Local History

A tree for the Clague House

When the new Westlake Historical Society president, Lysa Stanton, walked into the Clague House five years ago she surveyed the many curated items in every room and on every wall. “Sophronia Clague covered the walls with photographs,” says Lysa, but there was one wall with a missing photo or painting.

Lysa turned to her husband, Dave Pfister, and asked, “Who will be there?” She knew immediately it should not be one person but a collage of the Clagues – a family tree. After four years of searching herself, she enlisted the aid of “the sisters” as she calls them, actually family historians from the local Mormon Church.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:39 AM, 04.21.2015

Bay Village Century Homes: The Frank Sadler House, 317 Bassett Road

The Bay Village Historical Society is tentatively planning a tour of century homes on Bassett Road next fall. In preparation for the tour we are researching the history of the homes and hope to update the community with our findings from time to time here in the Westlake | Bay Village Observer.

The first home that we have researched is the Frank Sadler home at 317 Bassett Road. At one time it was the only home on the east side of Bassett in the area between Electric Boulevard and Lake Road. Frank Sadler was the son of William E. Sadler and Ann Eliza Lilly Sadler.

In 1876, William E. Sadler constructed a large Victorian home which still stands at 31065 Lake Road. William E. grew up in a Greek Revival home that his father William Sadler built that up until a few years ago stood at 29737 Lake Road, the southeast corner of Ruth and Lake roads.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.21.2015

Yard sale marks spring's arrival

Signs of spring have arrived in Westlake. The days are slowly warming and spring flowers are blooming. If you look closely you will see the new buds on the trees. The feel of spring is in the air! With the start of a new baseball season I am optimistic or hopeful that the Cleveland Indians will do well this year. Hope does "spring" eternal.

Spring also means that it is time for the Westlake Historical Society's spring yard sale. This yearly sale is looked forward to by many. The bargains are plentiful, but the sale also means winter is out of here.

The sale will take place on the lawn of the Clague House Museum on Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The rain date will be the following Saturday.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:40 AM, 04.21.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The first mail carrier in West Dover

Ernest Wuebker was born in 1884 and grew up near Akron. In 1897, at age 13, Ernie came to Dover Township to pick grapes for his Uncle Henry who lived in the old Heckerman house on the east side of Bradley Road, south of the tracks. Casper, Ernie's older brother, joined him and later purchased Uncle Henry’s property. The next year, Casper invited Ernie and his mom to move to Dover. Across the street lived Gus Fortlage.

At that time, the acreage around the railroad crossing and Lear/Nagel Road was called West Dover. Shortly after Ernie arrived, the West Dover Post Office was moved from Dieterich’s store north of the tracks on the east side of Bradley Road (where Bay Commons is today) to the southwest side of the tracks in Gus Fortlage’s place.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:34 AM, 04.21.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The beginnings of the Bay United Methodist Church

Which came first: the settler or the church? One wonders about this considering that the birth of the United Methodist Church in Bay Village is so intertwined with the coming of the first settlers. Names such as Saddler, Osborn, Foote, Aldrich, Drake, Cahoon, Wolf, and Tuttle are on the church roll.

After the War of 1812, William Saddler traveled through Dover Township in Connecticut’s Western Reserve on his way home to Clarence Station, New York. He fell in love with the country and purchased parts of Lots #92 and #98 along the Lake Erie shoreline from the Connecticut Land Company. He arrived in Dover with his father, Christopher, in 1814, to clear the land, and built a log cabin where Saddler Road is today. In 1815, William returned with his wife, Elizabeth Troyan Saddler, and daughter, Sophia.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 10:00 AM, 04.07.2015

Westlake Historical Society marks 150th birthday of native son Jack Miner

This year the Westlake Historical Society celebrates the sesquicentennial of the birth of Westlake’s native son, Jack Miner. Our community identifies with “Wild Goose Jack,” through the Ohio Historical marker placed on the west side of Dover Center Road, south of Westown Boulevard near Cahoon Creek.

Born April 10, 1865, Jack spent the first 13 years of his youth exploring, observing and developing a deep and passionate relationship with the outdoors. It was in Dover Township that Jack’s life experiences laid the foundation for his future legacy as “The Father of Conservation.” In 1878, the Miners moved north of the border to Kingsville, Ontario, where Jack spent the remainder of his life.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:55 AM, 04.07.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Walking the interurban tracks, 1941

On the David Foote farm, west of Bradley and Lake roads, the Lake Shore Electric Railway laid tracks for the interurban service that connected cities from Cleveland to Detroit. In 1897, the trolleys were up and running. By May 1938 the interurban was bankrupt and ceased operation.

