Skip to content

Coming Soon! The 2020 Re-launch of the Virtual Scrapbook.

March 1, 2020

Coming later in 2020 – a new version and update to this site with new stories of the present and past of Highland Park, our neighborhood, and our history.  

If you want to be kept up-to-date….use the form below or join the list of our subscribers by using the SCRAPBOOK BY EMAIL button on the bar at right.

Yes!  Keep Me Up To Date with Scrapbook Changes!

Meanwhile back in 1999…

November 5, 2014
Crawford Street, November 2001

Crawford Street, Fall 2001

Meanwhile back in 1999…the Highland Park Neighborhood, then known as the Ellwanger-Barry Neighborhood, was very much what is fifteen years later.  That is the year  when the following essay describing our neighborhood appeared in the Democrat and Chronicle.  The essay was written by Roger T. Janezic: a Crawford Street resident who served on the Board of the Neighborhood Association for a number of years.   The photos included have been recovered from older neighborhood website files from around 2001.  But the words (and photos) still seem  relevant as descriptions of  day-t0-day experiences, almost as if they were written last week.

Crawford Street- Sycamores in Fall 2001

Crawford Street- Sycamores – Fall 2001

Six years ago I made a decision to purchase a home in the Ellwanger-Barry Neighborhood of Rochester. I was drawn to the house immediately. Today I share this home with my wife and find a quiet joy living here. I feel this joy often when coming home at the end of the day. Driving down our street feels like I’m entering our living room. An overhead canopy of sycamore trees greets me, trunks like sentinels lined along the street, arching their sheltering branches over our neat, tidy American four-squares. Neighbors wave, children play. It’s not uncommon to fall into a conversation upon arriving home and find myself still standing there, talking, 20 minutes later. I have an image of this street that I’m always trying to capture with a camera. Perhaps what I seek through the lens isn’t its physical attributes.

The community that exists here is tangible, immediate, and part of the everyday fabric of our lives. Our neighbors are not only acquaintances, many are dear friends. Together we have traveled on vacation, attended each other’s birthdays, shared grief at funerals, pulled together for someone’s sick mother, or bought presents for a newborn baby. We have celebrated the holidays together, caroling on bitter December nights or carving pumpkins under an October moon. We make a point of getting together regularly but often under some pretense of holiday or other event. Often our gatherings are spontaneous and may fill a porch on a late spring afternoon with an instant smorgasbord of food and talk. And even those who have moved away to other cities or states keep in touch, visit, and act like neighbors who have who have really never left. Not everybody participates to the same degree or frequency but each contributes in his or her own way. And we wonder aloud sometimes, daring to break the fortunate spell cast upon our street, “why does this work so well?”

Neighbors Picnic 2001

Neighbors Picnic 2001

There is likely a multitude of reasons for the harmony that exists here, some more obvious than others. Nearly all the houses on our street are owner-occupied and most residents have been here for five to fifteen years, all of which bring a stabilizing influence. The close proximity of colleges, hospitals, and parks help strengthen property-values, which lure and keep residents. While the environment exists for this neighborhood to survive, I believe that there are two other elements that allow it to flourish. First, many of the people who live here do so because they believe that cities are important, both for the advantages derived from urban living and for it’s strengthening action upon of our urban core. In addition, the physical make up of our homes, from the close proximity of our houses and compact yards to the welcoming nature of our open porches, invites interaction. It’s as if the houses themselves foster our relationships. I believe that this willingness to live side by side coupled with the architecture of our homes help us better to resolve differences, recognize similarities, and build bridges of friendship and trust.

Roger and Mayor

Author Roger T. Janezic and Mayor Johnson in 2001

For those skeptical of city living, I invite you to visit our neighborhood and walk the sidewalks. There is something that works here, something vital, something that may offer valuable clues to fostering a livable, vibrant city neighborhood. You may find that it’s for you.

Memories of The Highland Park Neighborhood – Part III

October 27, 2014
Author Dan Cragg. Click for more on Dan.

Author Dan Cragg. Click for more on Dan.

Curator’s Note:  This is the third and final chapter of Dan Cragg’s remembrance of the Highland Park Neighborhood.  Dan is a former resident of the Highland Park Neighborhood and the author or co-author of over a dozen books.   In a literary sense, this series is a homecoming of sorts, as Dan left in 1958 to begin the first of several careers.  His years in the military included two tours of Vietnam as well as others in Europe and South Korea.

Although he no longer lives in Rochester, Dan still visits us from time to time.   By way of these remarkable memories, we readers should welcome him back home.  In chapter III, Dan revisits School #24, Minnie’s store, the Eastman Dental Dispensary and Monroe High School as he also  describes the day-to-day lives of his family and friends.   Enjoy!

Click for Part I of Dan’s Memories of The Highland Park Neighborhood.
And for Part II, Click Here…  )

PS 24

 My father, my uncle, my Aunt Josephine, my Cousin Jack, my sister and I all attended grammar school at PS 24.  A Mrs. Gregory, one of my teachers there, remembered both my father and my uncle as her students.  My oldest friend, Phil Willis, who is now retired from the RTC and living on Norris Drive (and we’re still in touch), was in my kindergarten class.  Imagine my surprise some years ago when I discovered the school had been converted to condos and now my old kindergarten room was someone’s home!

I remember my first day of kindergarten.  Since my father was away in the army at the time and my mother a patient at the Iola Sanitarium, my Uncle Bob took me.  I had no idea where I was going, what it meant, or what would happen when I trudged into that classroom at the east end of PS24.  I also remember the first time I was able to write my own name but more vividly I remember the first words I ever read by myself.  Up to that time I always had to get an adult to interpret the Sunday comics for me so it seems appropriate that my first reading experience was in a Porky Pig comic book.  That opened vistas for me that have never dimmed.

