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Edgewood – Literally at the Edge of the City

“EDGEWOOD – A RESIDENTIAL PARK AT THE CITY’S EDGE – For those who Want: Natural Surrounding; Wide Frontage and Deep Lots …”

-The Saginaw Sunday News, May 18, 1930.


Agnes and Harold Forsythe had been living in their Edgewood Road home for almost a year when, on Saturday April 3, 1937, they celebrated with a housewarming party- a party that was transformed into a surprise costume event.  The Saginaw News is unclear about the logistics of graciously transforming a gathering into a surprise costume party.  However, we know Mrs. Forsythe quickly regrouped and hosted the League of Women Voters at her home three days later.

Agnes Sattler Forsythe was born in “Toledo, Ohio and attended the Ursuline Academy there through her college years. She came to Saginaw in 1920 and was married to Mr. Forsythe on June 12, 1922. . . . She was a member of First Congregational Church, a member of the Assistance League and the Women’s National Farm and Garden Association. Mrs. Forsythe was an avid bridge player and golfer at the Saginaw Country Club. She was an amateur artist who did many paintings and also was interested in floral arrangements technique winning recognition in many competitions.”  The Saginaw News, January 11, 1988.


A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Forsythe was a passionate violinist and one of the founders of what is today the Saginaw Symphony Orchestra. By the time they purchased their lot on Edgewood Road in the 1930s, Mr. Forsythe had established a thriving insurance and real estate firm.


Edgewood, located in Saginaw Township at the western city limits, was Platted by Second National Bank of Saginaw in 1929. The first house constructed in the subdivision was for Sali and Robert Frantz. However, it would be a number of years before the Frantz family had neighbors. As the Great Depression set in, housing construction in Saginaw almost ceased. It wasn’t until the mid-1930s before the second home on Edgewood Road was constructed - the Forsythes’. Their home was designed by Frantz and Spence – the co-founder of the firm was Robert Frantz. By 1940, the number of homes on Edgewood had grown to six and included the home of James A. Spence Sr. – the Spence of Frantz and Spence.


The home’s Colonial Revival Style epitomizes the designs for which the firm of Frantz and Spence was known in the 1930s. The exterior, clad in white painted clapboard and flush, matching siding, is capped with a wood shingle roof. However, the colonial style embraces a 1930s luxury, an attached garage. On the interior, the floor plan is based on 1930s trends, but is carefully balanced with period detailing. A screened porch connects the living room, dining room and exterior terrace – and Mrs. Forsythe’s garden.

The porch makes the home perfect for entertaining and ideal for events such as a garden party Mrs. Forsythe held on June 13, 1938, for the Exchangettes.  Described as a ‘”dress-up” garden party- The Saginaw News noted “A Fortune teller always attracts a crowd.”  While we are uncertain what Mrs. Forsythe served at the event, it would be easy to imagine she served her Cheese Spreads.


The Recipe: Mrs. Harold Forsythe’s Cheese Spreads

From: Masterpieces from the Saginaw Art Museum, a cookbook published by the Saginaw Art Museum in 1972.


1 C. Parmesan Cheese

1 T. Chopped Onion

1 C. Mayonnaise


Mix above ingredients and spread on small rounds of bread. Broil until brown. Serve hot.

-Mrs. Harold Forsythe


Note: The Castle Test Kitchen will be closed during the month of July. However, do not despair, the Castle Cocktail Lounge will be open throughout the month. With a focus on Old Town Saginaw, we are certain there will be at least one recipe that would be a perfect accompaniment to Mrs. Harold Forsythe’s Cheese Spreads. (From the photographs, you may have noted, the CTK has already tried them with a very dry Bombay Saphire Martini – quite wonderful.)



Additional Notes:


After preparing, photographing and munching on Mrs. Forsythe's cheese spreads, the CTK staff mediated - and took time to recover from the martini that accompanied them - why waste a photo op? We came up with additional thoughts and comments:


 *The onion needs to be chopped very finely. Few things are less appealing than biting into a cheese spread and discovering a big chunk of onion. (We considered using shallots.)


* We used very thinly sliced bread - Pepperidge Farm Very Thin. It is a CTK favorite for cucumber sandwiches.


  *You may have questions about how many cheese spreads this recipe will make and how many cheese spreads a guest will eat. We have the same questions. The CTK is only able to offer guidance - minimal at that. We made a one quarter batch and had more than enough topping to coat at least 2 dozen, 1 1/2" rounds of bread. How many cheese spreads will a guest eat? This needs further empirical testing. We suppose that the number of cheese spreads consumed may directly correspond to the strength of the beverage served alongside.


*We would consider adding some type of garnish. However, it should be added prior to broiling and needs to be something that can be quickly added -you will be making a lot of cheese spreads. We considered a light dusting of paprika; a piece of pimento or rosemary leaf - perfectly centered. They cool much too quickly to allow time for post-broiling decoration. A cold cheese spread is not a tasty morsel. 



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