Some residents, whose properties adjoined the tracks, had the opportunity to purchase track footage. I lived on the south side of Lake Road, 500 feet west of Bradley Road. My dad purchased 500 feet of track with our 100-foot lot in the middle. My dad said it was his "buffer against the world."

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:52 AM, 03.17.2015

The Lake Shore Electric Railway Trestle

Have you ever noticed the very large concrete structure that crosses Porter Creek and Porter Creek Road in Bay Village's Huntington Reservation? The Lake Shore Electric Railway trestle is one of the few remnants of a bygone era. It once carried the interurban train on its journey from Cleveland to Detroit.

The Lake Shore Railway system serviced Cleveland, Lorain, Sandusky, Norwalk, Fremont, Toledo and Detroit and carried over 5 million passengers per year during its time. It ran from 1901 until 1938, when the popularity of buses and personal automobiles caused its demise.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 10:03 AM, 03.17.2015

Westlake Historical Society to erect 7th historical marker

How significant is the number 7 in our society? There are seven days in the week, seven notes on the musical scale, and seven wonders of the world. Many say the number 7 is magical.

I point this out because all of us at the Westlake Historical Society are very proud to announce our seventh Ohio Historical Marker honoring George L. Cooley – a teacher, contractor, road builder, insurance executive and organizer of county and state farmers.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:44 AM, 03.17.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The 'May Company' Barn

Henry Wischmeyer Sr. came to Dover Township in 1872. He owned the land from the shores of Lake Erie south to just past where Wolf Road is today and from Dover Center Road east to Glen Park Drive. We remember the family best by the hotel and wine cellar they built on the lake.

In the 1940s, Henry Wischmeyer Jr., the last of the original Wischmeyer family, was the caretaker of the property and still resided in the family home on the south side of Lake Road. West of his house, next to the grape vineyard, stood a large barn with a May Company ad painted on the side.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 10:37 AM, 03.03.2015

Snippets of Bay History: Cutting Ice at the Mouth of Cahoon Creek

The Cahoon family owned land from Wolf Road all the way to Lake Erie, an area that is now Cahoon Memorial Park.

Once the lake froze over, the Cahoons and other early settlers cut the ice into large squares which were packed in straw and stored underground in the back of an ice house. The ice could then be used well into the summer in ice boxes, the forerunner of refrigerators.

Rose Hill Museum, the former home of the Cahoon family, has an ice saw on display in the original 1810 basement of the musuem.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:05 AM, 02.17.2015

Love is in the air at Clague House Museum

Old-fashioned Valentine’s Day party open to all

Visit the Clague House Museum on Sunday, Feb. 8, for an old-fashioned Valentine's Day party with the Westlake Historical Society.

Let's shake off the winter chills and come inside the Clague family home, located at 1371 Clague Road. Enjoy an afternoon of crafts, sweet treats and museum tours. There is no charge for the event, but donations are gratefully accepted.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:39 AM, 02.03.2015

A Bay Village Neighborhood Story: Prutton's Pond

Do you remember Prutton’s Pond on Bradley Road?

On May 9, 1835, Thomas Powell of Olean, New York, came to Dover Township. He purchased 80 acres of Lot #81 from Nehemiah Hubbard on the west side of Bradley Road. On the south end of the property, Thomas built a saw mill on Porter Creek.

Let’s jump ahead 100 years to 1944 when the James Prutton family purchased the property at 632 Bradley Road. The Pruttons owned six-and-a-half acres of Thomas Powell’s original 80 acres. Their frontage was 305 feet on Bradley Road by 1100 feet west on Naigle, having purchased the adjoining fields for back taxes. On the property was a single lath house minus plumbing, Porter Creek and the old foundation from the sawmill and dam.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:47 AM, 02.03.2015

Meet two brave missionary women from Dover

Dr. Lucy P. Bement and Frances K. Bement were brave sisters who served as Christian missionaries to China in the early 20th century. Also, from 1912 until the 1940s, they owned the little stone home at 30419 Center Ridge Road in Westlake.