My old schoolmate Phil Willis and I often argue which year we started school.  I think it was 1945 but Phil insists 1944 and the war was still on.  I do remember that the glass paneling inside the school was all taped up to prevent fragmentation from bomb blasts.  I remember very well the A-bomb drills of the 1950s we had to perform where we’d all troop into the hallways and crouch down against the walls for safety from the blast waves of an atomic detonation.  We were also instructed to fling ourselves into the roadside if there were a bright flash in the sky while out of doors, or under our desks if an attack occurred while in the classroom.  Looking back on all that now (and all the civil defense preparations of that era) I realize how naive it all was.  By 1950 we had less chance of surviving an atomic attack than the school kids did in Hiroshima.  But to us then the drills were exciting if also a bit frightening but we were assured the adults would know what to do if atomic war ever came to Rochester.


The 4th Grade Class of Public School #24 (Ellwanger & Barry)  in 1950.

The 4th Grade Class of Public School #24 (Ellwanger & Barry) in 1950. – Click for More

The principal there when I started was a Mrs. Arlene Fritz who was later replaced by a Mr. Thiele.  I remember some of my teachers, Mrs. Rowland (6th grade) , Mrs. Greenstone (2nd grade), Mrs. Brookle (kindergarten), Mrs. Putnam (fifth grade), Mrs. Winterman (4th grade).  A Mrs. Kenworthy was our music teacher but I never did much in her class except mumble incoherently, as did all the other boys, when asked to sing along when she played songs on the piano for us.  One of her favorites was “The Light Cavalry Overture” by von Suppé   and I really liked that but in class I could never be persuaded to more than mumble the lyrics.  We boys just did not indulge.  (In high school our music teacher was a Mrs. Wannamaker who looked just like Wagner’s Brunhilde.  Once, in her 8th grade music class, practicing a chorus from “Carmen,” she heard a boy sing, “Toreadora, don’t spit on the floor-a, spit in the cuspidor-a,” grabbed him by his ear and ejected him from class with the words, “You shall not sing that filthy street song in my class!”  But Mrs. Kenworthy at PS 24 was a pin-up girl to us boys).

At the end of the semester we were tested to identify the compositions we’d supposedly learned in class.  The pieces were all played back to us via the school’s loud speaker system.  I got them all right and Mrs. Kenworthy, in her amazement, accused me of copying the answers from the girl who sat in front of me.  But her paper proved she had a tin ear so when that didn’t work I was hauled before the principal for interrogation.  In the end it was concluded I just happened to have a good memory.  That was the only time in my life I can remember being punished for doing well on a test in school.

The Former School #24 Today

The Former School #24 Today

I must digress here about music.  My family was a singularly unmusical group.  My cousin, Jack, could play the piano (acceptably, to my ear) and he had a good singing voice.  I loved it when he could be prevailed upon to sit at the old, out-of-tune piano in grandmother’s parlor and sing arias from “The Student Prince.”  In Rochester in those days there was no FM radio and as I recall, the only classical music you could get on the local AM stations was half an hour once a week.  When the conditions were right I could sometimes receive broadcasts from the CBC in Ontario but what I remember most about listening to those Canadian broadcasts was “The Goon Show,” a zany complement to our own satirical Bob & Ray of radio fame (to which I was a loyal fan) or a predecessor to British TV’s Monty Python.

Of course with the Eastman School downtown there were always concerts but we never attended any.  For us the closest we ever got to live musical performances were the hymns sung in church or the concerts at the Highland Bowl.  One season a local opera company put on a performance of “Don Giovanni.”  In one scene the Don rushed up a set of stairs, tripped over his sword, and was clearly heard to utter a word that was definitely not in Lorenzo DaPonte’s libretto.

Mt Vernon Street DirectoryFrag Directory of Dan’ Cragg’s Mt Vernon Avenue.
Click the graphic to see the complete directory of Mt Vernon Avenue around the time that Dan was born. Houses have been renumbered since this was published in 1940.

Just down Meigs St. from PS 24 was Minnie’s, later known as Mim’s, a candy story which we frequented whenever we had some loose change to spend there.  My grandmother kept her change purse in a drawer in the kitchen and I’d pilfer dimes to use at Minnie’s where I’d treat my conniving classmates (one of whom, under the influence of adult liquid refreshment years later, fell into the Barge Canal and drowned)  to a candy feast.  That might explain my popularity with some kids in those days. On the north side of PS 24 was our playground.  In my day it was a just a plain patch of dirt without any equipment except what we carried with us.  I don’t recall that physical exercise played a very prominent role in our curriculum in the 1950s.  We got plenty of that on our own, however.

In my day grammar school kids had “religious education,” not in the classroom but at local churches (the Jewish kids had “Hebrew School”).  This was really a kind of Sunday school during the week.  With parental permission we were taken for instruction one morning a week.  The Baptist church I attended for this instruction was at the corner of Linden Street and South Avenue and our instructor, a Mrs. Westra, would come to PS 24, gather up her charges, and march us to the church where we’d study Bible stories. This religious instruction offered a break from classroom drudgery and an opportunity for us boys to goof off.  The one boy I remember from that experience, the biggest goof off in religious instruction classes, is the chap who got drunk one night years later and drowned in the Barge Canal.

When I returned to PS 24 in 1963 I was astonished at how small the place had become.

 The Eastman Dental Dispensary

One of George Eastman’s many public endowments was the establishment of a dental clinic for Rochester’s school children.  For five cents a child could go there and receive all the most modern dental treatment.  I was one of those recipients.  It was the worst experience of my life up to then and totally turned me off on dental science for the next 20 years.  I hated that place so much I actually played hooky on the days we were scheduled to go.  When I was caught no one asked me why I did it.   I didn’t tell anyone either or if I did nobody considered a fear of dentistry an apt justification for staying away from school.  I also guess I never expected anyone to check into my absence but eight-year-olds aren’t known for planning ahead.


