Local History

Trip to Canadian 'sister city' honors famed Westlake native

In 2012, Kingsville, Ontario, became a Sister City with Westlake through the common legacy of one John Thomas Miner, better known as Jack Miner. Born in 1865 near the present-day intersection of Dover Center Road and Westown Blvd., Jack moved with his family to Kingsville when he was 13. His early roots instilled in him a love of nature and wildlife and he studied migratory birds until his death in 1944, becoming known as the Father of Conservation. The August premiere of “An Evening with Jack Miner” at the Clague Playhouse generated an invitation for me to reprise the role at Jack’s migratory bird sanctuary in Kingsville.

On Oct. 16, with passport in hand, I crossed the border to not only attend but participate in the 46th Annual Migration Festival. This year’s festival was a little different as its theme included the 150th birthday of Jack. The festival celebrates Kingsville’s place in history as the home of the man who changed the migration routes of the fowls of the air. I arrived Friday afternoon in time to attend the festival’s opening ceremonies with a wine and cheese reception that was held in Kingsville’s Carnegie Visitors Center. Jack himself (or a very convincing American re-enactor) made an appearance and read from his autobiography, "Wild Goose Jack," setting a celebratory tone for the remainder of the weekend.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:21 AM, 11.17.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: How Bay High School sports teams became the Rockets

In 1920, the Bay Village Board of Education was facing a real need for a larger school that offered grades one through 12. The Red Brick School on Lake Road already had two additions and was overcrowded. After eighth grade, the Bay Village students went to school in Dover (now Westlake), Rocky River and Lakewood to finish their 12-year education. The Bay Village Board of Education paid for their tuition.

A bond issue was passed, and a new two-story brick building, named Parkview School, was completed in 1922 on lands purchased from the Cahoon Park trustees just south of Cahoon Memorial Park (where Bay Middle School is now located). It served grades one through 12 and all students in Bay Village moved into the new school, closing Easterly at Columbia Road and the Red Brick School house. A third story was added in 1925.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:19 AM, 11.17.2015

Who were the Westons of Westlake? As family name fades away, donation keeps legacy alive

Part five of a five-part series.

In parts 3 and 4 of this series, we introduced you to the oldest two sons of George and Rhoda Weston, Asa L. and Arthur E. Weston. In this article we will introduce you to their youngest son, Frank, who received the southern portion of their 100-acre farm on Columbia Road in the late 1800s. George, Rhoda and their sons had earlier occupied, and Frank was born in, the currently city owned Lilly-Weston house at 27946 Center Ridge Road, next to the Westlake Recreation Center.

Based on a 1920s plat book it appears that Frank built a home, most likely at 2535 Columbia Road. While it no longer stands, in the 1930s it appears to have been split into two units, with the lower unit occupied by his grown son Wells Weston and his family in 1940, as per the U.S. Census that year. The same 1940 Census shows that the Weston name was still strong on Columbia Road with May E. Weston, her brother George I. Weston and his wife, Mida, and three adult children occupying 2283 Columbia (still standing), which was built by their father Asa L.; Burton Weston and his wife occupying 2363 Columbia (still standing), which was built by his father Arthur E.; Burton’s brother Charles M. Weston, his wife, Esther, and children (including Doris) occupying the house Charles built next door at 2391 Columbia (destroyed). It is no wonder that May, Charles and Doris loved and felt connected to Dover/Westlake – their neighbors and their family were one and the same!

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:24 AM, 11.17.2015

A legacy of Hueys over Westlake

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump … That staccato and determined thumping seemed to go on and on until the helicopter producing it would fly overhead, after which the sound would all but disappear.

In the 1970s and early '80s that bit of drama would repeat itself rather regularly right over, or nearly so, my Westlake residence. The helicopter creating it at any given time would be one of six Bell UH-1H Iroquois models that called Cleveland Hopkins Airport home, heading back to its base of operation in the southwest sector of that aerodrome.