They were born in Dover Township (as Westlake was originally known) just after the Civil War and Lucy lived until the eve of World War II, Frances until after the end of it. Their father, Lorenzo C. Bement, was a postmaster in Dover who owned a grocery store at what became the southwestern corner of Bradley and Center Ridge roads, where Wagner’s Country Inn is located today.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:50 AM, 01.20.2015

Westlake house has a Chinese connection

In the Dec. 9 issue of the Observer we discussed that the stone building at 30419 Center Ridge Road, just west of the old Green’s Garage, was probably built for Jonathon S. Lilly around 1846. Jonathon was the youngest brother of Austin Lilly who had the original stone portion of the Lilly/Weston house at 27946 Center Ridge (next to the Westlake Recreation center) built in about 1844. So there appears to be a strong connection between the two surviving stone houses on Center Ridge Road in Westlake, if in fact it was constructed in the 1840s as we believe.

Cuyahoga County auditor records, however, give a construction date of 1890 for the curious little building. An 1870 tax map shows a home in its location with a barn on the north side of Center Ridge Road. The Hanks family owned the property in 1870.

By 1880 the property was owned by Ann Bement, the wife of Lorenzo Bement. Lorenzo Bement was a postmaster with a grocery store on the southwest corner of what is now Bradley and Center Ridge roads.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 9:46 AM, 01.06.2015

Re-enactors bring Civil War stories to life

It was standing room only at the November potluck of the Bay Village Historical Society.

Upon entering the Community House, members were transported back to the Civil War in 1862. Lining the doorway were seven 105th Ohio Volunteer Infantry soldiers welcoming us to the potluck and program. The tables were festive with flowers of fall colors and small pictures of Ohio heroines. Thanksgiving dinner was set on a large table in front of the fireplace.

Draped across the wall as if hung on a clothes line were Tom Gorgas’s Civil War flags representing the Union and the Confederate troops. Civil War rifles were stacked in the corners of the room. The traveling Civil War trunk from the Lakewood Historical Society was on display along with memorabilia from Rose Hill and Tom Phillip’s Civil War rifle. Two authentic period quilts were shared by Sharon Morton depicting typical fabrics and designs used during this era.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:37 AM, 12.09.2014

A second sandstone Lilly House in Westlake?

The stone building on a knoll on the south side of the street at 30419 Center Ridge Road (just west of Green’s Garage) was placed on the Ohio Historic Inventory by the Cuyahoga County Regional Planning Commission in 1987. Some of the things that made it significant to them was its rock-faced ashlar sandstone construction, its low hipped roof and cornice line which they noted may have been inspired by Greek Revival and its hipped-roof, double-pen form, which they observe is more of a Southern Folk Victorian style.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:36 AM, 12.09.2014

Historical society identifies another century home in Westlake

The Westlake Historical Society was recently requested by the current owner of 24102 Center Ridge Road, Dr. Marvin D. Shie Jr., to research his home to determine if it is a century home. Dr. and Mrs. Shie purchased the home in 1955 from Lucy and Harry Hoag.

We have determined that this gable/wing farmhouse is certainly certainly more than 100 years old, and thus a century home. It was most likely constructed in either 1871 for William Mitchell or 1882 for William and his wife, Margaret. William was born in England in approximately 1836, Margaret in Ireland in about 1845.

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Volume 6, Issue 24, Posted 9:44 AM, 11.25.2014

It's time to get Bay's clock ticking again

Bay residents, would you like our city's clock to be right more than twice a day? The subject of our clock repair was brought up at a recent City Council meeting. I attended the 100-year recognition ceremony at the council meeting on Monday, Nov. 3. The room was filled to capacity.

As part of the meeting, I had the honor of presenting a $6,000 grant from the Bay Village Foundation to start a fund to repair the city clock. The Foundation’s goal is to raise an additional $12,000 from private donations for a total of $18,000.

This particular City Council meeting included the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first council meeting at the Bay Village City Hall on Nov. 3, 1914. The eastern portion of City Hall facing Dover Center Road was constructed in 1914 (at a cost of $8,000!).

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 10:35 AM, 11.11.2014

Cemetery tour shares stories from Bay's past

Blue skies, gorgeous fall colors and seasonably warm temperatures welcomed visitors to the Lakeside Cemetery Tour. The Oct. 26 event was co-sponsored by the Bay Village Historical Society and Huntington Playhouse. Visitors received a better understanding about the cemetery’s historic beginning, founded 200 years ago after the untimely deaths of Rebecca Porter, her infant son, Dennis, and George Smith as they crossed the Rocky River returning from Cleveland.

Rebecca’s sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Reuben Osborn, were so distraught over their loss that they donated land for a public burying ground that bordered on the two family's properties. Numerous burials would take place over the years in a six-row layout with many graves presumed unmarked today. 