The Eastman Dental Dispensary – Postcard view

The clinic on East Avenue was an imposing structure with a huge set of stairs leading to the main lobby.  That lobby was enormous to me at age eight.  In the center was a bird cage that held songbirds who tweeted and twittered as they fluttered about inside.  To this day I cringe whenever I hear that sound.  You’d pay your nickel and then sit on a hard bench until your name was called.  The dentists were in a huge hall on the second floor that you reached by climbing a set of stairs.  It was the “last mile” for me, those stairs.  Once at the top you looked down this hallway lined with dental chairs on each side, and waited for your doom.  I think those dentists were in the final phase of their training, something like interns, and in those days I don’t think they were taught anything about child psychology.  They also did not use high-speed drills, only those monstrous devices run by a foot pedal that sounded and felt like jackhammers in your mouth.  And no anesthetics.  Once they had to tie my arms to the chair to keep me in the seat!  That was after I ran screaming from that place.  Finally, a doctor from New Zealand got me as his patient.  He was a careful and gentle man who talked softly and would stop his work if it hurt me.  Gradually, he gained my confidence.  Eventually the other dentists would gather round and gape at how effortlessly he was able to work on my teeth.  I don’t remember his name.  If I had I’d have looked him up when I was in New Zealand years later.

Today the clinic is a ruin and some think it’s haunted.  No disrespect meant to the philanthropist who endowed the place, but if it is haunted that is no surprise to me.  It is truly wonderful to think that medicine has advanced so far over the last 65 years that no longer must anyone enter the portals of such places as the Eastman Dental Clinic or the Iola Sanitarium or lie alone in a hospital bed begging for death.

 Monroe High 

I started at Monroe in the fall of 1954.  My sister and I were preceded there by my father, uncle, Aunt Jo, and Cousin Jack.  In their day and in ours almost none of the kids had cars.  I should say that in the transition from grammar to high school we ceased being school children and became “students.”  So as students we, as those before us, walked to and from Monroe; I did anyway, and in all kinds of weather, dutifully carrying the lunch grandmother made for me (I never bought anything but milk in the school cafeteria).  I remember very high standards at Monroe both in the quality of the education we received and the conduct of the teaching staff and the student body.  I remember none of the problems that plague the public school systems throughout the nation today. One thing about the school system in those days, the teacher was always right.  If you were disciplined it was because you deserved it (whether you did or not).  That pertained as much to PS24 as it did to Monroe High.  I was held back in the first grade and nobody objected or even bothered to tell me why.  Thus the kids I started kindergarten with graduated from high school a year earlier than I.

I believe there were 248 students in the graduating class of 1958.  Of them 158 were still living in NY state in 1983.  They were all white except for one exchange student from Japan, Shima Murakami, I believe was her name.  Many of those graduates went on to distinguished careers.  Howard Relin became Rochester’s district attorney, for instance; others became lawyers, prelates, and so on.  We held a 25th reunion in 1983 which I was unable to attend and the 50th reunion, scheduled for October 2008, seems never to have come off.  About 15 of those who graduated in 1958 were also my classmates at PS 24.

Through the Rundel Library I met other young people from different parts of the city so the group I hung out with during high school included teens from schools like Ben Franklin and Marshall, my first exposure, you might say to a cosmopolitan outlook. 

My greatest achievement at Monroe almost got me expelled when I dumped a trash can onto our table in the cafeteria.  That engendered a satisfying rush of enthusiastic horror from the students during the second lunch period and they were still talking about it years later.  I did it on a $5 bet with Phil Willis.  The boy’s advisor, Mr. Julian Lowell, strongly suggested that to atone for this misdeed I give the $5 to the Red Cross.  But when Phil coughed the money up later I kept it and spent it on books at Gilboy’s down at 197 Chestnut Street.  Our punishment was to sweep the cafeteria floors for one week.  Phil was suitably repentant but I picked up the loose change dropped by the students during lunch and saved it up to spend on books and science-fiction magazines.

Ah, books!  When I got old enough to earn my own money I started spending it on books and hanging out at the local used book stores.  There was the Book Hunter’s Shoppe on South Avenue in the same block as the old Milner Hotel, across from the Rundel Library, a room filled with books from floor to ceiling.  The owner was a white-haired gentleman cigar-smoker who never objected to a teen-age browser; the Clinton Bookstore just up Court Street from there which carried the latest paperbacks and magazines; and Gilboy’s, a Mecca for teenage bibliophiles.  A. Worden Gilboy was a raconteur of the highest order, an antiquarian bookman renowned for his knowledge, and a mentor to any young person with an interest in literature.  In a word, he treated us as adults in sharing with us what he knew.  His family lived in the rear and second-floor section of the old brownstone on Chestnut Street.  In my high-school years I earned spending money by cleaning the store and his living quarters once a week.  I never took the money in salary, I applied it against books on his shelves that I wanted for my own.  As we grew older – J. B. Post, Dan Lynch, Jerry O’Neill and I – Gilboy would have us over after hours to enjoy cards, conversation and, after age 18, beer at his kitchen table.  I learned more at Gilboy’s than I ever did at Monroe. Or what I learned from him has stuck with me.  For me there never will be a more satisfying sensation than holding a real book in my hands.

Dan and the Children's Pavilion

In 1958, the year that the Author left Rochester, he visited the Children’s Pavilion in Highland Park

A love of books led me to crime:  I stole a book from the school library, a copy of Henry Fairfield Osborne’s Men of the Old Stone Age.  When it came due I told the librarian I’d lost it and paid the $5 to replace it. I don’t know what happened to that copy.  Last year I bought another off eBay for $100.  When I went into the army I gave all my books away including a copy of the first U. S. edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species which I got from Gilboy for $5. I also bought from him a pristine copy of one volume of paleontologist James Hall’s contribution to the Natural History of New York State.  Today I own two sets of the series fulfilling the adage that all things come to he who waits. 

Anyway, with my attitude, I was an indifferent student, good at what I liked, history and English, but not very interested in anything else, including sports.  One teacher I remember above all the others was the late T. A. Fabiano who taught social studies but he taught it in a way that challenged us to think.  He was visibly disappointed when I saw him last in 1963 that I’d chosen the army instead of college.  I did finish college eventually, on the GI Bill, but that wasn’t until I was in my 40s.  Immediately upon graduation I enlisted in the army.  But that’s another story. 