First ordered for the U.S. military in 1960, all model variants of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois are more commonly known as Hueys, most likely due to their original type designation being HU-1 (until 1962) and GIs informally assigning the aircraft its familiar nickname derived from that designation. The very pronounced thump, thump, thump sound as they approach is a characteristic trait of Huey helicopters in flight.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:17 AM, 11.03.2015

Westlake: The Origin of the Name

Most people know that the city of Westlake began as Dover township, founded as such in 1811 and possibly named for a then-known landmark, Dover Point, along the shores of Lake Erie. Dover was a popular name for communities back then – there were 17 of them according to the 1850 federal census, five of which were in Ohio.

Eventually, there were only two remaining in Ohio at the beginning of the 20th century – Dover Village (having been incorporated from the township in 1911) in Cuyahoga County, and Dover in Tuscawaras County. Even so, it created confusion for delivery purposes. Mail, and even a fire engine ordered for Dover Village, was sometimes delivered to the Dover in Tuscawaras County. As early as 1915, the United States Post Office requested that Dover Village change its name to differentiate it from the other Dover, Ohio.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:02 AM, 11.03.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Growing up in the David Foote apple orchard

Warm summer days and cold summer nights got the juices flowing in fruit trees and vineyards. Our early settlers usually had a few acres in orchards on their farms. One of the first things Joseph Cahoon did when he arrived in Dover Township in 1810 was to plant apple and peach orchards on the east side of Cahoon Creek.

The Wischmeyers had apple and peach trees behind Granny Wischmeyer‘s house on the south side of Lake Road, east of Dover Center. Picking fruit was a summer job at Wischmeyers for Bay High School boys who wanted to store their boats in the boat house on the beach. The Cahoons talk, with pride, in their personnel papers housed at Rose Hill Museum, about their two-acre Baldwin apple orchard on the southeast corner of Wolf and Dover Center roads.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:09 AM, 11.03.2015

Who were the Westons of Westlake? A family dedicated to community service

Part four of a five-part series.

In part 3 of this series in the Oct. 6 issue, we introduced you to the oldest son of George and Rhoda Weston, Asa L. Weston. In this article we will introduce you to their middle son, Arthur E., who received the center portion of their 100-acre farm on Columbia Road in the late 1800s. George, Rhoda and their sons had earlier occupied the currently city-owned Lilly-Weston house at 27946 Center Ridge, next to the Westlake Recreation Center.

Arthur built a home in 1888 which still survives at 2363 Columbia Road. He was a skilled carpenter and built seven homes in the West Hedgewood/Hall Road area. Both he and his wife, Clara Brown, taught briefly in the schools. Together they had three children – Lucy, Burton and Charles. From 1904 to 1909, Arthur was clerk of Dover Township and was a member of the Dover Village Council in 1914 and 1915. In the 1920s he became the clerk for the Dover Village School Board.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:17 AM, 10.20.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Why is Wolf Road so curvy?

If you look at an old map of Dover Township, you see that Abraham Tappan laid out the township in 97 lots. Bay Village consists of the lots from No. 81 to No. 97. Some Bay Village farms were narrow in width, 500 feet east to west, but many acres long going south from Lake Erie. Many built their home on the north side of Lake Road with the farm acreage spreading out in front of them.

Such was the Osborn farm. Reuben and his grandson, Reuben, who inherited the property at 29202 Lake Road, were farmers. In 1880, the U.S. Census tells us that the younger Reuben owned 61 acres of land, mostly in Lot No. 93 from the lake south, to where Osborn Road is today. He grew hay, wheat and potatoes. He kept two horses, three cows, three steers, 32 sheep, seven pigs, and 75 chickens on his farm. He had two acres in fruit trees, bearing him 325 bushels of fruit from 125 apple and peach trees, and one acre in vineyards. As you can see, every acre was accounted for on Reuben’s farm.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:11 AM, 10.20.2015

Clague House Museum celebrates the fall season

October is a very busy month for the Westlake Historical Society and the historic Clague House Museum!

Our fall Teddy Bear Sleepover is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Oct. 24. Children are invited to drop off their teddy bear to spend the night at the Clague House Museum. Check-in for the teddy bears is at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening and check-out time is Sunday at 1 p.m. Children and their bears are invited to stay for our Fall Open House and Kids Sunday. The open house will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:00 AM, 10.20.2015

Who were the Westons of Westlake? A generation devoted to education

Part three of a five-part series.

