Actors bring early settlers' stories back to life

Re-enactors portray past Dover Township residents at the Lakeside Cemetery Tour on Sept. 27. From left: Joshua Jesty, Tom Gorgas, Doris Gorgas, Paul Flament, Jim Potter, Bill O’Malley, Joe Smith and Kaycee Craig. Not pictured: Ruth Ann Havasi. Photo by Denny Wendell

Early settlers visited Lakeside Cemetery on Sept. 27. It was a warm and sunny day, and the waters of Lake Erie were blue and calm. Returning to Bay Village were some of our Dover Township citizens buried in Lakeside Cemetery. All were portrayed by re-enactors dressed in costume.

Christopher Saddler, portrayed by Joe Smith, came to America in 1777 as a Hessian soldier and ended up fighting for the Colonial Army. Receiving a land grant for his army service in the state of New York, he farmed most of his life. However, at the convincing of his son, William, he left New York in 1814 at the young age of 58 and spent the remainder of his life as a fisherman in Dover Township.

Reuben Osborn II, portrayed by Paul Flament, was the grandson of a first settler, Reuben Osborn I, who arrived in 1811. The younger Reuben was willed his grandfather’s farm and house on Lake Road. He became the first mayor of the Village of Bay when north Dover separated from south Dover, taking the railroad track with them.

Joseph Cahoon, portrayed by Jim Potter, moved his family to Dover Township from Vermont, becoming the first settler arriving in the morning of Oct., 10, 1810. He set to work building a log cabin, a grist mill, a sawmill, and a house, planting fields and orchards and prospering within eight years.

William Waterman Aldrich, portrayed by Bob O’Malley, was born in a log cabin in the woods on Bradley Road. He was a man who could trade anything, became very successful raising Hereford cattle, farming, butchering, as well as owning boats that plied Lake Erie.

Little Catherine Porter Foote, portrayed by Kaycee Craig, overcame much sadness losing her mother and brother in a boating accident in 1814, and then a young husband, Ransom Foote, at age 43. She persevered, taking care of her 92-year-old father in law, David Foote, and 10 children on the Foote farm west of Bradley Road.

George Sarles, portrayed by Tom Gorgas, a conductor on the Lake Shore Electric Interurban Railway, was killed early one morning in April 1905 when the trolley car he was riding slid on wet tracks while rounding a curve in Clifton Boulevard. The trolley was westbound to deliver morning papers to the western suburbs.

Laura Hassler, portrayed by Ruth Ann Havasi, a school teacher at Rhodes High School, and her brother, Robert C., and family lived on Bassett Road in an apple orchard. Together, they were philanthropists, giving monies to Fairview Hospital and establishing the Hassler Scholarship Fund at Bay High School.

A soldier from each American war buried in the cemetery was discussed by Doris Gorgas and a black caped undertaker, portrayed by Joshua Jesty, roamed the cemetery.

This was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon enjoying Bay Village history. The Huntington Playhouse was open for tours and refreshments.

kay laughlin

I am the Historian for the Bay Village Historical Society. Member and Past President of the society. Lived in the village since 1936.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.06.2015