On December 4th, 1954, Phil Willis and I climbed a tree in Highland Park and carved our names and the date in its bark. At that time we couldn’t imagine what it would be like to graduate from Monroe in 1958.  Four years in the future seemed a lifetime away then.  Now so it has become.

 Thus in the stilly night, ere slumber’s chain has bound me, sad memory brings the light of other days around me.”


Memories of The Highland Park Neighborhood – Part II

September 23, 2014

Curator’s Note:


A Recent Photo of the Author with
his Grandchildren – Click for More

 Dan Cragg is a former resident of the Highland Park Neighborhood and the author or co-author of over a dozen books.  Recently he sent us a remembrance of  his life,  his family and his times spent in the area before he left in 1958.  During his first of several careers, while with the United States Army, Dan travelled the world: including two tours of duty in Vietnam, and tours of duty in Germany, Italy, and South Korea. But even if he has never returned here to live, as the stories he shares reveals, the Neighborhood has always been with him.   In the second of three parts of his wonderful contribution to our archives, Dan takes us back to the part of Mt Vernon Avenue with which he was most familiar as well as the family, neighbors and friends who shared that time and place with him

(Click Here for Part I of Dan’s
Memories of The Highland Park Neighborhood.)

Mt. Vernon Avenue

 One aspect of the neighborhood in my youth that may seem odd today is that it was all white.  No black or Hispanic people lived in our part of the city back in the 1950s, there was no ethnic diversity in the neighborhood or our schools (I understand the student body at Monroe today is predominantly Hispanic).  Black people were employed at the Highland Hospital and I suppose others seen passing by worked as domestics in some households, but our everyday life was one of de facto segregation. Read more…

Little Library Street

September 23, 2014
Extensions of Caroline and Goodman ---Click for Bigger Map Versions

Extension of Caroline and Goodman
Between 1845 to 1861
Click for Bigger Version of Map

Little Library Street is  officially known as Caroline Street.  When Caroline Street first appeared on City of Rochester maps around  1845,  it ran from South Avenue to the city’s edge which was just beyond “Nelson” street, now known as Meigs St.  By 1861  (see map at right)  it reached all the way to the new extension of Goodman, by then also on the edge of Rochester proper.  Today, this portion of the street between South and Goodman has accumulated more Little Free Library Stations than any other area in our city than we are aware of.  And each of these three structures has an individual style all its own.    But they are all still connected to the first Little Library which took residence in the Highland Park Neighborhood by way of the loves of reading and of real books.  The Ellwanger & Barry company referred to our area as The Finest and Healthiest Part of the City.   And what could be healthier for the mind and spirit than reading a fine old or new book or magazine? Read more…

Memories of The Highland Park Neighborhood – Part I

September 8, 2014

Curator’s Note:  Dan Cragg, a former resident sent us a remarkable remembrance earlier in 2014.   While Dan’s package of photos and stories got delayed for a few months inside a local post office, fortunately, we eventually received it earlier this summer.  Within the first few minutes of reading the first pages, I realized, as you will, that Dan’s detailed memories of the time he spent in this neighborhood are shared treasures.  So it is my pleasure and honor to present the first of three parts of Dan Cragg’s Memories of The Highland Park Neighborhood.  In part I, Dan writes about Highland Hospital, his childhood activities in Highland Park and the Pinnacle Range.  The photos in this first entry are all supplied by Dan.  The post cards images are from the archives of the Virtual Scrapbook.  Enjoy!

Dan Cragg - Today

The Author Today – Click for More

I left the Highland Park neighborhood in 1958 and have returned there only for brief intervals since but often enough that I have retained a sense of belonging. Each visit renews that bond.  Members of my family have lived and died in Rochester for well over a century and now, as I enter three-quarters of a century, reminiscences of my boyhood in the old neighborhood flood back in brilliant color and make me feel young again.  The Irish poet, Thomas Moore, said it well:  “Oft in the stilly night, ere slumber’s chain has bound me, fond memory brings the light of other days around me.”   Submitted by Dan Cragg


Highland Park 

The name “Highland” has been with me since I was born at Highland Hospital in 1939.  Highland Park itself has been a source of recreation for my family  for well over 90 years.  One winter in the 1920s Grandma broke her back tobogganing down a slope along the ridge just to the south of the Lily Pond (not far from the Frederick Douglass monument).  The cast they put on at Highland Hospital remained in grandmother’s attic until she died (at Highland) in 1965.

I was a patient at the Highland four times in my life.  The first time was when I was born; then when I cut my leg in father’s vegetable garden (see the Smith Place); next to recover from strep throat, an infection I picked up playing with the stagnant water in the fish pond in grandmother’s back yard.  The last time was when I was about 15.   I was there for about a week with what was considered at first a kidney infection but turned out to be the passing of calcium from an old TB infection I got from my mother.  They put me in a ward with grown men one of whom was dying from terminal cancer.  He was kept sedated during the day but sometimes at night he’d wake up and begin screaming for someone to kill him until a nurse would come in and put him under again.  He died alone, quietly, in a bed in a corner of our ward.  I don’t think they even had hospices in those days where the terminally ill could pass out with dignity.

Read more…

Keeping the Neighborhood Pristine, and More Trash Talk

August 20, 2014

Submitted by Elaine Heveron

Elaine and Lou demonstrate  their neighborhood pickup

Elaine and Lou demonstrate their ongoing  trash pickup  procedure in the neighborhood

Good Morning!  Perhaps we’ve met you on one of our morning walks—we’re the couple picking up trash with the long-handled grab-bar. We’ve met some wonderful people along the way these last several years.

Sometimes someone says, “Well, there’s not much trash around this neighborhood, right?” Well,  right, but there would be about 300 shopping bags worth of trash per year more than what you see if we didn’t pick it up, and there are others who do this as well.  The other day, we saw an elderly man using a walker and picking up trash along Elmwood Avenue; we were impressed!

