This or any story of Curtis Bay would be incomplete without the specific mention of Reddish's Hill; that wonderful wooded area that cost not one penny to invade for fun, and yet provided so much happiness to so many. The Hill, part of the Reddish Farm, lay just north of Cabin Branch and stretched from Jezek's Pleasure Garden, at the foot of Pennington hill, beyond Beach (now Benhill) Street, almost to the Cedar Hill Cemetery.
From the beginning of Curtis Bay, and surely even long before, thousands of children must have partaken of the delights of this better than Disneyland playground of nature where turtles, rabbits, squirrel sand other small game abounded; and where the forest was rich in large violets, arbutus, wild pansies, sweet honeysuckle of several varieties, chinquapins, berries, nuts and a myriad of other goodies that mother nature gives for the taking.
The Girls Community Service Club of Curtis Bay was organized in 1919 and has been active in many worthwhile causes. This picture was taken Circa 1922 at the foot of Reddish's Hill at the ballfield and recreation area. Those in the picture are: L-R-Anna Schicton, Ethel Day, Madeline Palen, Emma Grube, Mary Kaska, Marie Prokop, Eileen Rhoades, Catherine Kuebler, Anne Hranicka, Stella Stickles, Marie Johnson.
At the foot of the Hill was the public ball diamond and game area where the Girl's Community Service Club sponsored their annual programs of games, athletic events and patriotic displays. Here too, the foreign seamen came to gambol and frolic at their games, exotic to the eyes of the curious, onlooking children. They played a kind of cricket and lawn bowling as well as croquet. Yet, while these "foot of the hill"attractions were exciting enough, it was the Hill itself that fascinated the community and furnished the long range thrills and joys of exploration and adventure.
Far to the western side of the beautiful green field was a stream where impromptu picnics were often held by church groups, or local residents, adult and juvenile, who assembled here prior to their excursions into the Reddish's Hill jungle of fun. The path might be in the direction of the tannery, west toward the graveyard or just a meandering about generally in these happy and friendly acres.
It was about 1924 that the first Potts and Callahan wagons and trucks made their appearance, and to meet the needs of the great renaissance in building, the lovely hill was consumed in the name of progress. By World War II, the area that had been the mecca for so many, was now but an ugly, flat scar diminishing the beauty of Curtis Bay and depriving future generations of children of a natural playground.
This page last updated October 13, 2009.
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