garner, an organizer of the Highland Park Centennial Celebration, said the event will happen Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Virginia Avenue Park. Families are encouraged to bring their own picnic supplies and food, although neighbors plan to roll out their grills and prepare hot dogs for others. Hamilton bottled water will be available, as well as popcorn from the Park Avenue United Methodist Church.
A barbershop quartet will perform, and Unsung Salvage is printing T-shirts with the Highland Park logo, the first 200 of which will be distributed free thanks to a 17Strong city micro-grant. Organizers also hope vehicles from the 1919 era also will be parked around the area.
In the planning for more than two years, the event is open to “anybody in Hamilton who wants to come,” Garner said. “We certainly want the present and former residents to come.”
It was May of 1919 when two developers announced “this addition will develop into the best residential section of Hamilton.”
A year after Henry Ford in 1918 announced plans to build a factory in Hamilton, the neighborhood took its name from Highland Park, Mich., home of Ford’s Model T assembly plant.
It’s a dignified place worth celebrating, residents say.
“All the houses are different in Highland Park,” Crane said. “And The big trees make the neighborhood, I think. That’s what I love.”
It’s such a pleasant area that people travel in to take strolls, or walk their dogs, there, she said.
Another point she loves: Her sister, Susan Myers, lives on the other end of a stone walking path their father built connecting their yards.
“My cousins lived across the street, my aunt lived around the corner, my cousin lived two blocks down. It was wonderful growing up,” Crane said.