Many people have taken a moment to say thank you or ask if we’ve ever found anything good (not yet.)  And, comically, it’s usually person who is both walking a dog or two and pushing a stroller that says, “I should do that too!”  We don’t have a dog and we’re walking anyway, so we’re happy to do it.  Our feeling is, if people see trash everywhere, they might not think twice about throwing trash from a car to the street, roadside, or sidewalk. But if they don’t see any trash around, they might get the vibe that this is not the place to do such a thing.

We could use some help along Clinton and South Avenues, (ideally from those who own and operate the businesses there, mainly.) Also, some of the side streets need more picking up. If anyone wants to help increase and extend the pristine look of this neighborhood, not just by having a Clean-Up Day once a year, but as a regular thing at your own convenience, please consider the ease of this contribution. It’s easier with two people, one to hold the bag and one to pick up and deposit trash, but it can be done alone too. People always ask where we bought our grab-bar.  The grab bars are easy to find online. My favorite is the Ettore 49036 Grip ‘n Grab (Amazon $17.98). because it can pick up the tiniest thing, even a cigarette butt or a dime.  Other models can be found at places like Southside Apothecary, Home Depot-types stores, Pharmacies, or even the public market.  So, get yourself a grab-bar and help reinforce the notion that this area is  a very special neighborhood and we’ve all got our eyes on the scene.


And while we’re talking trash, I’d like to mention that if you have items in your basement, garage or attic that you’ve been meaning to get rid of appropriately, there is a great place to dispose of these items:


Eco Park, 10 Avion Drive, Rochester, New York (near the airport)

Check out their web site:


Here are the hours and items you can leave for free at the Regular Collections.  (Check website for special collections of more items)

Wed.-Sat., 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (closed on Monroe County government-observed holidays) – Monroe County households only (no businesses, not-for-profits, home offices, etc.)

  • Electronic Waste
  • Batteries (household alkaline batteries are NOT accepted)
  • Appliances (without CFC/Freon)
  • Scrap Metal
  • Aluminum Can Pop-Tops (to benefit Ronald McDonald House)
  • Paper & Flattened Cardboard
  • Document Destruction
  • Recyclable Glass/Metal/Plastic Containers
  • Printer Cartridges
  • Propane Tanks – 1# & 20#
  • Bulky Plastic Items (should be clean and rigid)
  • Plastic Bags and Product Wrap (must be clean and dry — no mulch/soil bags)
  • Clean Styrofoam Packing (no takeout clamshells, cups, meat trays, egg cartons, etc.)
  • Empty Prescription Bottles (labels OK)
  • Cooking Oil/Grease
  • Fluorescent Lights
  • Sharps & Syringes
  • Sneakers (no shoes, boots, cleats, ‘light-up’ or metal-containing sneakers)
  • Clothing (Goodwill Donation)
  • Cell Phones (to benefit Cell Phones for Soldiers)
  • Flags (U.S.)
  • Compost Give-Back (Seasonal – not for use in vegetable/herb gardens)

Check out the web site for Special Collections of other items.

Do you love our parade?

May 12, 2014

If you love parades,  you may already have been present for one of the best, local and annual traditions.   And it is an event that you can walk to it if you live in any of the neighborhoods bordering on Highland Botanical Park. Parade of Lilac Queens 1930s That annual tradition is, of course, the Rochester Lilac Festival’s  Parade.

To the right is a post card memento from nearly eighty years ago.  It is a  fun and antique reminder that thousands of people have been gathering in Highland Park every spring to see a parade for generations.

However, I am not writing this entry to relate a definitive history of either the festival or the parade.  (Although I may get to that over time.)

I am actually writing  just to celebrate by way of  a record of my visit to this year’s parade. Like so many times before, the 2014 Lilac festival and the Lilac parade were welcomed in my neighborhood as heralds of spring and summer.  And I have confirmed by an informal poll of my fellow residents, that they look forward to the Lilac Festival and all its events as much as I do.  This year, because of the severity of the winter that ended mere weeks before the lilacs began to bloom, there may even have been extra cheering.

First up in the celebration is a video.  The movie is actually just a few minutes of music from several of the many bands that participated in the 2014 parade.  (Plus some special guests in special rather small vehicles.)

Next is my photo essay on the parade.   But this is just a selection of a much bigger set of floats, participants and music. By that I mean, the movie and the photo collection could each be two or three times this size and woud still quite interesting.

See for yourself next year!

In Tribute to Veterans Day: A Movie and Slideshow

December 2, 2013

On November 10, 2013, HPNA Horticulturist and Forestry Expert Amy Priestley led another one of her guided walks through Highland Park.  This one was different. This was truly poignant.  We visited the Greater Rochester Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  When Amy started reading from the dedication monument, I turned on the video.  This movie was, eventually, the result:

If you are able to select the highest definition version of  this film on youtube, I  think it will enhance the experience.   The emotions, the weather and the occasion combined into one of the lingering moments where pictures can say things even better than words….

An Album for Carol

November 17, 2013
Poster Advertising the Fundraiser for Carol Heveron at Abilene

Poster: Fundraiser for Carol

Carol Heveron is a neighborhood  artist, musician and gardener. All those things combine to give just a glimpse into the warmth of this woman whose has made many contributions to the work of the Highland Park Neighborhood Association.   One of the results of  our frequent contacts, has been that my wife and I became friends with Carol.   But perhaps the greatest understanding of Carol within the broader local community is within her music.   Yet, many of her music fans might not even know that Carol’s collage art was incorporated into a poster for an exhibit in 2013 that included more of  her beautifully expressive collage art.  Recently Carol has been visited by health problems, something from which she is determined to recover but her struggle as a person who cannot afford health insurance is making that difficult:

Carol with Portrait by Artist Larry Staiger at Show Featuring both of their work in Summer 2013

Carol with portrait by artist Larry Staiger at show featuring both of their art work in Summer 2013

“The day after Carol Heveron’s temporary job ended — she was filling in for a woman on maternity leave — she looked in the bathroom mirror. I hadn’t been feeling good for weeks, I can tell by things I was writing my journal,” she says. “I looked in the mirror and saw my eyes were yellow. I knew something was wrong, but I was afraid to go to the doctor because of the bills.”  A couple of weeks later, Heveron did go. A tumor was blocking her bile ducts. The yellow eyes were jaundice. The diagnosis: pancreatic cancer.

