Local History

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

Westlake Historical Society celebrates Women's History Month with upcoming visit

The Westlake Historical Society does not just concern themselves with only Westlake history, although it is our favorite! We enjoy visiting other historical places throughout the area, as well as the state. Each year, we plan at least four historically oriented field trips. We believe it is important to introduce many of the fascinating sites that are practically in our backyard.

Some of the interesting places we have already visited include the presidential homes of Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield and William H. Taft. The Ohio Historical Society has a large indoor museum as well as an outdoor village that is sure to offer something for everyone.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 9:19 AM, 03.18.2014

Historical society plays a game for history

Very soon, the city of Westlake will be joining the list of more than 30 cities nationwide that have their own community-themed versions of the classic board game Monopoly. The limited edition “Westlake-opoly” will officially be launched this year.

The Westlake Historical Society will be producing and selling the game, tentatively priced at $35. It will be available only until the limited number of copies are sold. The funds raised from the sale of the games will go toward the restoration costs of the historic Lilly Weston House. The house is located at 27946 Center Ridge Road and was built around 1844.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 9:51 AM, 03.04.2014

Clague House and Playhouse replicas now available

Last October, the Westlake Historical Society was proud to unveil a new Ohio Historical marker on the grounds of the Clague House Museum. To commemorate this event, we have introduced a new Cat’s Meow wood replica of the Clague House with the marker shown. On the back is a close-up view of the Ohio Historical Marker text.

The new piece is the third in our "Historical Series," which includes the original Clague House model and the old Red Brick School. Another Cat’s Meow wood model now available is of the Clague Playhouse. Like the Clague House replica, there is a limited quantity available.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:14 AM, 02.18.2014

Old-fashioned Valentine's Day party planned at museum

Visit the Clague House Museum on Sunday, Feb. 9, 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 at 1371 Clague Road. This annual party for the community began several years ago as a way to forget old man winter and enjoy an afternoon of crafts, sweet treats and museum tours. 

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:23 AM, 02.04.2014

Historical society wants you to de-clutter

New Year's resolutions sound great on Jan. 1, but as the month marches on we can often get distracted by other things. Getting more organized is always on the list of to-do's for the new year. Less clutter is what we all need in 2014, unless you are the Westlake Historical Society!

As you are doing some of that new year cleaning, do you have a spare room to de-clutter? Why not remember the historical society. What a great way to rid the clutter and help out the historical society at the same time.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.21.2014

Come home to the Clague this Christmas

Add a little old-fashioned flair to your holiday celebration this year! The Westlake Historical Society will hold two Holiday Open Houses at the historic Clague House Museum. The dates are Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 from 2-4 p.m. Eggnog and cookies will be served during both holiday open houses. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend. There will be holiday crafts for the kids.

Admission is free; however, donations for the historical society will be welcomed and appreciated. A collection box will also be set up ready to receive non-perishable food donations to benefit the emergency food and assistance program.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:49 AM, 11.26.2013

Honoring our veteran ancestors

On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Cuyahoga West Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will meet at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road, to honor veteran ancestors. Jon B. Silvis, Past Department Commander (Ohio) Sons of Union Veterans and organizer and past Camp Commander of James A. Garfield Camp #142, will be the guest speaker. (Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War is a lineage society created by the Grand Army of the Republic in 1881.) Currently, Mr. Silvis is a trustee of Cleveland's Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Commission and an active volunteer at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky. 

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:13 AM, 11.12.2013

Westlake Historical Society selects Cutest Pet winner

Each year the Westlake Historical Society holds a contest to find Westlake's Cutest Pet.

This year, as in all years, the competition was fierce. We proudly announce this year's winner: Buzz Ryan.  

The Ryan family of Westlake wrote a bio about Buzz that we would like to share with our readers.

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:19 AM, 11.12.2013

Seasonal reflections: Trick, treat and salute!

As we enjoy the revelry of Halloween then move on to contemplate the solemn significance of the Veterans Day observance, we take pause to remember those who served before, while being mindful of those who are currently engaged with our nation’s armed forces and striving to protect our nation’s freedom and way of life.

Among Halloween’s usual cast of characters, ordinary humans dressing as superheroes are perennial favorites. This year a costume of historic significance would be that of Superman to coincide with the 75th anniversary of his comic book debut.  

The Superman theme can extend to costume choices depicting Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White or Superman’s earthly persona, Clark Kent. Accessorizing a man’s suit with thick dark-rimmed glasses, fedora and press card conjures his very image. 

