Local History

Looking back: Hometown heroes

Like U.S. Presidents, the state of Ohio has given birth to more than its share of astronauts – reportedly 24. While Neil Armstrong and John Glenn are the most notable, 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. Young Robert's family moved to Canterbury Road, and he entered Westlake schools in the first grade. Overmyer graduated from Westlake High School with the class of 1954.

During the summertime of his high school years, Robert worked at Dean's Greenhouse on Porter Road. The income from this summer employment made it possible for him to attend college after graduation.

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Volume 2, Issue 4, Posted 12:23 AM, 02.20.2010

Looking back... Fashion in the 1890s

The Westlake Historical Society is proud to present "Clothing Styles in the 1890s" by Dr. Marie Albano, D.D.S., Museum Clothing Curator.

The 1890s brought delightful fashions for women after restrictive fashions of the 1880s. Clothing became softer and more practical. The 1890s brought a whole new entourage of exciting new things. Authors such as H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw were popular. The safety razor was invented and Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee. Freud was writing his papers, Marconi invented radio telegraphy, and Ford was building cars. Eastman had perfected the Kodak box camera. Edison's electrical lamps were lighting homes.

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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 8:50 PM, 01.10.2010

Looking Back: Celebrate a Victorian Christmas at the Clague House Museum

Christmas in the late 1800’s was not commercial – it had more to do with family, food, and the exchange of handmade gifts. Christmas trees in that time period were more simple. People often made homemade ornaments such as cornucopias of paper filled with fruit, nuts and candy. Strings of popcorn and berries were draped across the branches of trees. Beautiful shaped cookies were hung for treats on Christmas day. Often the gifts were also wrapped and hung from the branches. Also popular were molded wax figures of angels and children.

Many ornaments were made of cotton-wool wrapped around an armature of metal or wood and trimmed with embossed paper faces, buttons, gold paper wings and "diamond dust," actually powdered glass. You can experience a traditional Victorian Christmas Tree at Westlake’s Clague House Museum.

Bring your family and friends for an opportunity to enjoy the beautifully decorated tree. Bring your camera and capture a new family tradition. The Clague House (located at 1371 Clague Road) is open every Sunday through December 20th from 2 – 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, check our website at www.westlakeohiohistory.org or call 440-471-4090.

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Volume 1, Issue 8, Posted 10:05 PM, 12.03.2009

Looking back... Clague Monument reaches milestone this month


How many times did you go to Clague Park this year? Maybe your family enjoyed the swimming pool, played little league baseball, or enjoyed the playground equipment. Maybe you enjoyed the super 4th of July Fireworks presented by the City of Westlake. Why is the park known today as Clague Memorial Park? 

Robert Clague and family originally came to Dover Township (now known as Westlake, Bay Village, and part of North Olmsted) around 1835. They purchased a 78 acre parcel of land and built the Clague Home in 1876 which stands today at 1371 Clague Road. The Clagues were farmers that became very successful selling apples, berries, and various fruits far and wide. They were also known for helping others, and able to lend money when necessary. 


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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 6:52 PM, 10.20.2009

Cemetery walk

The Westlake Historical Society will be joining the Porter Public Library to host a cemetery walk on Oct 25, 2009. We will meet at the Evergreen Cemetery, 29535 Center Ridge Road, at 2:00 p.m. and enjoy a guided tour of some of Westlake's notable citizens. Mr. Mel Maurer will lead the tour as well as our own Dr. Marie Albano, who will share about the Clague Family. Mr. Maurer will end our tour with a concentration on the life of Mr. Porter. We will arrive back at the library for further conversation and refreshments. Please join us for this very informative and historical afternoon. Please feel free to call the Westlake Historical Society for more information at 440-471-4090

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 6:52 PM, 10.20.2009

A look back... School days

As the last days of summer wind down, I’m sure many of you have noted some of our local trees have already begun to change to the beautiful hues of fall. The sun is setting a little earlier each day and a new school year is already underway.

Before the City of Westlake was established, our area was part of a larger area known as Dover Township. This area included nearly all of what is today Westlake and Bay Village, and a few square miles of North Olmsted.

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Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 1:53 PM, 09.22.2009