Colonial Hills, a Great Place to Grow Up

John Snouffer

Nov. 4, 2013

My parents, Paul and Hattie Snouffer, moved into a brand new house at 302 Loveman Avenue in the summer of 1953. I was six months old. Dad had taken a temporary job in New Philadelphia, Ohio, after living in Ohio for all of his life - being born in 1921 in the Griswold Inn when my grandparents were between houses. My grandfather was born in Worthington, as my family came to Worthington in the 1830’s. Moving in around the same time were many families with children the same ages as my older brothers, Dan and Stan, and myself. After a couple of years, there were about twenty to twenty-five families living on our block. Between the 1950’s and 1970’s some sixty to seventy-five children would grow up on that block.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One year in the late 1950’s, someone decided we should have a Fourth of July block party to go along with the Colonial Hills Civic Association festivities at Selby Park. So every Fourth of July until the 1970’s, Loveman Avenue was blocked off, picnic tables were set up in the street, families would bring pot-luck food, and we would have our Fourth of July picnic. In the morning before the block party, the Selby Park “Kiddie Parade” would take place.  Kids from Loveman Avenue would dress up and be a part of the parade. In 1959, when Hawaii was admitted to the union, my dad and other fathers built a rolling grass hut. Kids dressed up in hula skirts, sailor uniforms, and made floats with posters. Another year, my friends, Roy Gelin, Mark Best, Steve Harness, Mike Gall, and I dressed up as World War II soldiers. We made a wagon look like a tank, put ketchup on our t-shirts to look like blood. We wore real army helmets that our fathers had given us years before and carried toy guns. We marched in the parade. Other times, we decorated our bikes with crepe paper, American flags, and pinwheels that would spin in the wind. Sometimes we would attach playing cards to the spokes of our bikes with clothes pins in order to produce a motorbike sound when we rode.

 

After the parade, we would go back and ride our bikes up and down Loveman Ave.  Late in the morning, people would hang strings of colored pennants from tree to tree and house to house. For some reason, Warner French had all those streamers. Millie Bowers would make her famous cupcakes.  My mom would make Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake, the recipe for which she got from Grandma, Mertie Snouffer.  Bill Best would always wear the same yellow Hawaiian shirt. Quinn Weilbacher ran around with his movie camera and other fathers took pictures with their 35 mm still cameras. Before dinner was served, we kids would go back over to Selby Park to participate in the games that were held. There were running races, sack races, cane toss, bingo games, balloon-dart games, and basketball shooting competitions. We could win some really fantastic prizes. There were dunking machines, as well. Bands would play. One of the highlights later in the day was when Mr. Wilcox would bring his ponies in his truck. Everyone would get to have pony rides.

 

Everything culminated at night when the fireworks were set off at the railroad tracks at Indianola Park. The whole city would come to that area to watch the fireworks. My friends and I would either stay on Loveman Avenue or go on over to the park to watch. As you can see in the pictures I’ve included, The Fourth of July in Colonial Hills was a great time for all.

In July 2006 , members of nearly all the families returned for a block party reunion. Some people had not seen each other for forty years. Approximately one hundred and thirty people came back. A slide show of old pictures and home movies were shown and old stories were exchanged.  Current neighbors opened their doors and gave home tours to the houses’ former residents. Channel 4 news came out and did a report.

Growing up in Colonial Hills was surely a great time and great place.

 

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