The Freedom Valley Chronicles: Highfield Farms – A Look Back On A Fourth of July Tradition

The Fourth of July has been celebrated in a variety of ways through the years in the Freedom Valley.

A neighborhood parade was a tradition in Highfield Farms in Plymouth Township.  This neighborhood is located between Jolly Road and Walton Road.  The Greater Plymouth Community Center is adjacent to Highfield Farms.

In November of 1961, Colonial-style houses in Highfield Farms were being sold – brand new – for $19,500.00.  For that price, you got four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.  Split-level houses – with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms – were only $18,100.00.

Houses in Highfield Farms could be purchased for either an $800.00 or a $900.00 down payment in 1962.

At that time, telephone numbers in the area were advertised with two letters and five numbers;  no area code needed.  The postal address at that time was “Norristown, Pennsylvania”.

In 1977, a house with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms was for sale in Highfield Farms for $57,500.00.  In 2018, real estate industry websites value houses in this neighborhood at about 6 to 8 times that 1977 sale price.

In July of 1961, a news article detailing Highfield Farms (though more likely an advertisement appearing as a news article) in The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that “the homes are just 12 minutes driving time to the industrial park area at Valley Forge [the King of Prussia Industrial Park].”  The commute is now slightly – just slightly – longer in length.  (Sarcasm included.)

For years, residents of Highfield Farms celebrated Independence Day with a parade of neighborhood children.

Three scouts and the Harmonville Fire Company led off one of the parades as seen in the top photo.

Here are a few additional photos.

Music was played for parade participants from a car.
Parents and neighbors walked alongside parade participants.
Boys and girls decked their bicycles with small American flags.
Some of the bicycles had red, white, and blue bunting in their wheels.
Children on bicycles and tricycles traveled through Highfield Farms.
Children celebrated Independence Day through the neighborhood parade.
Uncle Sam was an active participant in the parade.
At least three of the children noted the guy taking photos.
Children and their parents traveled by houses displaying the American flag.
Some children traveled the parade route on tricycles.
Uncle Sam was decked out in red, white, and blue in this black and white photo.
One of the tykes got a helpful hand in the parade.
Parents and neighbors are seen in this photo watching the children in the parade.
Refreshments were available to the neighborhood children on the Fourth of July.

The photographs of Highfield Farms are courtesy of Mr. L. J. Hyer.  The photos were taken by his father, Mr. J. L. Hyer.

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© 2018 Richard McDonough