reduced. Through the years, residents
have fought hard to preserve the result-
ing sense of seclusion.
Today, according to Town Hall Manager Elizabeth Henley, Garrett Park
is known as an “activist community.”
She says this dates to 1898, when, in
an effort to prevent a typhoid outbreak
from spreading through septic tanks,
the town collectively rose up against one
resident who was using private plumbing, risking bringing the disease into the
community. The town incorporated and
immediately outlawed the practice. The
resident eventually fled town.
Garrett Park’s townspeople have
successfully fought home mail delivery service since the 1950s, when the postal
service first approached them about
changing the system. To this day, residents pick up their mail at the post office
in the Penn Place building, formerly
a 19th-century general store and now
home to the Town Hall and Black Market
Bistro. “It’s the town gathering place,” says
retired town archivist Barbara Shidler.
A 1968 proposal to widen Strathmore Avenue, the only road into town,
was met with picketing and a resounding “no.” The town also introduced strict
zoning ordinances to further restrict
development. And in 1975 it created an
Arboretum Committee and a Historical
Preservation Committee to encourage
the protection of Garrett Park’s natural
beauty and history.
Ask former Mayor Chris Keller the
type of person who’s attracted to Gar-
rett Park and he’ll say: “Someone
who’s willing to put up with all of our
Garrett Park was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1975 and
declared itself an arboretum in 1977.
In 1982, Garrett Park declared itself a
My wife and I always loved the town
nuclear-free zone, making the front page
of The New York Times. n S A L V A T O
of Garrett Park, the historic part. Even
though it’s eclectic and there’s a lot
of older people and a lot of younger
people, it all seems to mix pretty well.
If you have kids, it’s a great network
for kids, but there are plenty of people
who don’t have kids as well, and they
love it just as much.
Chef and co-owner of Persimmon, Sal’s Italian Kitchen and Wild