Past and present Westlake / Bay Village lawn mower maintenance hot spots

A 1962 picture of the Bradley Supply Company from Cleveland State University's Cleveland Memory Project Westlake Photograph Collection.

As an adolescent in the early '70s the first lawnmower I tried to maintain ended up throwing a connecting rod through its engine block. If there’s much to learn in one's failures I must’ve learned quite a bit during that episode.

Since that time I’ve managed to get one or two lawnmowers to run past their prime. For that reason I’ve appreciated several businesses in the Westlake/Bay Village area where one could acquire lawnmower parts. With one of those being Cricket Yard Equipment, I was especially interested to find in the Dec. 13, 2016, edition of the Observer that after more than 37 years of serving the lawn care equipment sales and maintenance needs of our community, owners Craig and Nan Baker are selling the business to E&H Ace Hardware, where it will be relocated to their store at the corner of Dover Center and Detroit roads.

The sale of Cricket Yard Equipment leads me to reminisce of past businesses that sold and serviced lawn and garden equipment but are now closed, leaving Cricket a sole survivor, of sorts, in the Westlake/Bay Village community.

Going back to the 1960s, the first I remember was a shop doing business as Sauer’s Corner at the intersection of Dover Center and Center Ridge roads, land owned by well-known Westlaker Frank Sauer. In that the business was eventually owned by Sam Wyatt, it was later renamed Wyatt Tractor and Mower. That business closed in December 2011 to make way for the Speedway station presently occupying the corner.

The old Bradley Supply Company, located in the building now occupied by Brian’s Furniture at Bradley and Center Ridge roads, was also a locally familiar purveyor of lawn and garden power equipment and repair parts. Through online research I uncovered an ad mentioning the Bradley Supply Company in a Dec. 10, 1947, publication, so the business goes back at least that far. It appears sometime in the '80s the business was sold and became Bobson’s Bradley Hardware Supply, and some years later closed for good as a hardware/lawn equipment supplier.

Lastly, the old Roger and Wray’s store, once located in the Bay Village Shopping Center, really sticks in my mind because one could buy bicycles and bike parts there, as well as lawn and garden equipment. It was also an easy bike ride for an adolescent/young teen tinkerer living in Bay Village at the time. If I remember correctly Roger and Wray’s didn’t particularly encourage hard-core lawnmower engine parts sales, as did Sauer’s Corner and Bradley Supply, more emphasizing their own sales and service, but I still enjoyed checking the store out.

While those three business are now but memories, I thank the Bakers for their years of providing for the yard equipment needs of the residents of Westlake and Bay Village, and wish the E&H Ace Hardware folks all the best in carrying on the Cricket name.

Dan Hirschfeld

I'm a longtime resident of the Bay Village and Westlake area (Bay 1965 to 1977, then Westlake since) who has always enjoyed living here while seeing lots of change over the years.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.10.2017