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Life in these parts is easy, beautiful, entertaining


February 19. 2013 9:14PM
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The living is easy, beautiful and entertaining at Newberry Estate, an owner-managed condominium complex in Dallas, originally called Hillcrest Orchard Farm and later renamed Stone Acres by the Newberry family.


Cathy Anselmi moved there in 1989. A single mother with two young daughters, she found it a safe community with turn-key 24-hour security, where neighbors watch out for one another, she says. My front steps were swept and the school bus picked up the girls.


Anselmi lives in the Hillside section in a condominium-like building, one of five cluster groups on the 87-acre property. She calls it the So-Ho section of Newberry as the units in Hillside are more casual than some in the other clusters.


Today, Molly Noone, a single mother of four, picks up her 9-year-old son, Joshua at the bus stop and enjoys the community for its convenience. Joshua doesn't have to shovel the snow and gets more time to play with friends in the heated-community pool or with tennis balls.


The complex has tennis courts, a par-3 golf course and three pools. Noone likes that the site is nestled in the woods and not plopped out in the middle of a field somewhere.


Fred Halsey, current president of the homeowners association, especially enjoys watching the youngest children learn to play golf. I watched a small boy place three balls in a row on a green. He came back to his golf bag, which was the same size as he was, and he fell over trying to pick up the bag.


Originally, there were few buildings and no sports activities at Newberry Estate and the amenities were reserved for only one family.


The property belonged to William Frederick Newberry, who in 1911, built the large stone estate house at the entrance called the Highlands, now used for catering. Then, it was Newberry's summer home and a working farm with apple orchards, blueberries and chickens, all of which were sold weekly from a farm truck in Wilkes-Barre.


There were Macs and an apple called Delight, recalls Nelson Ashburner, of Kunkle, whose father Ralph was the farm manager at Newberry his entire life. In the 1950s, the younger Ashburner helped his father pick apples, spray and store them in the apple cold cellar which is still on the property.


His father cared for the grounds and all the farm animals, including parrots and exotic fish the Newberry family had, taking the fish out of the summer pools and putting them in the greenhouse pool for the winter.


The Ashburners worked for W.F. Newberry, an executive with Woolworth's, a chain of over 500 department stores nationally founded by Newberry's brother, John Joshua Newberry.


In 1972, the farm was developed into a five-cluster gated community by the Troup family, working with architect Peter Bohlin, who designed the grounds. At first the project was a bust, according to George Spohrer, who moved there in 1973.


The Troup family used the money it earned selling the Atlas Chain Co, in West Pittston (around $3 or $4 million) to buy the estate. First Eastern Bank, a mortgage holder, foreclosed on the property and it changed hands two more times until a group of homeowners put together a kitty, according to Spohrer.


The community became a big success after the Agnes Flood when people like Spohrer wanted to leave the Wyoming Valley. Spohrer calls Bohlin, who later designed a home for Microsoft founder Bill Gates in Oregon, a visionary.


Bohlin's design for Newberry has preserved the natural landscape, the formal lawns and apple orchards on the farm. A stream winds its way through the estate and forms a chain of three ponds over which the golf course is laid. The stream attracts wild life, ducks, game and a resident herd of deer.


Iris Levy and her husband, Dick, came to live in Orchard West 10 years ago. Living here is so very scenic and beautiful. There is a feeling of tranquility and beauty here, she says.


This most agreeable atmosphere prompted Levy to help her friend, Marilyn Gregorski, make Newberry her home as well.


Selling her home was the last thing on Gregorski's mind until a young couple made an offer on it and Levy helped her move to Newberry. She said, ‘I'm going to arrange this for you and you will like it.' I've been very happy since. It's expansive and beautiful and we all watch out for one another, says Gregorski.


Pat Rosenthal says the same thing about the community. People here are very friendly and you can count on them to help.


There are pool parties in the summer and the residents can participate in all the activities as part of their ownership. The public can join and enjoy the pool, tennis and golf facilities through the Newberry Estate Country Club which offers supervised summer programs for children, social events for parents and families, and golf and tennis lessons.




There are pool parties in the summer and the residents can participate in all the activities as part of their ownership. The public can join and enjoy the pool, tennis and golf facilities through the Newberry Estate Country Club which offers supervised summer programs for children, social events for parents and families, and golf and tennis lessons.




 
 


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