Bay homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places

Rose Hill Museum and the Cahoon Barn (Community House), c.1940

Bay Village has five structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Rose Hill Museum, the Cahoon Barn/Community House, the Washington Lawrence Mansion, the Huntington Pumping Tower and the Aaron Aldrich III House. Although changes have been made to some of these structures over the years, these changes have not affected their status with the Register.

In 1994, Rose Hill Museum and the Cahoon Barn (Community House) located in Cahoon Memorial Park qualified for this distinction. The application states, “Rose Hill Museum and the Community House are significant ... because of their association with the innovative philanthropy of Ida Maria Cahoon. Miss Cahoon was the last surviving child of Joel and Margaret Cahoon and was granddaughter of the township’s first settler.” The 1917 Cahoon Will gifted intact the 128-acre family farmstead to the citizens of Bay Village.

Rose Hill Museum, built by Joseph and Joel Cahoon in 1818, sits on a foundation of sandstone (Chagrin shale), on a hill overlooking Cahoon Creek. They used mortise and tenon joinery, horse hair plaster, milk-based paint and white oak beams with poplar floors. The architecture is vernacular with a little Gothic Revival and Colonial Revival influence in the two 1842 and 1910 additions. When it was a library, there were bay windows in the eastern addition. These windows, and a north door on the south wing, were removed during the 1973 renovation. The stairs had been relocated to the south wall of the northeast room when the building became a library. For traffic flow as a museum, some walls were added on the first floor.

The Cahoon Barn retains the basic form, proportions and structural features of the 1882 Gothic barn. It sits on a foundation of sandstone. The wood post and beam system remains from the old barn with steel columns and trusses added for reinforcement. The exterior of Colonial Revival clapboard siding and windows were installed during the 1936 renovation by the Works Progress Administration. The inside was turned into a meeting room with knotty pine paneling, popular at the time. Kitchen and bathroom facilities were added.

The application for the National Register states, “Neither Rose Hill nor Community House are major architectural landmarks. Instead they are representative examples of the architecture of their times, Community House being a well preserved example of 1930’s Depression-era architecture and Rose Hill retaining its form from its historic period of usage as a community resource.” With the makeover by the Work Progress Administration, the farm became known as Cahoon Memorial Park and the barn as the Community House.

The Washington Lawrence Mansion is at 23200 Lake Road. The 1900 house was built in the Romanesque style popular from 1870-1890. There have been many changes over the years. In 1948, it became Bay View Hospital, and its beautiful rooms were covered with wall board to make them more suitable for hospital offices and beds. When the building became Cashelmara, a swimming pool was added and the upstairs rooms became apartment suites. With the removal of the wall board, the original walls were revealed.

John Huntington Pumping Tower is located in Huntington Reservation. The tower, built around 1870-1880, was used to store water brought up from the lake to irrigate the fields. All the implements are still inside the cedar tower; however, the siding on the outside has been changed.

The Aaron Aldrich III House at 30663 Lake Road, is the only building that hasn’t had major changes or additions. At the time the house was placed on the Register, Aaron could have walked into his frame home and found it practically as it was when it was built - Greek Revival on the outside, and the rooms, floors, fireplaces, and basement cooking area as they were 145 years earlier.

The tulip newel post, family wallpaper from the late 1880s, rugs and furniture were preserved with great care by Aaron’s great grandson, George Drake. Every item, whether a massive chest of drawers or Betsy’s library card, was saved. With George’s historical treasure and unselfish desire to share, the historical society was able to put together much of the "Way of Life” sections in their book about Bay Village.

This was a “double house.” On the east side lived the Fred Drake family with grandmother, Mary Anne Stevens, and grandfather, Henry Aldrich. On the west was Henry’s sister, Lucy Aldrich Peel, and her family. George worked very hard and never gave up until his house was chosen to be on the Register.

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Volume 2, Issue 19, Posted 12:48 PM, 09.15.2010