Dover, which is now Bay Village, Westlake and the northern portion of North Olmsted, experienced growth as more settlers were moving into the area and the population was increasing. Expansion of the cemetery was deemed necessary in 1877. Land was purchased from the Osborn and Hassler families to the north, east and west to bring it to its present size.

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 10:29 AM, 11.11.2014

Westlake Historical Society selects cutest pet winner

The Westlake Historical Society would like to congratulate the James family and their dog, “Omar.” He has been selected as Westlake's cutest pet for 2015!

The James family said, “Omar was born on April 29, 2008. He is a very quiet Yorkie! He doesn’t play with toys but loves to go on long walks and socialize with all the neighbors! Many thanks to all our friends and neighbors who stop to pet him! He also enjoys walking in Clague Park and the Metroparks! Besides his Purina Pro Plan he likes bits of peppers, apples and eggs. Ice cream is an extra special occasional treat! He loves stealing tissues out of the wastebasket and then being chased. In the winter he loves to snuggle on the couch with us. He loves car rides, belly rubs and back scratches. He gives lots of kisses and is always happy to see everyone!”

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 9:47 AM, 11.11.2014

Bay Village City Hall turns 100

One hundred years ago, in 1914, the Village of Bay was a young, growing town, having broken away from the township of Dover in 1901. At the turn of the century, a group of residents who lived north of the Nickel Plate Railroad tracks wished to secede from Dover after disagreements over the spending of tax revenues. The petitioners scheduled an election and voted themselves out of Dover and into a new community, called the Hamlet of Bay until being incorporated in 1903 as the Village of Bay.

At the end of the 1800s, this farming community of North Dover was also a playground for the affluent. The Lake Shore Electric Railway’s interurban cars brought city folk away from the steamy city and to the cool retreat of summer cottages and the Dover Bay Country Club. Wealthy men, like John Huntington and Washington Lawrence, purchased large swaths of property and built lakefront homes.

By the early part of the 20th century, the community was undergoing a transformation. The interurban railway that brought vacationers to Bay also made daily downtown commuting a possibility. Families began buying parcels of land and the summer retreat evolved into a year-round residence.

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Volume 6, Issue 22, Posted 9:34 AM, 10.28.2014

Local archaeologist to speak on early stone houses

Join the Westlake Historical Society as they host a talk by Dr. Roy Larick about early stone houses in the Western Reserve and the geology behind and “beneath” them. Dr. Larick uses Google to create eye-catching maps which make the geology of northeast Ohio accessible to all.

Roy Larick was raised in Euclid, graduated from Ohio University in 1972 and spent 30 years as an archaeologist working around the globe. Dr. Larick returned home in 2001, bringing a long term perspective on change in local landscapes. He now documents natural and cultural change in ecologically sensitive places.

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Volume 6, Issue 21, Posted 10:00 AM, 10.14.2014

Battle of Lake Erie commemorated

The Peter Navarre Chapter of the United States Daughters of 1812 participated in the annual commemoration of the Battle of Lake Erie. A wreath-laying ceremony was held by the Early Settlers Association on Sept. 10, 2014 – the 201st anniversary of the battle.

The event took place at the Oliver Hazard Perry statue in Fort Huntington Park, at the corner of Lakeside Avenue and West Third Street in Cleveland.

The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is in the final year. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on Christmas Eve 1814, and ratified soon after by the British. Due to lengthy travel time across "the pond," the United States did not ratify the treaty until Feb. 17, 1815, at which time the war officially ended.

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Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:56 AM, 09.30.2014

Astronaut from Westlake honored with historical marker

The community is invited as The Westlake Historical Society will honor astronaut and Westlake native Robert Overmyer on Saturday, Aug. 23, at noon with an Ohio Historical Marker placed in Clague Memorial Park by the Clague pond gazebo. There will be a reception following the dedication in Clague Cabin.

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Volume 6, Issue 17, Posted 9:45 AM, 08.19.2014

Westlake Historical Society honors volunteers

The Westlake Historical Society is an organization that always seems to have something going on. At the center of it all, the goal is to promote Westlake history to all audiences.

It might be members dressing as Walter and Sophronia Clague to share our rich history with the students at Westlake schools. Or taking part in community parades, organizing the annual Evergreen Cemetery tour, providing Boy Scouts with projects to help them achieve Eagle rank, or leading tours of the historic Clague Museum.