“It was like someone pulled the rug out from under me,” she says.

Heveron is a familiar voice in the local music community, not only for her own bands, such as Carol Heveron & the Impalas and The Carol Heveron Band, but as kind of a go-to vocalist for many musicians in the city. “Country, rock and roll, blues people,” she says. “’I’ve just played with so any people, it’s hard to count.”

Jeff Spevak , staff writer,  Democrat and Chronicle,  November 11, 2013

In honor of Carol, on this day which will feature a benefit concert on her behalf with many fellow musicians, we present this album of photos and posters taken and created during many of Carol’s activities on behalf of her neighborhood. All of us join in thanks that she lives among us as, perhaps, “The Coolest Woman in The Hood”.

Trick or Treaters – Counts Across Recent Years

November 2, 2013
Best Costume Award - 2013

Best Costume Award – At My House 2013

When we first moved onto our own home on Meigs street in late 1991, my wife and I were already somewhat familiar with how big a deal Halloween is in this section of the Highland Park Neighborhood (then still known as the Ellwanger & Barry Neighborhood.)  We had been living here  since 1986 on the ground floor of a nearby apartment building where we received a couple of dozen of treat & treaters every year.  But that first year at our house, I was unprepared for the number to quadruple.  My wife was working  later than expected that day and as my candy stock grew low I had nowhere to turn to resupply it.   In desperation, I made a small sign explaining my plight and asking any visitors  with extra candy (especially the stuff they did not want)  to consider leaving some for later trick-or-treaters.  Eventually I left the candy bowl outside with about 15 pieces of candy left in it and retired inside for the night.  When I awoke the next morning, I found that the bowl was much fuller than I left it.   Is that something that could only happen in this neighborhood? I don’t know, but I do know that if I tried it again now twenty years later, I’d expect the same results.

This year brought near records levels of trick or treaters to our house.  In fact we ran out quite late in the day.   (Maybe I should have tried the sign trick again?)  I knew it was near a record because we have been keeping count for quite a few years although unfortunately, we haven’t kept good records of our records. Currently I have, in fact, misplaced all results prior to 1999.   And we actually track by the 1/2 hour.   So perhaps some year I will include updated detail from other years and, perhaps graphs (!)

Little People Award - Halloween 2013 at my house

Little People Award – Halloween 2013 at my house

Halloween Trick or Treater counts – Meigs near Linden

    • 1999    153
    • 2000   156
    • 2001      60 (9/11 Aftermath)
    • 2005    209
    • 2006    227
    • 2007    312
    • 2008   245
    • 2009   245
    • 2010   186 (Rain – Becoming Cold Slush Later
    • 2011    nc  (Absent/Out of Town)
    • 2012    247
    • 2013    293 –  Ran out at 7:45 pm – at least 30-40 more were probable.
    • 2014    nc  (Absent/(Studio Event)
    • 2015    316 –  Ran out at 8:45 pm – estimate 20 more.

Little Libraries: Lots of Lovely Literacy

October 27, 2013
Little Library Theme

Little Library Theme
Handcrafted by Don Olney

Curator’s Note: The History of  Little Free Libraries is given at this website, These little structures are dedicated to allowing anyone to “Take a Book – Borrow a Book – Return a Book – Donate a Book” .  In the autumn of 2012, Highland Park Neighborhood Resident Rachel Larson brought the concept to our Arts & Cultural Team.  One thing lead to another, other volunteers joined with Rachel and then…well please see Rachel’s description and the slideshow below.

Little Free Library Opens on Rockingham

By Rachel Larson

What does Rochester have in common with Republic of Congo, Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, Bogota, Colombia or Nagasaki, Japan? We are all lucky to have Little Libraries!

This spring in the Highland Park Neighborhood, a group of like-minded neighbors decided to work together to enhance our community with Little Free Libraries. The idea is to share books with your neighbors, increase conversations and build community one book at a time. Little Libraries started in Wisconsin in 2009 and now have been built all over the world in the last five years. Currently, two are registered in Brighton and one on Azalea Road in the Strong neighborhood. The newest two are on Rockingham and Caroline Streets.

Neighbors and Master artisans, Peter Keenan and Chris Kase, built the bases of our new libraries. Don Olney sharing his amazing woodworking skills in decorating it. Other neighbors painted and put them up. It is truly a community effort!

Two new libraries are currently being constructed now, but the crew could always use more help making them. If you have woodcraft, painting skills or materials to donate, neighbors are working to put up one on Ashland Street in the South Wedge.

To find out more about the larger Little Library movement, visit website, To be a part of what is happening locally, email the Highland Park Neighborhood at

A Different Take on How Things Work in Rochester…

October 3, 2013
City's 2013 Volunteer Reception

City’s 2013 Volunteer Reception at RMSC

My wife and I were invited to the City’s annual Volunteer Reception on Monday, October 1, 2013 along with others  who have worked on various Neighborhood gardens. But this  was not an event featuring the local glitterati, instead it was a fairly low cost affair involving everyday folk where most of the time was spent watching the Deputy Mayor Leonard E. Redon and leaders from the  Department of Recreation and Youth Services (DRYS) honor virtually every one of the hundreds in attendance.  If that doesn’t sound exciting, it was (despite nearby displays in the Rochester Museum and Science Center) the amazing concept demonstrated that night.  One comes away from this event with a very positive take on our City and how it works together with its citizens – including many young people.  Certainly if more press and people were made truly aware of the vast scope of what volunteers mean to Rochester, it could be image shifting.   On Monday,  volunteers were present from the Edgerton Model Railroad Club, as well as Sports-Focused groups who support youth wrestling,  Little League baseball,  and Hockey.  Present were  Recreation and Community Center Volunteers,  Friends of the Public Market, Young adults from Americorps and Nazareth College’s Center for Service Learning, et cetera, et cetera…including other residents who volunteer just to pick up around the City.   Beyond the numbers, another takeaway was the grassroots aspects of many projects; quite a few people were honored for an idea that they first took to the City and then helped make happen.

