Neighborhoods: Residents watch out for each other in the Wildrose subdivision |

Neighborhoods: Residents watch out for each other in the Wildrose subdivision

by Nancy Hamlett

It takes more than a plat map and a few houses to make a neighborhood. It takes people. Warm, caring, friendly people, like the people who live in the Wildrose Subdivision.

“My dad subdivided and developed Wildrose in the 1960’s and 1970’s,” said Renee Mack, daughter of Duane “Scotchy” Mack, and current owner of Mack Land and Cattle Co. “He planned a nice subdivision. After all, the people who moved in were going to be our closest neighbors.”

The subdivision extends south from a cul-de-sac off Seventh Street in Minden and includes parts of Spruce and Willow streets in Gardnerville, and was actually planned and built out over the course of many years. The first subdivision map for Wildrose 1 was recorded in 1964. Work began on the third unit of Wildrose 3 in 1973.

“Wildrose may have the distinction of being the only subdivision that is in both Minden and Gardnerville,” said Sheila Byington of the Town of Minden. “The division between the two towns runs jagged. Some residents live in Minden. Others live in Gardnerville.”

–Neighbor helping neighbor. Bea Jones is a Gardnerville resident . . . she thinks.

“I remember when there was a little settlement between Gardnerville and Minden,” said Jones who was born in the Carson Valley 89 years ago. “It was called Millerville, and it’s where the Stratton Center is now. I live just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Stratton Center, so maybe I’m a Millerville resident.”

Jones and her father bought the home in Wildrose in 1972.

“The neighbors are very helpful,” said Jones. “In the winter they make sure my driveway and walks are shoveled. They help with yard work in the summer. One neighbor watches for my curtains to open in the morning. That way she knows I’m all right. Everyone seems to watch around. One morning I didn’t go out to get my papers and a neighbor called to tell me she was concerned about me.”

Wildrose Street, the main thoroughfare of the subdivision, is just four blocks from Highway 395, but it could be the model for a kinder, gentler lifestyle. Built against the backdrop of the green fields, willows and cattails of Mack Land and Cattle Co., snapdragons and petunias, neatly trimmed yards and manicured shrubs contribute to the old-fashioned charm of the well-tended houses. And someone erected a basketball hoop at the end of one of the dead end streets, a testimony to the neighborhood’s commitment to children.

–Newcomers welcome, too. New to Wildrose are Brandon and Kathy Swain and their three children from previous marriages, Samantha, Shannon and Daniel. They bought their house in October, and were married at their home on June 6.

“I’m sure all of the neighborhood knew about it,” said Billie Swain, Brandon’s mother who was visiting her family. “There were at least 150 people and not one neighbor complained. As a matter of fact they were seemed to be pleased that Brandon and Kathy got married here.”

Brandon, a teacher at Douglas County School District’s Professional Development Center, said, “A friend of ours showed us this house, and we never looked at another home. The house was perfect for our needs, and we liked the feel of the street. It’s a beautiful neighborhood, it’s near the park and centrally located which is convenient for the kids and us. It’s also well kept up. We enjoy gardening and so it seems does everyone else up and down the street.”

“It’s peaceful here,” added Swain’s wife, Kathy who works at Western Title. “I love the view of the mountains and that it’s so quiet. It feels like a neighborhood because people walk down the street and you get to know them.”

n Great for kids. According to JoAnn Bruns, a Realtor with Century 21, the neighborhood was perfect for raising her children.

“Dennis (her husband) and I have lived here for 30 years. A lot of people on the street have been here a long time. Many bought the house new and have stayed. Both our children were born and raised here and we have had the best of all worlds. It’s a short walk to church and everything else. It’s convenient to just about everything. I enjoy living in town, yet I love the green fields right out our back doors.”

John Hamer, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Itildo Realty, and his wife, Linda, who is a parole officer, appreciate the ranchland abutting their property.

“I love the fact that Jacques Etchegoyhben, an elected official, mows my backyard,” joked Hamer. “But, sincerely, the neighbors are friendly, we get along, and we talk and see each other in the neighborhood all the time.”

Jones agrees.

“I’ve watched families grow up and the children move away. It feels like a homecoming when they visit.”

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