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A LOOK BACK by Pam Stoess (from a 1990's neighborhood newsletter)

“GOOD houses in a GOOD Community” declares the 1940’s-era sales brochure of the Marsh Realty Company touting the virtues of their new development – Sedgefield! With instructions directing potential buyers down East Boulevard to Avondale Avenue and then Poindexter Drive, the Marsh Company proudly announced that their new homes featured modern amenities such as “automatic electric water heaters, tiled baths, and extra closets.”

But this development was not the first neighborhood in what we now call Sedgefield. Earlier communities of Devonshire, off Avondale Avenue (now Park Road), and South Park sprouted in the farmland south of Charlotte. It all began way back in 1908 when G.A. Marsh purchased 160 acres and set about farming in what is now Sedgefield. He built his growing family a large two-story home close to what is now Elmhurst Drive. Near the family home were a riding rink and stables, now the site of Southside Baptist Church and the Sedgefield Apartments.

In 1930 a small area was plotted and laid off in blocks for homes off Park Road. This was to become Devonshire, which would see another building boom when 98 acres were developed between 1941 and 1945. Between 1938 and 1941 houses were built along Marsh Road, from South Boulevard to Auburn Avenue. This development was called South Park.

It wasn’t until after WWII that Lex Marsh, son of G A Marsh, would begin to develop the family farm into the community of Sedgefield. The former wagon roads would become the paved streets of “a planned community for those purchasers and their families who want to enjoy the advantages of living in a highly desirable neighborhood…” according to the Marsh Realty Company brochure. Originally there were only 70 homes, followed by 60 duplexes on Belton Street and the 303 unit Sedgefield Apartments. More development came during 1947-48 when the Charlotte Lumber Company built a number of smaller homes in the southwest corner of the neighborhood along Melbourne Court to Hollis Road. Meanwhile the Marsh Realty Company continued to develop the remaining family farm acreage, building more single-family homes and then in 1966, the 166-unit Elmhurst Apartments.

Growth continued in the area with the Cloister Apartments on the corner of Marsh and Park Road in 1966 and was followed in the 1970’s by the Versailles complex on Park Road at the boundary of Sedgefield and Dilworth. A public housing project, Savanna Woods, was built in 1982 on the Marsh Road parcel behind the Cloisters now flanked by the E B Moore Park. In the mid 1980’s, the ¬¬¬¬ acre Moore farm with land on both sides of Marsh Road was developed with a mix of single and multi-family projects. In addition to residential development, the Sedgefield included an elementary and middle school and numerous churches.

As the sales brochure proclaimed, “Look the community…over carefully…we know you’ll like your neighbors, and the schools, transit and other city conveniences you’ll find!'

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