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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.