Note: There is a separate page for the New Resident’s Orientation.
History of Meridian Manor, by Mark Bigaouette # 59
Presented Tuesday March 6th 2012, 10 AM & 7 PM
Class and handout by; Mark Bigaouette # 59. I have been here every winter since Feb. 1997, when my parents bought the house. ( both have passed away, and my brother Dean and I own the home now ) I do not represent the Association board, or any committee. Most of these groups will have upcoming meeting to explain about who they are and what role they play here at Meridian Manor.
(Minor editing done 5/2013 by J Ingram.)
Three more early photos are viewable at the very END of Photo Album #1.
History of Meridian Manor
- History of MM ( 3 phases, phase one is the oldest ) we are a 50 million dollar plus development. It was started in 1995 ? with paperwork, 1996 putting in streets, home sales started in late 1996 ?
To buy in here at that time, you visited a small office on Apache trail.
1st building here was the office, now house # 108 ( opened spring of 1997 )
We had many different offices of the years, including: 109, 110, 111, 113, 67, 74, 1 – 4 ?
1st resident who moved in here was : Ed & Delores Bauer – they built and lived at #10 and they also built house # 8 ( Dick and Judy Sweeney’s home ) –
these are the only two homes with a concrete star in the middle of the driveways.
- Phase one has all the manufactured homes, they arrived by truck (some from California). They came with siding and asphalt roofs; a tile roof, and stucco was put over that. They have 2 by 6 inch construction with double roofs, and walls. The county considers these manufactured homes as “trailers” – so they pay a lower property tax. (Call it anything you want, just lower my taxes.)
- Since the start of MM the manufactured homes have had less problems with termites.
Termites . . are a issue here, they can do serious damage to your home. The major ways to deal with them are; with a annual contract (fee) and any issues are covered. You can have your home treated every so many years (higher fee) and you have the option to do your own treating.
Longest living resident here are: Tommy & Bobby Land in # 86. As far as I know, Tommy is the only Arizona native living in MM. ( he grew up in Florance – just South and East of here )
- Streets: Our street names were chosen by Rita Barney, wife of our developer Clyde Barney. Our unique house numbering system ??? ( good question ) some say the post office requested the system – and there are other theories. Since the start of MM, people use house numbers to state where you live.
Clyde Barney our developer, being a Mormon, is why we have such wide streets – it is a tenet of the Mormon faith, that the streets have to be wide enough to turn a wagon in.
- Plans: This was planned as a totally manufactured home development (no stick built homes). Clyde told everyone he was going to live in lot #136, and the space in lots 423 through 445 was to be RV storage ( no homes – with just a tall block wall around RV storage ) <->
Not many of the original manufactured homeowners from phase one are still here, about 30 ? I call these residents “pioneers” = they went through heck for this community.
The first stick built home in MM was built in late 1999.
- Legal: We had a heck of a time getting control of the association from the developer, according to the by-laws he wrote, he got 10 votes for every lot he controlled, it was a real fight. Our Association Presidents have had to deal with all sorts of baggage and issues from our early days
- Clubhouse: Every part of the club house was painted builders white, every room, every wall inside and out. Almost every room had a green carpet. Judy Benoit, a past Activities director and the Saffell’s and the Bruss’s made many of the changes you see now. (Our current decorators are also very talented !)
Every Activities director we have had has left a mark on our community. Harold # 62 bought a lot of the book shelves for the library. For the first bunch of years, the current exercise room was the computer room, like a private club, and locked up all the time. The exercise room was in the current card room, we did not have a separate card room.
The billiards room sat mostly unused for many years, the library was always the library. (all these rooms started out completely empty !) Volunteers have done and continue to do lots for your community, please offer to help continue this progress !
- Change of Plans: After about 3 years things, due to economic conditions the developer had to sell house lots to outside builders, and some “stick built” homes were built here and there. Later larger blocks of lots were sold to other developers. In total 6 different developers, and a few individuals built homes here in Meridian Manor.
This explains why “phase three” was called “White Dove Ranch” – Kaufman homes choose not to use the name Meridian Manor, everyone now lives in Meridian Manor. In the end we are not your typical cookie cutter development, and have quite a variety of homes ( good !) All the drama and trouble we had – is history now ( but makes for some great stories ! ) no worry now, everything is good, we have a great community.
Clyde used to have residents help him with just about everything, staff the office, take people around in golf carts, etc. His main helper was Leo Houle #22. Clyde used to have dances in the clubhouse. He paid for the bands, and my parents ran the dances, $2 or $3 for admission, popcorn, set-ups etc, just like todays Jam sessions.
- Skirmishes: The first owner of house # 55 ( Gene & Pegs house now) had several “run ins” with the developer. He was quite shrewd, every time he went to the office with a issue, he made Clyde sign and date a paper that he was there for at that date and for that issue. ( he forgot to build his garage larger ) When the owner threatened to go to court, the developer bought him out. This is the only home with a large shed in the back yard ( it is stuccoed and has a tile roof).
- More About Phase 3: The developer planned to separate phase 3, and sell it as non-55 +, This is why he built the North exit, put up the wall between phases 2 & 3, etc., He invested all that money, then he went to the city, which turned him down, and told him to stick to his original plan. What really doomed his plan was that we would have had younger people, kids in everything, and the big issue was where was the run off water going to go ??? ( in phase 1 & 2 ), He even was going to put a iron fence across the streets leading into phase 2 from phase 3.
- We only had two Canadian couples living here for many years, both were very active. Archie and Pat Petrone in #52 started our steak fry dinners. Charlie & Jeanette #88 have been involved in just about everything. They set a very high standard for our newer Canadians, and every resident here !