The Story Behind Sunset Hill
By Gabi Quaely
Our Community is made up of just under one hundred homes. On the edge of the neighborhood, we have a clubhouse that was built in the 1930’s. We use it to host events for our community and it is available to rent.
We are a not-for-profit social club for all people in the Sunset Hill community, which provides its members and surrounding community(s), with a safe and supportive environment to meet, socialize and network. In addition, the SHCC provides neighborhood support, social activities, and informational services to improve general quality of life.
Sunset Hill Country Club By-Laws (click on the title to download a current copy of the By-Laws)
“In addition, the SHCC provides neighborhood support, social activities, and informational services to improve general quality of life.”
The Sunset Hill Country Club is a organization that dates back to 1928 when the property was purchased in the name of Sunset Hill Gardens, Inc. In 1931, Mr. Erik Eriksen invited the property owners of the Sunset Hill neighborhood to set up an organization for the “sake of their own affairs”. On May 30, 1931, officers were elected and by-laws were adopted. The official organization began in 1932 when membership dues were set at $3 per year. Only the household men had voting rights under the orginal by-laws. In 1933, the first members joined and the organization of the Sunset Hill Country Club became a reality.
The present building was constructed by the men of Sunset Hill in the summer of 1936. Church services were begun, and continued with the clubhouse building as the place of worship for several years. Half of the collection during the services were contributed to the club for the building fund. During the years of 1942 – 1945, money was raised for the Sunset Hill men serving in WWII. The funds paid for a service flag and for sending Christmas presents to the troops. In 1945, a party was held to welcome the returning service men home. Another ground breaking event occured in 1945, when the membership voted to allow spouses to become voting members of the organization with their paid membership dues of $3.
Prior to 1949, all of the roads within the Sunset Hill neighborhood were maintained by the club. In 1949, the club retained a lawyer in preparation for turning the roadways over to Franklin Township. The club was encouraging the take over of the roads by the town. In May of 1959, it was announced that the Franklin Township council passed Ordinance 154, declaring the streets of Sunset Hill to be township roads that would be repaired, maintained and improved.
Fun activities for all neighbors
Some interesting facts in the club’s history are as follows:
- 1958 – by laws were revised to raise membership dues to $5.00 per member.
- 1961 – Individual mailboxes were installed in the neighborhood.
- 1964 – by laws were revised to raise membership dues to $10.00 per member due to increased taxes, insurance and building maintenance.
- 1960s– Ladies Auxiliary was formed, which helped the club by raising funds for various club activities.
- 1970’s – Sunset Hill Country Club becomes an official tax-exempt organizaton
- 1980s – Sunset Hill Flea Market began to operate on the Saturday after Labor Day each September.
- 2007 – The Clubhouse building gets a fresh (and sorely needed) coat of paint.
- 2010 – We enter the 21st century and install indoor plumbing with flushing toilets!
- 2012 – The building becomes handicapped accessible thanks to Greg Scillitani’s Eagle Scout project!
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, the Sunset Hill neighborhood consisted of a colony of bungalows used by its owners on weekends and during summer vacations. The bungalow families looked for a fun time on weekends and vacations, and joined together to plan programs for fun and social gatherings. The clubhouse was built and entertainment was planned in order to meet this social need. At this time, property taxes and overhead fees were minimal if at all in existence. Quite often, families relied on each other to provide help and support that was sought after.
Over time, many families decided to move into their bungalows permanently, and gradually winterized and added on to thier properties. Some of the orginal families that settled this small little colony are still our neighbors today. The children and grandchildren of the original settlers are here, but are not as dependent on the community as their ancestors once were. In the present day, we strive to maintain the friendly and welcoming village that was formed in the early 1930s. We are proud to have our clubhouse at the edge of the woods to share as a community resource. We have continued the Flea Market as our biggest fund raiser each year, as well as having our summer community picnic, and hosting Halloween, Holiday and St. Patrick’s Day parties with live music, karaoke and fun for all that enter our doors.