And then there were the Gardeners!  Many, many from what appeared to be every nook and cross street in the City apparently all with little heralded but still magnificent volunteer gardens.  Present were representatives from Neighborhood sized projects, for example,  from  the Maplewood Gardening Team,  Charlotte,  Beechwood,  Upper Monroe’s Wide Water Gardens Maple Grove and, of course,  our own  Highland Park Neighborhood Association.

As impressive as all these well coordinated community efforts are, what was even more endearing to me were the many small projects tended by one or two people.  These include small plots,  residential front yards and planter gardens which, while not having a website, offer much to our quality of life.  These illustrate on a small scale the concepts of Placemaking that we find so interesting.   And all these gardening projects, whether in one planter or a pocket park, now remind me of  James’ Vick advice in 1882.    I am hoping that the City publishes a list of all the small, medium and large gardens that were honored as not only as  great advertising for our City, but also as I wish to take a tour of many of the special places that were described during the evening.

As noted at the event, the celebration was limited to those who were invited and choose to attend, but the number of  all who volunteer for this city is much more than just a few hundred.  I’d love to see a group photo from a larger event where every volunteer, from neighborhood associations,  library supporters,  parent groups associated with our schools,  Clean Sweep volunteers, PAC-TAC walkers and everyone  else including those invited on Monday.  Just the raw number in such a group portrait would make a statement about Rochester…one I don’t really recall being emphasized  as much as should be.

A Sampling of Neighborhood Gardens on Labor Day

September 10, 2013

On Labor Day 2013, I took a walk through the Highland Park Neighborhood with my wife.  All summer, I had been planning  to start a project that I’ve thought about for some time which is one that I have intended for this site.  I wanted to catch and record many of the personal gardens hosted  in so many of our resident’s yards and porches.   I had been regretting not having time and I had wanted to start at the peak of bloom and color.  But as the time of the walk was one of the last few weeks of summer,  I had assumed the peak had already passed.  Well maybe it had, but what I found was still, (especially for a fan of spontaneous resident driven “Placemaking”), was a series of special sights and treats.   There were gems on every big or little street that we walked on that day.  And I could have spent at least the rest of week finding and documenting other charming, arresting and attractive spots throughout my neighborhood and area.   So this album should be understood as just a random  first selection.   Over the few hours of this shoot,  I didn’t get to cover much of the Southern and Eastern sections of the Highland Park Neighborhood.  And during the days following this walk, sans camera, I kept encountering other gardens on the same or other streets that could easily be included here.  And perhaps they will, in the next chapter… 

Honor Park Photo Diaries Continue

September 2, 2013

The remarkable reworking of the Honor Park Garden extension has been captured across most of the Spring and Summer of 2013 by Linden Street Residents Nan Schaller and Walter Bankes.   An album of their photos  documenting the changes to the Linden Street and Goodman Street intersection was previously posted.   Now a  second album that shows progress through the end of August has been added.

These two photos illustrate the different size of the green space at Linden & Goodman one year apart.   But to see the updated album by Nan and Walter, please…Click Here!!

Honor Park September Late  2012

Honor Park September Late 2012. One Year before the lower photo

Honor Park Panorama on Labor Day 2013

Honor Park Panorama with Right-of-way extensions on Labor Day 2013

Use this link for the Closing of Linden St and Honor Park Gallery

Date Night at the Cinema

September 2, 2013
Click to Download This Poster

Click to Download This Poster

A group of Neighborhood residents have long worked for years as friends of the The Cinema Theater, which has long had a definitive presence in the Highland Park Neighborhood.    Like movie theaters everywhere, The Cinema will need to upgrade it technology to handle digital projection as the standard manner of showing the films of the near future.  So the Cinema’s closet friends responding by planning an exciting set of events including a Special “Date Night”  Thursday Fund Raiser.  This event was sponsored by the South Clinton Merchants Association, and The Highland Park and Swillburg Neighborhood Associations.  All proceeds earned are helping the Cinema install a New Digital Projector.

Date Night was held Thursday 8/15/2013 starting at 7 pm .  A number of Great raffle prizes were donated by  local businesses.

And for a Suggested Donation  of $15 Per Person ($25 Per Couple) attendees were treated to :
  • Dessert
  • Popcorn
  • Fountain Drinks
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • 1 free movie pass per person for a future show
Here’s a photo slide show to commemorate the date night gala…

A One Hundred Year Old Portrait of Highland Park

August 31, 2013

One of the joys of curating this site is receiving an unexpected surprise or treasure right out of the “cloud”.   The latest one of these is an artistic artifact almost exactly one hundred years old.   It was received as a result of a series of emails from Rich Abrams, a former resident of Rockingham Street who now lives in California.  Rich wrote us a couple of months back via a website comment.  Recently I followed up on Rich’s initial comment , and received several images and these replies.
(Update, this image available from Highland Park Neighborhood Association)

Rich Abrams and His Dog in 1952

Rich Abrams and His Dog in 1952

“My grandmother hand painted this photograph in May 1913.  Needless to say, I relate this on the basis of what I was told as I was not around at the time.  I understand that 100 years ago, it was quite an art form for people to paint in black and white photos with colors.

I also added a 1952 photo in front of our house, which one cannot see.  I am about 5 with our first dog and the enclosed front porch of  the neighbor’s house Rockingham, which I understand is not enclosed any more.

I grew up on Rockingham. 