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:26 AM, 10.29.2013

Spend some time this October at the Clague House Museum

During October our thoughts at the museum turn to crisp fall air, hot beverages, good books and a few good ghost stories.

The Westlake Historical Society invites you into the historic Clague House for a hot cup of coffee, tea or cider and the opportunity to spend some time with the members of the society as we once again open the museum kitchen for our popular pre-owned book sales. Stop in to peruse the books for sale and help the Historical Society scholarship funds.

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Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 9:55 AM, 10.15.2013

Westlake Historical Society dedicates new Ohio Historical Marker

A new Ohio Historical Marker will soon be added to the front of the Clague House Museum to recognize the historical significance of the Clague House and the significant contribution this family left to the citizens of Westlake.

The Westlake Historical Society is very proud to be able to dedicate this new Ohio Historical Marker on Clague Road to remind visitors and passers-by of the historical significance of this landmark building, placed on The National Registry in 1976, and the gift of a park, historical library and barn now known as the Clague Playhouse. We are also pleased by and thankful for the support received from the City of Westlake, our generous members and the community at large who made the Clague Homestead Marker a reality. We collected "Pennies For The Plaque," as well as other fundraisers to help cover the cost of the marker.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:43 AM, 10.01.2013

Civil War peace conference re-imagined in three-man play

It is Feb. 3, 1865. President Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, at war with the United States for the last four years, are meeting at Hampton Roads, Virginia, to see if a peace treaty can be reached to end the ongoing bloodshed. Lincoln has only two conditions for peace: The South has to return to the Union and return to it without slavery. Davis rejects these terms – the peace conference fails.

Our play, “Lincoln’s Last Great Debate: Abraham Lincoln vs. Jefferson Davis at Hampton Roads,” begins just after the official end of the conference as Plain Dealer reporter Franklin Boyd, played by Cleveland magistrate and Civil War historian William Vodrey, inquires if he can ask some questions. The presidents agree, each using this opportunity to explain their positions with their answers – in effect, debating the causes of the Civil War.

We’ll be presenting it at Westlake Porter Public Library on Sept. 12, 7 p.m., as part of the library's 2013 Civil War Series.

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 10:34 AM, 09.04.2013

Think your pet is the cutest?

Do you have the cutest pet in Westlake? You might want to consider entering the "Cutest Pet in Westlake" contest. The contest is sponsored by the Westlake Historical Society each year and is  open to all Westlake residents. 

In its sixth year, the cutest pet contest is always a favorite friendly competition. Residents are invited to enter the family dog, cat, hamster, turtle, bird, iguana, horse or fish. The deadline to submit your photo is Sept. 30. Submit your pet photo to: Cutest Pet Contest, c/o Westlake Historical Society, P.O. Box 45064 Westlake, OH 44145. The Society is requesting a $5 donation for each photo submitted.  The winner's family will receive a cash prize and the winning pet will be the society's "mascot" for 2014. The top 12 photos will be featured in a 2014 calendar. Call 440-808-1961 with questions.

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Volume 5, Issue 18, Posted 10:32 AM, 09.04.2013

Sharing history together

Historical societies are all about preserving and recording history. I guess you could say we specialize in marking anniversaries.

I was recently looking through our archives at the Clague House Museum, and found the first, "preview" issue of the Westlake | Bay Village Observer. It told the story about how the City of Westlake and our Historical Society had refurbished and rededicated the Ohio Historical Marker honoring Jack Miner, a noted conservationist, who was born off of Dover Center Road and spent his childhood right here.

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 10:03 AM, 08.20.2013

150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

The first, second and third of this month marked the actual 150th anniversary days of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. A battle that is often called the turning point in our country’s horrible Civil War (1861-1865). The Union’s decisive victory over General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was a much needed win, especially over Lee who had yet to be defeated in the war – finally proving that he was not invincible. This victory, and turning point of a sort, did not mean that it was all downhill for the South after it. It would take almost two more years – with more wins by Lee – before the South finally gave up.

The day after the Gettysburg victory – July 4 – the Union Army under General Grant took the Mississippi town of Vicksburg which had guarded the Mississippi River for the South. With the fall of Vicksburg, that great river (called "the mother of rivers”), the artery of commerce in the West, was opened all the way to New Orleans for Northern forces – the biggest blow to any chance the South had of winning the war or negotiating a peace treaty giving it independence.