In part 2 of this series in the Sept. 1 issue, we introduced you to the three sons of George and Rhoda Weston who all had farmland cut from their parents' 100-acre farm on Columbia Road in the late 1800s and early 1900s. George and Rhoda had earlier occupied the Lilly-Weston house at 27946 Center Ridge, next to the Westlake Recreation Center.

The initial division of land on Columbia had Asa L. receiving the northerly portion, on which he built a home in 1883 which still survives at 2283 Columbia Rd. Another trace left on his land is a street named Weston Avenue which now serves as the entrance driveway into Cuyahoga Community College’s Corporate College. This is very fitting because a number of Weston descendants served the community as teachers or in other capacities which supported education in Dover, Westlake and the Greater Cleveland area.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 9:00 AM, 10.06.2015

It all started with a red light: The Bay Village Police Department enters the digital age

Part two of a two-part series.

In the first installment of this series in the Sept. 1 issue, I attempted to follow the path of the Bay Village Police Department's communication technology. In the mid-20th Century officers on patrol would respond to a call for service via a red light attached to the Community House; by 1959 they had adopted the use of two-way VHF radio. The department recently modernized its communication equipment to a high-tech digital radio network to accomplish the task.

In my previous article I mentioned that Bay Village Police Department Chief Mark A. Spaetzel had been kind enough to meet with me and provide any information he could relating to this story.

Chief Spaetzel confirmed my finding of his department’s long term utilization of the VHF radio frequency mentioned in my previous article, and also confirmed my personal observation that through the years on that frequency his department would periodically need to update its radio equipment in order to communicate effectively. Even so, operation on the VHF frequency had been prone to marginal coverage in some areas of Bay Village, and, overall the radio system had been showing its age.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 9:00 AM, 10.06.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The Wischmeyers of Dover Township

Regina and Henry Wischmeyer came from Germany and settled on the west side of Cleveland (Ohio City) in 1850. There they married and began raising a family. Henry Sr. had a dream of growing grapes on his own land as he had in Germany.

Regina followed Henry with his dream, and they purchased 50 acres of land along the south shore of Lake Erie in Dover Township. They planted two acres of the land in grapes, built a wine cellar and a hotel, while also farming, building a family house and raising their family.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:50 AM, 10.06.2015

Marker honors Westlake's Cooley

On Saturday, Sept. 12, the Westlake Historical Society dedicated an Ohio Historical Marker to George L. Cooley. 

This marker honors one of Westlake's own. Affectionately known to many as "Uncle George," he has myriad credits to his name – teacher, contractor, road builder, insurance executive and organizer of county and state farmers.

George was born in 1861 and raised on a farm at what is now the corner of Dover Center Road and Hilliard Boulevard. After attending Ohio Northern University, he taught at the Osborn School, located in the part of Dover Township that is now Bay Village, then taught at the old Red Brick School on Dover Center Road.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 8:58 AM, 09.15.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: How the Lake Shore Electric right-of-way became a garden

“Garden-giddy Bay Villagers are working on the railroad these days – to beautify it,” said Randall Brown in a Cleveland News article in 1940. The abandoned old Lake Shore Electric Interurban Railway right-of-way was sprouting shrubbery, bird baths, outdoor fireplaces, vegetable gardens and recreation areas. “The suburban gardeners are planting on land they don’t own and they know it,” said the article.

The expansion started in 1938, after the railway pulled its rails. Many railway ties were torn out and used for firewood in the fireplaces in the houses along the way. Residents helped themselves to the cinders for grading their lots and building driveways.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 9:08 AM, 09.15.2015

Tracing history of century-old Vanek 'farmhouse' on Bassett Road

Probably anyone who lives in the west end of Bay Village has noticed some dramatic changes that have occurred in the southernmost block of Bassett Road, just north of the railroad tracks in the last couple years. Several small cottages have been replaced by substantial new homes on the east side of the street, while on the west side of the street, just north of Crossroads Church, a century home has received lots of investment.

The house looked kind of forlorn for a number of years until it was purchased by new owners. Improvements include a large attached garage, painted red with a gambrel roof that looks like a barn. It is a nice addition to the house which looks like a typical gable/wing vernacular farmhouse.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 9:06 AM, 09.15.2015

It all started with a red light: The early days of Bay Village police communication

Part one of a two-part series.

What do a red light attached to the Bay Village Community House and a high tech digital radio communication system have in common? Separated by a number of decades, they were and are both devices used to notify police officers patrolling the streets of Bay Village their assistance is needed somewhere in the city.

Subsequent to well-respected former Bay Village Police Chief Fred Drenkhan’s passing earlier this year, a passage in his April 19, 2015, Plain Dealer obituary stated that, when Chief Drenkhan was a new patrol officer, “the village’s two patrol cars did not have two-way radios. Officers making rounds would periodically check for a signal from the red light atop the Community House.”

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:50 AM, 09.01.2015

Who were the Westons of Westlake? As 'second wave,' settlers build lasting legacy

Part two of a five-part series.

In part 1 of this series (printed last May in Issue 7.10), we introduced you to “Deacon” Asa Weston, who had moved from Massachusetts to Ohio in 1817 after marrying his wife, Thankful Robbins. They settled in Euclid Township. George Weston was born to them there. 

At 24, George moved to Medina County where he met and married Rhoda Allis. Their son Asa Lemuel was born there in 1853.

In 1852 Thankful died and in 1853 “Deacon” Asa remarried. In about 1855 Asa Sr. and his second wife, Mary, as well as George, Rhoda, and Asa L. moved to Dover Township. In 1862 Arthur E. was born to George and Rhoda when they lived in a house near Bradley and Center Ridge.

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:51 AM, 09.01.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The Old Dover-Bay Gun Club

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the correct residency of Fred Hansen.

“Many Lake Road motorists are startled to hear the sound of shotgun fire as they crest the hill opposite Cahoon Park in Bay Village, and bathers at Huntington Beach often see strange little yellow flying saucers dip over the cliff nearby and sail into the lake.” These words were used by Lois Keever in a local newspaper article in 1966.

The Dover Bay Gun Club was founded by Fred Hansen, who lived in Lakewood. Fred built the shooting range on the site of an abandoned grape arbor in Cahoon Memorial Park above Lake Erie in 1923. Shooters agreed that it was one of the finest in the country.

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:49 AM, 09.01.2015

Cutest pet in Westlake sought by historical society

 The Westlake Historical Society is "paws-ing" for the past with our annual Cutest Pet in Westlake contest. If you have the cutest pet in Westlake, please enter him or her in the contest by sending a photo to Cutest Pet Contest, c/o Westlake Historical Society, P.O. Box 45064, Westlake, OH 44145. Dogs, cats, hamsters, turtles, birds, fish and even the family ferret can enter. New this year: We will have a separate puppy division for pets under one year old.

We request a $5 dollar donation for each photo submitted. Photos must be received by 5 p.m. on Sept. 8. Photos can be black & white, or color. High resolution photos, please. Limit of two photos per pet. Westlake residents only. Do you need someone to take a photo for you? The historical society has photo volunteers for no charge.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:45 AM, 08.18.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The Berry Pickers

Most everyone in Dover Township had a berry patch. Acres of berries and fruit orchards became prevalent with the coming of our German settlers in the 1850s. Apple, peach and cherry orchards sprang up along Walker, Bassett and Bradley roads, where our German farmers settled. Most of the family homes scattered between the farms had small berry patches in their backyards. Well into the 1950s there were berry patches in the Village.

My family's house was in the David Foote apple orchard on Lake Road. We had eight different kinds of apple trees, plus peach trees and cherry trees on our acre. We had gooseberries, currants, quince, strawberries and raspberries in the yard. I remember Mom making jelly, especially currant jelly, and putting the small glass jars out in the backyard under a glass window to cook in the sun. She made many jars of strawberry and raspberry jam from our berries, pouring liquid beeswax on top to seal the jar.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:42 AM, 08.18.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Dover-Bay Country Club

Opening day March 21, 1903, found the reorganization of Dover-Bay Colony into the Dover-Bay Country Club. The Club was located on the southeast corner of Clague and Lake Roads on the old Lawrence Estate. It consisted of a nine-hole golf course and clubhouse. An early golf pro at the country club was Alex Miller and the manager was Jack Quinlan.

Membership was now open to the public. On the property north of Lake Road was a large, dark green painted clubhouse. Many members rented rooms there for the summer season of golf.

In 1951, this lakefront property where the club house sat was split into lots and sold. The green frame clubhouse was torn down. The next season saw a brand new, smaller clubhouse on the south side of Lake Road. This meant changing all the hole numbers so they again started and finished at the new clubhouse.

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Volume 7, Issue 15, Posted 9:43 AM, 08.04.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Hap's Half Acre

How many people do you know who actually moved to Bay Village for retirement? Gilbert and Vi Hagberg did just that.

When you travel down Osborn Road, glancing at the houses on the south side, you come upon a yard with a little cottage that sits so far back from the road you have to look twice to notice it. At the street near the driveway is a sign that reads “Hap’s Half Acre.” Or at least that’s what it looked like back in the late 1940s when Gilbert "Hap" Hagberg and his wife, Vi, lived at 28889 Osborn Road.

Gilbert and Vi purchased a half acre of land on the south side of Osborn Road. On the south end of the property was a small white cottage. Behind the cottage, Hap planted a berry patch and fruit trees. The area behind the lot was all woods. It was just enough land for Hap to care for in his retirement. Vi became active in the women’s organizations in the Village, and they were regular attendees of the Bay United Methodist Church.

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Volume 7, Issue 14, Posted 9:21 AM, 07.21.2015

Ida Cahoon's Will: Forever

Cahoon Park is one of Bay Village’s most valued pieces of land. Scratch that, it’s one of Ohio's most valued pieces of land. Some would even consider it to be the most valuable property between New York and Chicago.

The park serves as both the historical and recreational center of the city. The west end of the park has Rose Hill Museum, Bay Skate and Bike Park, and massive soccer fields, while the east end boasts the $2.9 million aquatic center, as well as various courts and fields that many residents enjoy throughout the year

And enjoy they do – with one set of stipulations.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 9:57 AM, 07.07.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Old Farm Markets

It’s not surprising with our Dover Township farmers' ability to grow an abundance of fruits and vegetables that local farm markets would pop up along Center Ridge and Detroit roads in Dover/Westlake and Avon. These were well-traveled roads between Cleveland and Sandusky.

The names of Dusty Miller, Polly, Nagel, Westlake, Danny Boy's and Wade Farm Markets are just a few of the farm markets in our area that offered fruits and vegetables for sale in the 1940s, and '50s. Along with the fresh produce, the local farm markets also offered fresh baked breads, jellies, jams, pickles and flowers. Something to look forward to was taking a drive in the country on a Sunday in the family car and stopping at a favorite farm market.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 9:53 AM, 07.07.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The Cahoon Family

On the morning of Oct. 10, 1810, the Joseph and Lydia Cahoon family wagon stopped at the mouth of a creek on the southern shore of Lake Erie in Ohio country. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the family thanked the Lord for their safe journey.

They were in their new home, Lot No. 95 in Dover Township No. 7, Range No. 15, in the State of Connecticut’s Western Reserve after six weeks of wilderness travel from Vergennes, Vermont. They immediately began building a cabin and within the next eight years constructed the first grist mill west of the Cuyahoga River, a sawmill and a house on the west hill. This would become the family home for the next 117 years.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:34 AM, 06.16.2015

The Edward A. and Clydie B. Martin House, built in 1905 in Bay Village

Part two of a multi-part series about century homes on Bassett Road in Bay Village.

The home at 427 Bassett Road is a tall, substantial home located just south of the Bay High School driveway that exits onto Bassett Road. An expansive porch, several bay windows, and an assortment of other window shapes and sizes give the front façade a warm, welcoming, cozy feel. It has a touch of the Queen Anne Style in its asymmetry and the use of shingles on the façade. Previous sources have given the date of construction as circa 1890 but tax records clearly indicate that it was constructed in 1905.

In 1904 the one acre of land that the home was constructed on was carved off of a 13-acre parcel owned by Henry Frederick and Louisa M. E. Albers. The property transferred on Jan, 30, 1904, and work may have begun on the home the following spring but the tax value did not increase until the second half of 1905.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:29 AM, 06.16.2015

Sally Price, Her Story

His-story? Why not her-story? Just for today we will call it herstory, the story of much lauded historian of Bay Village, Sally Price.

