EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of an ongoing series spotlighting different neighborhoods in Denton. The stories by journalism students are part of an ongoing partnership between the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas and the Denton Record-Chronicle.
Sitting off East McKinney Street past Mayhill Road is a small neighborhood without a name. The neighborhood is so quiet, you can hear the rustling of fresh-cut grass. Eleven cul-de-sacs and only eight streets form this east Denton community, bisected by Glengarry Way. With midsize one- and two-story brick houses, this flat maze of dead-end streets is home to a mostly older community, sprinkled with a few young renters and families with small children.
But there is something missing in this neighborhood. This cluster of residents lacks any genuine sense of community — that certain rhythm that draws people together.
“It takes a while for the neighbors to accept you. Everyone pretty much keeps to themselves,” said Christie Rhoades, who has lived on Tartan Circle, one of the cul-de-sacs, for two years. “No one comes around with a basket of cookies; there isn’t someone welcoming you in.”
Bill Bennett, a long-time resident of Tartan Circle, can recall a time when things were much different. By 1995, during the early stages of the neighborhood’s development, Bennett helped build three houses on Tartan Circle. He recalls a friendlier neighborhood, one that was livelier.
“I used to have several friends throughout the community, but now the neighbors seem to be sparse,” Bennett said. “With this neighborhood being of mostly elderly people, a lot of the friends I made through out the years have now passed on. It is a lot quieter now than it ever used to be.”
After living on Tartan Circle for five years, Bennett built his fourth and final home on the block. He still resides there today with his wife and granddaughter.
Rhoades, who lives just a couple of houses down from Bennett, said she never would have guessed that this neighborhood ever had any sense of community. While she sits outside and watches her small children play in the front yard, she feels like she lives alone in her neighborhood.
“This neighborhood is not typical,” she said. “But I wouldn’t say that its non-community makes it a bad place to live. It’s safe and I feel comfortable here.”