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Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:48 AM, 07.09.2013

43rd Annual Antique, Vintage & Craft Show to be held July 21

The Westlake Historical Society will host the 43rd annual Antique, Vintage & Craft show on Sunday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the historic Clague House Museum located at 1371 Clague Road. The antique show is a summer tradition in Westlake, and is one of the longest running antique shows in the Cleveland area. The requested $3 donation per person for admission to the show has not changed in several years. The proceeds from this annual fundraiser help to cover the society's utility and insurance costs, as well as artifact acquisition and restoration costs.

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Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.09.2013

Westlake Historical Society honors those who make a difference

During the Westlake Historical Society's annual Old Fashioned Ice cream social on June 28, President Lysa Stanton proudly announced two new awards. Dr. James Anderson was awarded the Gretchen Wang Volunteer Spirit award for his many years of volunteerism. The late Gretchen Wang was a founding member of the historical society. As a volunteer-driven organization, the Westlake Historical Society depends on the work of its volunteers in order to succeed. Without volunteers, the Society could not do all that we do. Our members include students from junior high school through those who are well into their 90s.

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Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.09.2013

The good old-fashioned summer time

The Westlake Historical Society is looking forward to  a very busy summer. The annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social will be held on June 28 at 6 p.m. at the Clague House Museum, 1371 Clague Road. In addition to being fun, this annual event is a time to recognize and thank those who have assisted us throughout the year. All are invited to attend; please call 440-808-1961 to RSVP.

The society's annual Fourth of July Potluck Picnic supper on the Clague House lawn begins at 6 p.m. and all are invited. Beverages and table service are provided. Please bring a dish to share.

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Volume 5, Issue 13, Posted 10:30 AM, 06.25.2013

Garden Club’s Cultural Gardens tour

On May 7, the Westlake Garden Club sponsored a bus tour of Cleveland’s Cultural Gardens. Wonderfully organized by Ruth Bertrand, with reservation assistance by Nancy Chopp, we were accompanied by historian Rebecca McFarland. 

Located in Rockefeller Park, a 254-acre expanse of land John D. Rockefeller donated to the city in 1896, the first garden was created in 1916 as a tribute to William Shakespeare. Ten years later, the Hebrew Garden became the first “culture” garden and the Shakespeare Garden was renamed the British Garden. Following the Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided funding for 13 new gardens.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 10:12 AM, 05.14.2013

World-renowned conservationist celebrated in Westlake

Jack Miner's story forever links the Sister Cities of Westlake and Kingsville, Ontario, Canada together. Each year, the Westlake Historical Society celebrates April as Jack Miner Month.

Jack Miner was born April 10, 1865, and lived in a small weather-beaten home on Dover Center Road near Westown Boulevard. Young Jack was one of 11 children, whose father made a meager living in the brickyard across from their home. As a boy, Jack was not fond of school and preferred to explore the natural setting around him instead of attending school.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:50 AM, 04.16.2013

'Settling In' exhibit at Rose Hill Museum brings history home

“Settling In,” the opening exhibit for 2013 at Rose Hill Museum in Bay Village, brings the story of the Cahoon family home for history lovers.

After eight years of living in a tiny, one-room cabin with a loft, the Cahoon family finally moved into their house on the rose-covered hill overlooking Lake Erie in 1818. Wooden crates and trunks were carried by the family into their new home, where they began the task of unpacking.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 10:41 AM, 04.02.2013

Westlake Scout makes history the focus of Eagle project

The Westlake Historical Society is proud to be working with Nico DiGiulio as he works to complete his Eagle Scout requirements. He is a freshman at Westlake High School and, as you will read, has a strong interest in military history. – Lysa Stanton, Westlake Historical Society president

Hi, my name is Nico DiGiulio. I have lived in Westlake for seven years. Scouting has always been a big part of my life. About a year ago I earned my Life Scout Award, which is the last rank before Eagle. I am now ready to take on my Eagle project.  

I have always had an interest in history, and especially regarding the military, so I met with Mrs. Lysa Stanton, president of the Westlake Historical Society who operates the Clague House Museum. I told her my interests and offered to do something for the Historical Society.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:54 AM, 03.19.2013

Bay's first medical building gets new life as pizza shop

Soon Bay Village will benefit from a new Pizza Hut carry out and delivery service located behind Burns Auto at 380 Dover Center Road. The new facility will be housed in a one story colonial brick building trimmed in white wood. You have probably driven by the building traveling down Dover Center Road zillions of times in the last 62 years. Did you ever wonder where that little building came from, or who built it?