I first learned of Ms. Price through the book she wrote with Virginia Peterson, "Images of America: Bay Village." 

“Thanks to Ginnie and Sally we have a wonderful history of Bay Village," says fellow Bay Village Historical Society member, Evelyn Allen. “Sally provided a unique and personal perspective of life here since 1810. The photographs she provided and the captions she helped write give us all a precious history of our town.”

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:54 AM, 05.19.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Memorial Day Parade, 1936

Major Troyan leads the Memorial Day Parade east along Lake Road from the Red Brick School House (Stop #30) to Lakeside Cemetery in 1936. Once the graves were marked in the cemetery, Dr. Earl Ross began flying over the cemetery and dropping rose petals.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.19.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Two of Bay High School's Finest, William Barschow and Timothy Ptacek

This Memorial Day during Bay Village’s ceremonies in Cahoon Memorial Park, the Bay Village American Legion will read the roll of those men and women from Bay Village who have given their lives to keep our country free. On that honor roll are two of Bay High School’s finest who served in the Vietnam War.

William Marcus Barschow was the valedictorian of the Class of 1955. He was president of the National Honor Society, played football and was in the class play. Bill, known as Barsh, was liked and respected. He lived with his mom, dad and sister, Anne, in a house they built on the corner of Bradley and Lake roads.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:50 AM, 05.19.2015

Who were the Westons of Westlake?

Part one of a multi-part series.

First there was Deacon Asa Weston. He was born in 1793 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the hometown of a number of the original pioneers of Dover Township. He immigrated to Ohio in 1816 and settled in Euclid Township, east of Cleveland.

His first glimpse of Dover was when he was hired by a man who owned land near Toledo to deliver the taxes owed, in person. In order to save money, Deacon Asa walked from Euclid to Toledo and back.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:40 AM, 05.19.2015

Who was Lilly Weston?

Who was Lilly Weston?

She sounds like she could have been the childhood friend of Annie Oakley or Calamity Jane. Actually there was no Lilly Weston. But there is a Lilly-Weston, as in the historical house in Westlake. No, that is not a modern family, hyphenated last name. It is two surnames: Lilly and Weston.

The Lilly-Weston house is located at 27946 Center Ridge Road, just east of the Westlake Recreation Center entrance drive. “Lilly” represents the last name of the family who built the stone portion of the house in about 1844 and added the brick portion in about 1855. “Weston” represents the last name of an early Dover/Westlake family whose ancestor, George Weston, purchased the home from the Lillys in 1866 and owned it until 1872.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:18 AM, 05.05.2015

Westlake Historical Society holds history lesson at Evergreen Cemetery

One of the best places to learn about the people of a particular town is in the local cemetery. You can learn about when they lived, died, and who made up their family tree.

When the founders first arrived in our area, then known as Western Reserve Range 15, in 1810, it was found to be a wild and new place covered by trees as well as bears, deer and other inhabitants.

On May 16, noon to 3 p.m., you will have the opportunity to learn more about our history when members of the Westlake Historical Society and their friends re-enact the roles of some of Westlake's noteworthy residents. This yearly tour of Evergreen Cemetery, 29535 Center Ridge Road, is always a favorite way to experience history.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:13 AM, 05.05.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The Aaron Aldrich family arrives in Dover Township

It was in 1816 that 23-year-old Aaron Aldrich III, Elizabeth (Betsy) Winsor Aldrich, age 22, and one-year-old son, Aaron IV, set out from Smithfield, Rhode Island, for a new life in Dover Township. With a wagon pulled by oxen, they made the hard journey to Ohio in six weeks.

Betsy’s brother, Henry Winsor, arrived in 1813 and was already settled on Bradley Road. Aaron and Betsy made their home with Henry. Aaron built a log cabin house on the west side of Bradley Road on 21 acres and 60 rods of land in Lot #41 (across from Lakewood Country Club). A second son, William, was born in 1817, and Julia, the third child, was born in 1820. Having been raised in factory life, Aaron became disabled from the excessive labor it took to fell the trees and clear the land. Still he persevered.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:12 AM, 05.05.2015

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