You’ve reached Montrose Ave. Did you know that Montrose Avenue is named for James G Montrose, the Marquis of Hamilton, a Scottish noble and Royalist leader in the reign of Charles I?
We have a better candidate for the name of this street: Sulzer Street.
Conrad Sulzer was a Swiss immigrant to the US. He was among the first Europeans to settle in this area. A truck farmer, his family remained active in the area well into the 20th Century.
Grace Sulzer established the Sulzer Family Foundation to ensure that civic, social and educational organizations continue to thrive and enrich the community founded by her grandfather.
And we think this should seal the deal. The street you are at the corner of? It was renamed to Montrose from Sulzer.
So much has changed since Conrad Sulzer pioneered this land. We’d like you to join us with a remembrance from an unknown early settler after the break.
That long ago Ravenswood was a delightful little suburban village
With many houses of the mid-Victorian era
Each in a setting of flowers and well-kept lawns
facing quiet pleasant streets shaded with fine elms and maples.
The Barrows, Norcross, Wiswall, Trudeau, Major McDowell, Jones,
Cole, Greer, Hills, Semper
— The mid-Victorian dwellings are rapidly vanishing like the one time tenants of them.
But in the 1870’s and 80’s they represented a young and handsome
Vigorous and ambitious group of people.
They enjoyed life too, in those days
Perhaps it would be though a little slow now,
— daytime picnics, church suppers, ‘small and early’ parties.
Frequently on a summer evenings the whole village packed its supper in baskets and went down to the Water Works at the end of Sulzer Road on the lake.
There like one large delightful family the village ate its evening meal on the green grass of the little Water Works Park.
And in the moonlight the young people walked
And the old people drove back with the empty baskets in the ‘onehoss shays.’
We don’t have such simple pleasures these days.
We don’t know how to be simple any more.
Feel in one of my pockets
You’ll find an old program “A soiree Musical at Ravenswood in the Auditorium of the First Congregational Church. Robert Greer, Director. Mrs. Laura N Stark, Accompanist.
Many things like this I recall
Brooding here by myself under summer moons and winter clouds
In the springtime when the wind in the old elms blows the red buds into green leaves
And these branches
that have traced their shadowy beauty on my roof in moonlit nights
that have sheltered me from hot summer suns
and from rains
and listened to secrets of stars and skies and dawns
when they whisper to me of the past
Then all the present vanishes
The Montrose cars no longer rush clanging past my windows
Once again it is Sulzer Road
leading from the lake
through Huffings Woods
the scrub oak woods where blue phlox blossomed in the sand
past the old Sunnyside Hotel
with its fountain and white painted fence
the school house
the Christofer Farm
Past the Cana place to the river
And beyond the river, in Wright’s Woods–
On Spring nights
I wait here
Dreaming wistfully of the past that has banished
and remember only by a few old-timers.