Rich's Mother Sylvia (at right) in 1917

Rich’s Mother Sylvia (at right) in 1917

My mother, Sylvia, took the photo of Lexie and me in front of our house — I am facing towards Meigs Street and the house over my shoulder is where the Lampfrons lived (second house west of Meigs; we were the corner house).  In the 1950’s, our house was brown with green screens and white trim and surrounded by mature maple trees.
I now live in the Los Feliz section of Hollywood, California.  It is also called the Hollywood Grove HPOZ and The Oaks.  Lots of sections overlap on our little street.  I’ve been here since 1970, but we were also into house flipping in the 1980’s and had a number of other places, only to end up in the first small California craftsman.  My office was in Beverly Hills.
From what I see from the website, the homes <in the Highland Park Neighborhood> today look like they are in better condition than back in the 1950’s.”
The image below is the one that Rich’s Grandmother painted in 1913.   Click on to see a larger version and to read Rich’s comments on his grandparents.

Picture of Highland Park Hand Painted by Rich’s Grandmother. Click for a Bigger Version and To read Details


More Portrait Nights and Days

August 17, 2013
A portrait of Portraitist and BoulevART Artist Larry Staiger

A portrait of Portraitist and BoulevART Artist Larry Staiger

Portrait Nights Events with Larry Staiger  are getting addictive.  While he started this In honor of the Neighborhood’s first ever Art Show featuring  the work of Area local Artists, ,  even after the show ended, the portraits kept coming.  fun events at Crossroads Coffeehouse.  On June 18 and August 14, 2013 Larry returned to Crossroads Coffeehouse and hand drew a number of portrait of visitors.  In between, he spent National Night Out in a booth drawing portraits of all comer.

One of Larry’s other contributions to the neighborhood was the original BoulevART design elements. Larry also recently created portraits of Ellwanger & Barry that are featured in the first panel on display in historical section of the Kiosk installed in E&B Park. Look for a full report on that series soon.

First Portrait Night Photo Report!

July 2, 2013
Self-Caricature of Artist Larry Staiger

Self-Caricature of Artist Larry Staiger

In honor of the Neighborhood’s first ever Art Show featuring  the work of Area local Artists,  Neighborhood Artist Larry Staiger offered to donate his time for two very special,  fun events at Crossroads Coffeehouse.  On June 19, 2013, Larry came to the show and  hand drew a number of portrait of visitors to the coffeehouse.   Things really got rolling when a certain baseball team stopped by after checking out Crossroads new Ice Cream Store addition!    (We will have another report, if time permits, after the next Portrait Night on July 18, 2013.)

One of Larry’s other contributions to the neighborhood was the original BoulevART design elements.  Look for some of Larry’s other art soon in the Neighborhood – He also recently created portraits of Ellwanger & Barry that will be featured in the historical section of the Kiosk installed in E&B Park.

Rochester Water Works, Part I: The Early History

June 27, 2013

Facade of Rochester Water WorksFor for the past six years, the City of Rochester’s Bureau of Water has granted the The Highland Park Neighborhood Association use of the Lower Reservoir Gatehouse for its exhibits and events during Rochester’s Lilac Festival.   Recently, we found a 1927 volume that describes the formation of Rochester’s Water Works and Reservoirs.  Much more of this history can be found on the City’s website that is dedicated to the Water Authority, although except for substantial modernization and filtration additions as well as the cover added to the Rush site, the three reservoirs remain very much as described 90 years ago.

The question of pure water has never been a troublesome one in the city of Rochester. The clean, sparkling water of today has a different source from the water of the pioneer days. Then the pure water of the Genesee was available. The growth of the city along the banks of the Genesee in time rendered the water unfit for human consumption, whereupon other means were resorted to for the necessary supply.

Mt Hope Reservoir Under Construction: 1875
Click for Detail

 As early as 1835 the Rochester Water Works Company was incorporated with a capital of $10,000. Nothing came of this project and for many years the Erie Canal and Genesee River were depended upon for a supply of water in case of fire. In 1852 another company was incorporated with a capital of $800,000 and authority to issue bonds for an equal amount. Mains were laid to connect the city with three small lakes in Livingston County. The plant was poorly constructed and when the money had all been expended expert engineers reported that it would require $410,000 to complete the work. The bondholders began foreclosure proceedings and a long period of litigation followed.

125 Year Plaque

125 Year Plaque
Click for Details

In the year 1872 the legislature passed an act authorizing the appointment of five commissioners to construct a system of water works at the expense of the city. Mayor Wilder appointed William H. Bowman, Roswell Hart, Charles C. Morse, Gilman H. Perkins and Edward M. Smith. They decided upon a gravity system from Hemlock Lake, twenty-eight miles south of the city and 385 feet higher, with an auxiliary supply from the Genesee River, for which the Holly pumping system was to be used. Despite legal obstacles work was begun in the spring of 1873. The first conduit was begun in July of that year and completed in February, 1876.  On February 18, 1874, the Holly system was tested and found to be satisfactory, thus insuring the city a supply of water for fire protection.  Work was then pushed forward on the Hemlock system.  Two reservoirs were constructed —one in the town of Rush and the other in Highland park, in the southern part of the city.  On January 23, 1876 the water was turned into the mains and first used by the people of Rochester.


19th Century Views of the Reservoir Platform

19th Century View of Reservoir Platform
Click for Enlarged View

The original cost of the system was $3,518,000; between ten and eleven million dollars have been expended since that time in additions and improvements . The Cobb’s Hill reservoir has been constructed;  Canadice Lake, a short distance east of Hemlock and 200 feet higher,  has been added to the supply.  In 1876 the board of water commissioners was succeeded by the executive board which was given authority over the waterworks.  In 1902 the Rochester and Lake Ontario Water Company was created to supply water from the lake to suburban Rochester and nearby villages.  The first pipe was laid by this company on June 2, 1904, and the first pumping was done December 15th following.  Due to the annexation since then of nearly all of this outlying territory to the city, most of the company’s business is now done within the Rochester city limits.  Extensive service is also given to the farmers, the water being available to them not only for potable purposes, but for irrigation and fire protection.

21st Century View of Reservoir Platform Click for Enlarged View

21st Century View of Reservoir Platform
Click for Enlarged View

 from: History of the Genesee Country  (Western New York) Comprising the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans,Schuyler, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates. Volume II Illustrated,Edited by Lockwood R Doty ;1925 The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company,Chicago



%d bloggers like this: