Society helps owners mark historical significance of century homes

Dave Pfister, center, presents a century home plaque to Jean and Jeff Kocian, owners of the former Hall house on Columbia Road.

Has your home turned 100 years or older this year? If so, we would like to help you celebrate!

For almost 40 years, the Westlake Historical Society has provided our residents a way to honor their century home or building with a plaque to be installed on the celebrated residence. The cost is nominal and the plaque is custom made for each individual home.
Century homes are a very important part of our community because they are a significant link to the rich heritage of our city. We are proud that so many of these historically significant residences continue to beautify present day Westlake.    
In 2011, the Westlake Historical Society was honored to work with Jeffrey E. Kassouf and the members of Boy Scout Troop 208. Jeffrey led an effort to update the plaques on the five oldest homes in Westlake as part of the city’s Bicentennial celebration.
One of the local historic homes included in this project is owned by Jeff and Jean Kocian. Their home  at the corner of Columbia and Westwood roads was first built by the pioneer Hall family in 1834 when our city was then part of the Village of Dover. In addition to the historic significance and beauty of this home, the grapevines on the property are estimated to be over 100 years old as well!

The Kocians, who purchased the home in 1987, have worked to preserve the historical features of the original dwelling. Over the years, seven additions have been made to the house, including one in 1903 that connected the original summer kitchen building to the main house. Much of the original woodwork has been kept intact, including the exposed, rough-hewn wooden ceiling joists. Parts are of the house are still heated using the original wood-burning stoves.

Shortly after moving into the home, the Kocians found in the basement an original 1852 map showing the plots of all Dover property owners. Various members of the Hall family owned a large swath of land along present-day Columbia Road, which was originally named Hall Road in their honor.

On April 10, Dave Pfister of the Westlake Historical Society visited the former Hall house to present the Kocian family with a century home plaque. The new bronze plaque will be mounted on the exterior of the home, in place of a faded plaque that was awarded to previous homeowners in the 1970s.

The historical society invites all owners of century homes to commemorate the historical significance of their homes with a plaque. We will help to verify all research submitted, or will provide research on the history of your home for a fee. The custom-made century home plaque will be made available to the homeowner upon verification of the age and history of the residence.

Participation in the historical society’s Century Home Plaquing Program is voluntary. It places no official or legal restriction on the sale, disposition, or interior or exterior decoration of the property. Simply, the plaque identifies and celebrates your historic home as one of the oldest in our community.
If you have questions about the Century Home Plaque Program, please call the Westlake Historical Society at 440-808-1961, or email us at

Lysa Stanton and Tara Wendell

Westlake Historical Society

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:21 AM, 04.17.2012