Earl Ross grew up on the west side of Cleveland and graduated from old Lincoln High. He attended Western Reserve Medical School and was president of his class. While attending medical school, Earl worked at the Brookside Zoo. He loved all animals and always had them around him. He married his high school sweetheart, Louise, in a ceremony officiated by John Eaton’s father, the Justice of the Peace.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:35 AM, 03.19.2013

Westlake Historical Society seeks your story

As a history major at Baldwin Wallace University, and previously as a student at Westlake High School, I have studied a myriad of events, throughout many different time periods, spanning all across the world. My fascination with history has remained constant, regardless of the era. It is not the great wars that have taken place or the monuments erected that continue to hold my interest, but the people.

I continue to be in awe of the impact that a single person can have on history. It's amazing to think that every single person has a unique story to tell and every story is important. Every person has shaped history.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:50 AM, 03.19.2013

Cutest pet desk calendars going fast

Each year the Westlake Historical Society holds a contest to find the cutest pet in Westlake. Any kind of pet is eligible: cats, dogs, parrots, ferrets, etc. In 2013 we had our first gecko in the competition. If it's a pet in Westlake, and it's cute, it can compete!  

This year, we honored the 2013 cutest pet contest winner “Toby” (an Airedale mix) by putting him on the cover of our cutest pet desk calendar for 2013. We also added the top 12 pet photos in the competition and gave them each a month of the calendar year. 

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 10:02 AM, 02.19.2013

Westlake Historical Society seeks to add historical photos for collection

Do you have any historical photos from old Dover or Westlake tucked away in a shoe box or album? The Westlake Historical Society is always collecting and scanning photos to add to our collection.  

It is an ongoing project for our society as we continue to add local photos and records to our archives. Photographs, as they say, are worth a thousand words and have the opportunity to tell important stories. They provide clues about the time period in which they were taken and describe life at that point in time. They are a wonderful source for historians and genealogists who study them for clues or more information about ancestors. 

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:25 AM, 02.05.2013

So long to an old frequency

Something happened in our Westshore communities at the end of 2012 that gave the same sort of feeling to this Westlake radio enthusiast that many of the city’s residents likely had when the Red Brick School was demolished.

The occurrence I speak of is that of the Westshore fire departments of Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake moving their radio operations off of the frequency 154.250 megahertz (MHz) and on to a very sophisticated, interoperable radio system – allowing for communication with outside agencies – occupying a number of much higher frequencies. (This radio system move has been confirmed by viewing official documentation online.) Prior to this move the radios of those departments found their home on 154.250 MHz using a simpler communications system for a number of decades, going back at least to the 1960s.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 11:43 AM, 01.22.2013

Clague House lights up the night

The Westlake Historical Society is all aglow with the completion of outdoor lighting at the Clague House Museum. The society would like to thank the city of Westlake for helping us to accomplish this goal.

This lighting not only adds ambiance to the museum, it also makes it possible for the society to fly the American flag 24 hours a day. The flag pole was installed and dedicated this past fall in honor of William and Jean Robishaw.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 11:54 AM, 01.22.2013

High school history buff

I am a history buff. Ever since I can remember, I've always had a fascination with the past. So when it came time to find volunteer opportunities to satisfy Westlake High School's community service requirement, I knew I wanted to do something that I love, and that would keep my interest.

One day last spring, my mom found an article in the Observer describing the Westlake Historical Society and its many opportunities for volunteers. The article was entitled "Do you have a heart for history?" It was as if the article was written specifically for me!

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 9:20 AM, 01.08.2013

Westlake's Kluever century homes

During the 19th and early 20th century, parts of Bassett Road in Dover Township (now Westlake and Bay Village) were known as Dutch Road and Elbow Road. “Dutch” for the residents along it, many of whom were of Germanic ancestry, “Elbow” for the angled configuration of the section between Dover and Detroit roads. St. Paul Lutheran Church was the heart of this community of German people and Bassett Road formed the spine.

The first wave of settlers to Dover were primarily from New England with ancestors who had emigrated from the British Isles. Starting sometime after 1852 these original landowners began splitting up and selling their land to the second wave of settlers who were primarily from Germany.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:45 AM, 12.11.2012

Give the gift of Westlake history

The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping is well underway. Since consumers are often asked to shop locally during this time of year, what is more local than your Westlake Historical Society?

