Samuel Foster Osbornís little corner of the world

The Samuel Osborn house, pictured in the 1880s, sat near the present-day corner of Cahoon and West Oakland.

Samuel Osborn, son of Nancy Ruple and Seldon Osborn, was given a gift of land on Cahoon Road by his grandfather, Reuben Osborn. His land ran down the west side of Cahoon Road just past the Cahoon vineyards (where the Bay Middle School is today) south to the Oviatt Mills and farm. Samuel farmed 76 acres at this site in Lot 85.

The two main roads in North Dover Township were Lake Road and Detroit Road. To the east off of Cahoon Road was the path that ran over Cahoon Creek by way of the Oviatt bridge by the Oviatt mills to Dover Center Road. (Today, Dover Commons and West Oviatt Road.)

Samuel Osborn married Mary Crocker, daughter of Sylvanus and Sarah Crocker, and built a house at 502 Cahoon Road. They had eight children: Clayton Seldon, Florence, Nettie Pearl, Nellie, Ray Sylvanus, Alice Minerva, Russell and Leverett Crocker. Mary Crocker Osborn was a school teacher. (Alice Minerva married the undertaker, Clifford Pease; Pease Funeral Home is now Jenkins Funeral Chapel.)

In 1879, Osborn's farm contained the usual farm animals; chickens for eggs, horses, milk cows, pigs and he grew Indian corn, oats, wheat and potatoes. One acre was fruit-bearing trees. He also had eight permanent meadows where he grazed 63 sheep, dropped 30 lambs, purchased 36, sold living 75, slaughtered one, and cut 22 fleece in one year.

We have a deed showing Samuel purchasing from his Osborn cousins the west side of Lot 85, extending his property even farther. (Today, this is Glendenning Road.) Samuel’s land was valued at $10,000 in 1879. He had one hired man who lived with the family and worked on the land for wages.

Some time after 1889, the need in North Dover for another east/west road became apparent. This road, named for the Osborns, was planned to run along the back acreage of the Osborn properties ending at Bassett Road. The road began 300 feet south of Samuel Osborn’s house and barns on Cahoon Road. We know Osborn Road was used in 1917 as the route for Ida Cahoon’s casket traveling to the Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church for her memorial service, due to Lake Road being too muddy. (During the 1930s when subdivisions started sprouting up in the village, West Oakland was put through north of Osborn Road and south of Samuel’s house as part of a subdivision.)

Samuel Osborn died in 1897. As the years passed, the Osborn lands now on the corner of West Oakland and Cahoon changed hands many times. The Cahoon family purchased the northern acreage and planted more vineyards. Osborn cousins purchased part of the southern acreage.

I remember the house being empty around the 1960s.The Board of Education purchased the property and turned the Osborn house into their office. It held this position for many years until the school board and Bay Village Library, then on the corner of Wolf and Dover Center roads, decided to swap spaces. The house was demolished by a controlled fire demonstration performed by the Bay Village Fire Department to make way for the new library. The Bay Village Library was built on the property in 1981 and serves the community today.

When the library moves, what comes next for this property?

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 9:56 AM, 02.06.2018