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Volume 6, Issue 16, Posted 9:32 AM, 08.05.2014

Sheppard murder case still intrigues 6 decades later

July 4, 2014, marked the 60th anniversary of Marilyn Sheppard’s murder in Bay Village. The anniversary garnered newspaper stories as well as coverage on local public radio and television. It also elicited comments from viewers of a Bay Village Historical Society display about the murder at The Reuben Osborn Learning Center in Cahoon Park. The comments were split about 60/40 between those who believe Sam Sheppard was guilty and those who believe he was innocent.

One viewer stated that her father was a surgeon who worked at the penitentiary in Columbus where Sam Sheppard was held. Sam was not able to work as a physician while incarcerated but was able to assist him, and this surgeon, based on Sam’s character and behavior in prison, was convinced of his innocence.

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Volume 6, Issue 14, Posted 10:57 AM, 07.08.2014

Annual antique, vintage & craft show coming to Westlake's Clague House

The Westlake Historical Society's 44th annual Antique Vintage & Craft Show will be held Sunday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show includes antique, vintage and craft vendors; a plant sale; good food; cold drinks; a silent auction; and tours of the historic Clague House Museum. House tours are free and begin at noon.

Admission to the show is still only $3 per person; children under 12 are admitted free. Pets on leashes are welcome. The rain date for the event is July 27.

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Volume 6, Issue 14, Posted 10:12 AM, 07.08.2014

Military history exhibit is Eagle project

On June 6, Nico DiGiulio unveiled his Eagle Scout project at the Westlake Historical Society. The project renovated and expanded the military history exhibit at the Clague House Museum. Previously the exhibit was in a hallway but has now been moved into its own room within the museum.

The room details artifacts starting from the Civil War era and includes uniforms and memorabilia from the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam. Most of the displayed items were donated by Westlake residents. This is a fine adition to the already well done exhibit at the Clague House.

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Volume 6, Issue 14, Posted 10:12 AM, 07.08.2014

Photo captures patriotic celebration of bygone era

What better way to celebrate an upcoming Independence Day than place a very young person, unsecured, on top of a goat cart festooned with American flags and take a picture of them?

By today's child safety standards this would probably be an extremely bad idea, but in 1923 it was seemingly just fine. At least it was all right for my mother, Pat, who at less than one year old found herself in just such a situation on June 25 of that year.

As she recalls being told later in her life, a traveling photographer with a goat and cart in tow had visited the Cleveland area at the time and my mom's folks seemingly thought it to be a wonderful idea to have her pose for a picture atop the rig. (As a trivial aside, going by the logo on its side, the cart had been manufactured by Studebaker – the same firm that years later would produce the ahead-of-its-time Avanti automobile.)

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Volume 6, Issue 13, Posted 9:23 AM, 06.24.2014

Circa 1874 Guild home may be saved on-site

The Guild home, former dental offices of Dr. William Bennett, located at 2650 Dover Center Road, was featured in a cover article of this publication about a month ago. The Bennetts, who own the home, were seeking to donate the home to someone willing to relocate it. Several individuals have come forward interested in obtaining the structure in the event it needs to be removed.

After further consideration, the Bennetts are now open to selling the land, located near the northwest corner of Dover Center and Center Ridge roads, along with the structure, allowing the house to remain on its original property. They can be contacted at 440-835-5033 for more information.

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Volume 6, Issue 13, Posted 9:11 AM, 06.24.2014

American Montage

Please celebrate with me our nation’s 238th birthday with the following excerpts from patriotic songs and historic words from our leaders.   

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

“Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at twilight’s last gleaming? … And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”        

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in.”

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Volume 6, Issue 13, Posted 9:23 AM, 06.24.2014

Tell BAYarts your Sam Sheppard or Fuller House story

BAYarts will be marking the 60 anniversary of the Sam Sheppard trial this year with a gallery exhibit and related events beginning Aug. 8.

The house where Dr. Sheppard was arrested is BAYarts' own Fuller House, which was located in what is now Cashelmara at the time of his arrest. A celebrity in its own right, the 122-year-old Fuller House became international news 30 years later when it was moved to its current location on BAYarts campus via a barge on Lake Erie.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:44 AM, 06.10.2014

Historical society hosting old-fashioned ice cream social

Is anyone really sure how long people have enjoyed ice cream? We know that it was a favorite of our first President, George Washington. Did you know that the Clague family also enjoyed this sweet cool treat as well?

The Westlake Historical Society invites you to an old-fashioned ice cream social on Friday, June 6, 6-8:30 p.m., on the lawn of the historic Clague House Museum, 1371 Clague Road.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 9:13 AM, 05.28.2014

The special, unusual, mysterious Lilly/Weston house

Situated close to the road, just east of the Westlake Recreation Center’s driveway on Center Ridge Road, is the Lilly/Weston house. Named after two of the families to own the house, it is special, unusual and mysterious for a whole host of reasons.

