When neighbors come together, wonderful things can happen.
In the Hampton Park Terrace Historic District, a centennial of the neighborhood is being planned for 1 p.m. March 11 at Allan Park.
The Citadel Pipe Band will play, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley will speak and there will be a parade -- all to celebrate 100 years of the neighborhood.
It's a celebration with a purpose. The residents, along with help from the Charleston Parks Conservancy, are hoping to raise $15,000 for Phase One of the renovation of Allan Park, the one small public park in the center of the neighborhood. Robb Allan, a descendant of James Allan, for whom the park is named, has donated $30,000 to Phase Two of the project. So far $7,000 has been raised for the first phase.
That's all going to be a lot of fun, but what doesn't cost a lot of money is the sharing of memories. The neighborhood board wants to invite everyone who has lived in the neighborhood to the ceremony, and to come share their memories and photos of years gone by.
They are planning to have stations with tables and chairs set up to record visual and audio histories.
As anyone knows, it is not the historic houses that make a neighborhood, it is the people and the lives they lived there.
Houses that have been around for a while, and most of the neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places, have seen a lot of residents come and go, and those who are living in them now want to know more about the people who have come before them.
One of the residents, Kevin Eberle, has created a photographic archive for the neighborhood. He has been interested in the houses themselves and has found photos of the houses from early in their lives and then matched them with current-day photos.
His interest is in architecture, but there are still more photos probably buried in attics and scrapbooks that would be helpful for the collection.
For instance, my husband's grandparents lived in the caretaker's house in the middle of the park, and he remembers going to the park when he was a little boy. There was once an exhibition there and a zoo. More recently, the police horses in their barn were a favorite place to visit for kids and grown-ups.
We'd like to see those photos of people playing in the yards of the houses, family weddings and get-togethers -- anything that will give a sense of history of the area.
Because it is not always easy to collect these photos and stories, The Post and Courier has taken this on as one of our first neighborhood projects. We would like to help the Hampton Park Terrace association collect stories and photos. You can email stories and photos to yournews@postand courier.com with Hampton Park in the subject line of the email. If you send us photos, then make sure we could also print them. The photo should be a JPEG and 4 by 5 inches at 200 dpi.
We will post the photos and stories on Your Lowcountry on Facebook and on our Charleston and the Islands site on postandcourier.com. Or you can post everything directly to Facebook.
And, of course, we will give them to residents of the neighborhood so they can have them for their archive.
Since the neighborhood is looking for those stories now, go ahead and send them in. We can't wait to see what is out there.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557.