The stone building on a knoll on the south side of the street at 30419 Center Ridge Road (just west of Green’s Garage) was placed on the Ohio Historic Inventory by the Cuyahoga County Regional Planning Commission in 1987. Some of the things that made it significant to them was its rock-faced ashlar sandstone construction, its low hipped roof and cornice line which they noted may have been inspired by Greek Revival and its hipped-roof, double-pen form, which they observe is more of a Southern Folk Victorian style.
The Westlake Historical Society was recently requested by the current owner of 24102 Center Ridge Road, Dr. Marvin D. Shie Jr., to research his home to determine if it is a century home. Dr. and Mrs. Shie purchased the home in 1955 from Lucy and Harry Hoag.
We have determined that this gable/wing farmhouse is certainly certainly more than 100 years old, and thus a century home. It was most likely constructed in either 1871 for William Mitchell or 1882 for William and his wife, Margaret. William was born in England in approximately 1836, Margaret in Ireland in about 1845.
Bay residents, would you like our city's clock to be right more than twice a day? The subject of our clock repair was brought up at a recent City Council meeting. I attended the 100-year recognition ceremony at the council meeting on Monday, Nov. 3. The room was filled to capacity.
As part of the meeting, I had the honor of presenting a $6,000 grant from the Bay Village Foundation to start a fund to repair the city clock. The Foundation’s goal is to raise an additional $12,000 from private donations for a total of $18,000.
This particular City Council meeting included the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first council meeting at the Bay Village City Hall on Nov. 3, 1914. The eastern portion of City Hall facing Dover Center Road was constructed in 1914 (at a cost of $8,000!).
Blue skies, gorgeous fall colors and seasonably warm temperatures welcomed visitors to the Lakeside Cemetery Tour. The Oct. 26 event was co-sponsored by the Bay Village Historical Society and Huntington Playhouse. Visitors received a better understanding about the cemetery’s historic beginning, founded 200 years ago after the untimely deaths of Rebecca Porter, her infant son, Dennis, and George Smith as they crossed the Rocky River returning from Cleveland.
Rebecca’s sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Reuben Osborn, were so distraught over their loss that they donated land for a public burying ground that bordered on the two family's properties. Numerous burials would take place over the years in a six-row layout with many graves presumed unmarked today.
Dover, which is now Bay Village, Westlake and the northern portion of North Olmsted, experienced growth as more settlers were moving into the area and the population was increasing. Expansion of the cemetery was deemed necessary in 1877. Land was purchased from the Osborn and Hassler families to the north, east and west to bring it to its present size.
The Westlake Historical Society would like to congratulate the James family and their dog, “Omar.” He has been selected as Westlake's cutest pet for 2015!
The James family said, “Omar was born on April 29, 2008. He is a very quiet Yorkie! He doesn’t play with toys but loves to go on long walks and socialize with all the neighbors! Many thanks to all our friends and neighbors who stop to pet him! He also enjoys walking in Clague Park and the Metroparks! Besides his Purina Pro Plan he likes bits of peppers, apples and eggs. Ice cream is an extra special occasional treat! He loves stealing tissues out of the wastebasket and then being chased. In the winter he loves to snuggle on the couch with us. He loves car rides, belly rubs and back scratches. He gives lots of kisses and is always happy to see everyone!”
One hundred years ago, in 1914, the Village of Bay was a young, growing town, having broken away from the township of Dover in 1901. At the turn of the century, a group of residents who lived north of the Nickel Plate Railroad tracks wished to secede from Dover after disagreements over the spending of tax revenues. The petitioners scheduled an election and voted themselves out of Dover and into a new community, called the Hamlet of Bay until being incorporated in 1903 as the Village of Bay.
THE VILLAGE GROWS
At the end of the 1800s, this farming community of North Dover was also a playground for the affluent. The Lake Shore Electric Railway’s interurban cars brought city folk away from the steamy city and to the cool retreat of summer cottages and the Dover Bay Country Club. Wealthy men, like John Huntington and Washington Lawrence, purchased large swaths of property and built lakefront homes.
By the early part of the 20th century, the community was undergoing a transformation. The interurban railway that brought vacationers to Bay also made daily downtown commuting a possibility. Families began buying parcels of land and the summer retreat evolved into a year-round residence.
Join the Westlake Historical Society as they host a talk by Dr. Roy Larick about early stone houses in the Western Reserve and the geology behind and “beneath” them. Dr. Larick uses Google to create eye-catching maps which make the geology of northeast Ohio accessible to all.
Roy Larick was raised in Euclid, graduated from Ohio University in 1972 and spent 30 years as an archaeologist working around the globe. Dr. Larick returned home in 2001, bringing a long term perspective on change in local landscapes. He now documents natural and cultural change in ecologically sensitive places.
The Peter Navarre Chapter of the United States Daughters of 1812 participated in the annual commemoration of the Battle of Lake Erie. A wreath-laying ceremony was held by the Early Settlers Association on Sept. 10, 2014 – the 201st anniversary of the battle.
The event took place at the Oliver Hazard Perry statue in Fort Huntington Park, at the corner of Lakeside Avenue and West Third Street in Cleveland.
The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is in the final year. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on Christmas Eve 1814, and ratified soon after by the British. Due to lengthy travel time across "the pond," the United States did not ratify the treaty until Feb. 17, 1815, at which time the war officially ended.
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.