First of all, it is special because it is one of only two structures in the city of Westlake on the National Register of Historic Places (the other is the Clague House Museum). Secondly, it is unusual in that it is one of only about 220 early homes in northeast Ohio ever constructed of native stone between 1800 and 1860, according to Roy Larick on his Bluestone Heights website, bluestoneheights.org. I had the pleasure of attending a geological/cultural/historical walking tour he spoke at in Cleveland Heights last weekend. The Lilly/Weston house is included in his list of Western Reserve stone houses constructed of Berea sandstone.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:39 AM, 05.13.2014

Westlake Historical Society invites you to annual cemetery tour

The Westlake Historical Society is excited to present the very popular Evergreen Cemetery Walk. The event will be held held this year on Saturday, May 17, 1-3 p.m.

Join longtime residents portrayed by historical society members and volunteers as they help the cemetery, located on Center Ridge Road between Porter and Crocker, to come alive. Those wishing to attend, please meet under the Evergreen arch at 1 p.m. Tours will begin with the laying of a wreath at the entrance to the cemetery. It will end at the 200-year-old Moses Cleaveland Tree in the back of the cemetery, with refreshments. There is no cost for this community event, but your donations to continue the work of the Westlake Historical Society are appreciated.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:55 AM, 05.13.2014

Westlake Historical Society honors a hometown hero

The state of Ohio has given birth to more than its share of astronauts. Westlake's own Col. Robert Overmyer is a distinguished member of this proud group. Although born in Lorain in 1936, Overmyer always considered Westlake his home. Overmyer graduated from Westlake High School with the class of 1954. He entered Baldwin Wallace College in the fall of 1954 and studied a scientific-oriented curriculum.

He entered flight school and became a U.S. military pilot. In 1969, Overmyer qualified to join the NASA program team. He soon gained entry into the Astronaut Program and helped with the engineering development of the Skylab project. His next assignment was as a support crew member for the Apollo 17 mission to the moon.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:33 AM, 04.29.2014

Remembering the Taylor House, Part 2

Part 2 of a two-part series on the historic Taylor House, which was located at 28989 Center Ridge Road, across the street from the St. John Medical Center, until its demolition earlier this year. Visit wbvobserver.com to read the first installment in this series.

After John Taylor, the original owner of the home, died childless in 1850, it appears that the home went to sheriff’s sale and was purchased by his brother-in-law, Chester Dean. The Deans owned the property until 1853, when it was sold to the McCarteys who owned it until 1857.

A branch of the large Lilly family owned it from 1866 until 1892. It was then purchased by Baldwin University of Berea, Ohio. The Glendenning family owned it the longest – from 1902 until 1965 – then the Thibo family from 1965 until 2000.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 10:22 AM, 04.15.2014

Spring yard sale helps local history

What does Dr. George Lathrop have to do with the upcoming yard sale put on by The Westlake Historical Society?

Dr. George Lathrop was born in 1876 and passed away in 1950. Lathrop served the local residents of Dover as a physician for many years, and lived and worked from his home and office located just east of Dover Center and Center Ridge roads. Although the doctor has been gone for almost 64 years, his photo lives on!

The society is charged with preserving and sharing Westlake's rich history. This includes the acquisition of new artifacts, as well as the upkeep of existing precious items.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 10:06 AM, 04.15.2014

Remembering the Taylor House

[Part 1 of a two-part series on the historic Taylor House, which was located at 28989 Center Ridge Road, across the street from the St. John Medical Center, until its demolition earlier this year.]

It may seem dramatic to talk about “mourning” a house but that is the only way to describe some of the reactions expressed after the demolition of the historic Taylor/Lilly/Glendenning house, formerly of 28989 Center Ridge Road in Westlake. The brick, Federal-style house was built in 1833.

John Taylor was the son of Revolutionary War veteran Jasher Taylor. In 1814, when Jasher was 61 and John 26 they emigrated from Massachusetts to Dover (as the township encompassing Westlake and Bay Village was called) with other family members. Taylors owned the property from 1820-1851, Deans from 1852-53, McCarteys 1854-1857, Lillys 1866-92, Baldwin University 1892-1902, Glendennings 1902-65, Thibos 1965-2000, and AKL Properties Ltd. 2000-present.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:14 AM, 04.01.2014