Hall Place prepares celebration

Published 9:46 pm Monday, December 1, 2008

One of Suffolk’s oldest neighborhoods turns 100 next year, and community leaders have joined to plan a birthday bash.

The Hall Place neighborhood was formed in 1909, when Joseph P. Hall subdivided a large tract of land near the downtown core into lots and sold them to individuals. Its storied history doesn’t end there – a youngster in the neighborhood was the creator of Mr. Peanut, the top-hat-sporting mascot of Planters Peanuts. Many city leaders have come from the Hall Place neighborhood.

Now, leaders of both Hall Place civic organizations have come together to plan a commemoration on May 2, 2009.

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“It’s a celebration of our neighborhood,” said Sandra Parker, a Hall Place resident. “It’s withstood the test of time, and we think it deserves a celebration.”

Susan Blair, a fellow resident, agreed.

“It’s not very often that a neighborhood makes it to 100,” Blair said. “We want to gather to celebrate the merits of the neighborhood.”

The party being planned for the spring will include a parade, opening ceremonies, a horse-drawn carriage, children’s activities, bands, antique cars and Ernie Hefferon as Elvis. Organizers also are trying to collect pictures, articles and stories from residents and former residents about the history of the neighborhood.

The event will take place at the community park located at the entrance to Hall Place. Organizers are in the process of lining up volunteers who want to help that day. Anyone interested can call Sandra Parker at 617-2641, or Susan Blair at 650-0667.

In addition, the organizers are trying to get a Web site started for people to upload photos and stories, and to get more information on the event.

“There’s a lot of people who are proud of this neighborhood,” said Baker Parker, a Hall Place resident. “We’re promoting this throughout Virginia.”