Buildings of WindsorNotable Windsorites

480-484 Brodhead St – Alton C Parker House

This house on Brodhead Street in the core of the city has an unassuming history. Built around 1920 this house is located on the north side of the street. Brodhead is a small street, one block long, running east/west from Mercer to Howard, just north of Erie. In the right side of the house above at 484, lived Alton C. Parker.

Alton C. Parker, born in 1907, was working as a mechanic here in Windsor, when in 1942, he joined the Windsor Police force, becoming the first African-Canadian police constable in the city’s history.

Nine years later, on July 28, 1951, he was promoted to Detective, becoming the first African-Canadian police Detective in Canada. He retired from the force in 1970.

He was also a tireless advocate for the community, and those less fortunate. He was a founding member of the Apartment Living for Physically Handicapped Adults (ALPHA), and in the 1960’s was a member of the board of directors of Goodwill Industries.

The last Uncle Al’s Kids Park in August, 1988. Photo from the Windsor Star.

He also hosted an annual kids party at Brodhead Park next to his house. For 19 years (starting in the summer of 1969) he hosted Uncle Al’s neighbourhood party, paid for out of his own pocket. In 1976 Brodhead Park, was renamed Alton C Parker park in his honour. Parker was awarded the Order of Canada, among many other well earned accolades over his lifetime.

Parker passed away February 28, 1989. He had touched so many lives that the church was unable to accommodate everyone for his funeral. The service was broadcast over speakers to surrounding churches, full with the overflow mourners. The funeral service was carried live on the local radio.

One of Windsor all time great citizens, and one who shouldn’t be forgotten. We could use a few more Uncle Al’s today.

Related posts
Buildings of WindsorLost WindsorOld Photographs

25 Pitt Street East

Buildings of WindsorRenderings

Border Cities Arena

Buildings of WindsorLost WindsorRenderings

Easton Edwards Garage

Buildings of WindsorLost WindsorWindsor

The First Elmwood Casino

Recent Comments:

  • JM on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Here are a few details dealing with the environs of the Sandwich East Township Hall. In the later part of…Nov 27, 14:36
  • don bland on Sandwich East Township Hall: “More of my story about Sandwich East twp hall. I lived in that neighbourhood during the 1950s….Many of the people…Nov 26, 17:31
  • Richard McIntyre on Chatham Street East – 1976: “This was originaly Vexlers Clothing store in fifties and early sixties.Canada Salvage was originaly on Pitt St. or Riverside Dr.…Nov 24, 14:07
  • derek on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Awesome stories Don! You definitely didn’t bore, I love hearing about the cities history, I hope you share some more…Nov 19, 10:26
  • Don Bland on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Sure. I will talk some more about the neighbourhood around Sandwich East Township Hall – back in the 1950’s when…Nov 16, 13:21