The historical society has several items that are fun, interesting and celebrate Westlake's history. There are several book choices that cover everything from cooking in the early 1900s to historical coloring books. We also have a limited number of Cat's Meow replicas of local buildings such as the Clague House Museum and Old Red Brick School. The society is very fond of a limited edition Christmas tree ornament that features an image of the Clague House Museum. In addition to note cards, we also have a unique print of the Clague Museum suitable for framing.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:49 AM, 12.11.2012

Century-home research uncovers family ties

[Final article in a series on the history of homes in Dover – now Westlake and Bay Village – and the Westlake Historical Society's century-home plaquing program.]

The story of the Sheldon Johnson and John W. Hawkins families has come to light during the research for the plaquing of a century home at 2650 Clague Rd. in Westlake. A goal of the program is discovering the previous owners of a home and linking their stories with that of the house. The book “Maple Ridge Cemetery, Westlake, Cuyahoga County, Ohio: A History of Its People and Families” by Jeanne B. Workman and Jayne A. Broestl, published in 2003 by the Cuyahoga West Chapter, OGS, has information about these two related families.

Sheldon Johnson in 1866 died at age 81. He and his wife, Martha, are buried in Lot 7 of Maple Ridge Cemetery, owned by John Hawkins, Sheldon's grandson-in-law. The same cemetery plot also holds the remains of John, his first wife Vannie, his second wife Katherine and three infant children.

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Volume 4, Issue 24, Posted 11:12 AM, 11.27.2012

Annual wreath-laying honors Westlake's pioneers

For the third year in a row, members of the Westlake Historical Society will remember some of the city's historic families by placing holiday wreathes on their graves.

We believe placing a wreath on a grave is not only a symbol of remembrance, it is a sign of respect for that person and who they were and the contributions they made to our city. We would like to extend the opportunity for you, your family, organization or business to place a Christmas wreath this year in memory of one of our pioneer families.

Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will continue to place the wreaths on graves in both Evergreen Cemetery and Maple Ridge Cemetery until Dec. 15 for those individuals, families or businesses who would like to sponsor a wreath.

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Volume 4, Issue 24, Posted 10:41 AM, 11.27.2012

Community cookbooks offer glimpse into history

Today if I want an easy Crock Pot recipe, I simply check the social media site Pinterest or do a Google search. A few clicks and I can find just the perfect beef stew recipe. The internet puts any recipe virtually at my fingertips. This time of year prompts many of us to reach into our collection of family favorite recipes to prepare for a special holiday meal. 

Walk back in time with me as we discover the "community cookbook." Most community cookbooks were and continue to be sold to raise funds for various projects. Maria J. Moss is credited with creating the first charity cookbook. It was sold to help cover medical expenses for the care of Civil War soldiers.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.13.2012

A look at the research used to determine century-home status

[The third in a series of four articles on the history of homes in Dover – now Westlake and Bay Village – and the Westlake Historical Society's century-home plaquing program.]

One of the homes recently researched by the Westlake Historical Society at the request of the owner is at 2650 Clague Rd., on a portion of Original Lot 49. This home is a simple farmhouse in a gable-wing configuration with the gable facing the street. Notes and a sketch from Melanie Olm, a former historian with the Society, state that when a previous owner, Mrs. Crane, was doing a remodeling project she found an 1865 newspaper in the wall. However, Ms. Olm found that the 1860 and 1870 appraised values remained the same on the piece of land that the house is located on.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:38 AM, 11.13.2012

What the 'genealogy' of your land reveals about your home's age

[The second in a series of four articles on the history of homes in Dover – now Westlake and Bay Village – and the Westlake Historical Society's century-home plaquing program.]

The process of determining the actual year of construction of a building is like researching the “genealogy” of the piece of land on which it was constructed, determining both the chain of ownership and the history of the appraised value used for tax purposes.

The telltale sign of the “date of birth” of the house is an increase in the appraised tax value of the land underneath the structure. It is only in relatively recent years that the assessed value of the improvements on a parcel, such as a house, are assessed separately from the value of the land. For century homes, there was a time when the land, with a productive agricultural value was worth relatively more than the house.

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Volume 4, Issue 22, Posted 7:45 PM, 10.30.2012

Free genealogy help session at Porter Library

Westlake Porter Public Library, the Westlake Family History Center and the Cuyahoga West Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will offer a free genealogy help session at the library on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The session is free and no appointments are necessary.

Visitors will receive 15 to 30 minutes of one-on-one help from an expert. Help can range from how to get started researching your family, to suggestions for getting around dead-ends, to tips on various genealogy resources to try, and much more. Bring your stories, your dead-ends and your research so far, and get expert help.

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Volume 4, Issue 22, Posted 7:38 PM, 10.30.2012