In a recent Monroe Patch piece “Handsome Dispute Turns Ugly” the name Garder Road leaped off the page at me. Even though it’s just a typical country dirt road it certainly brought back many great memories.
The house I lived in on Fan Hill Road for the first 24 years of my life (1943-1967) was a stone’s throw from Garder Road.
Garder Road was at that time very nearly identical to the way it is now— with the north end even more so than now since the southern part has Applegate Lane, a relatively new subdivision.
Aside from that, not much has changed. The Partrick house that was once on the corner of the north end of Garter Road and Fan Hill Road burned and has since been replaced.
The southern branch which once sported a large gravel bank now has a landfill and pistol range. There’s also the relatively new entrance to Lane’s Mine Nature Park and of course Applegate Lane.
Growing up I had many connections to Garder Road some of which regarding the gravel bank I’ve written about before. I spent many afternoons in that gravel bank with my friends, riding our bicycles up and down the large mounds of gravel and through the pools that formed in the lower areas.
The Partrick house I refer to above, was on the left side of the road as you turn onto Garder Road from Fan Hill. Across the street was a large area of property that held many treasures.
Among those was an impressive collection of old cars scattered about that my friends and I used to love to play in. Also, one of the members of the Partrick family, Willard, used to collect glassware which he stored there. In fact Willard, who dealt with a variety of emotional issues, used to build miniature cities with small buildings and roads which covered a significant area.
We were afraid of Willard so we would sneak quietly through the woods to see if he was around, and if not, we’d play with what he had created— praying he wouldn’t show up.
Further down the road there’s a small cape which at that time was the home of a friend of mine. I’d ride my bicycle there every summer morning, and we’d go off on our various adventures.
Down the southern portion of the road, not far from Pepper Street, there lived another friend of mine. Many is the time I rode my bicycle to his house as well. His family was from Poland and they had a small farm. They were wonderful people. I often wonder what happened to my friend, Jacob.
Returning to the northern portion, as you approach Hammertown Road, there’s a large expanse of wetlands. We enjoyed a great deal of time there catching tadpoles or frogs or just watching the ducks and geese.
For an ordinary dirt road it’s amazing how many adventures there were to be had there. It was also on Garder Road where my father cut the Christmas tree that I wrote about some time ago.
I never would have imagined that this beautiful country road would be considered for commercial development, but then I never expected to see such development on Fan Hill Road either. Aren’t those residential or agricultural zones?
But as I’ve noted in previous pieces, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for Monroe’s zoning plan— in fact using that term is in itself an oxymoron. What plan?
Undoubtedly, I will have ruffled a few feathers with that observation, but I’m betting there are more than a few people who remember the Monroe of long ago and wonder the same thing.
Life in Monroe, small town America.
Those were the days.