The road less traveled: Old Lake Road by Cahoon Creek

A pedestrian walks across the new Lake Road bridge over Cahoon Creek. The old stone bridge it replaced is in the background.

How many of you know that the road we use today to reach the Bay Boat Club was once Lake Road, used by our early settlers to go back and forth on their way across the township? From the arrival of the Cahoons until 1917 this still-important and visible road was the only way to travel by the Cahoon residence and over Cahoon Creek.

Later this year, the Ohio Department of Transportation will replace the existing bridge over Cahoon Creek, built in 1917. Along with a new bridge with bike lanes, the areas around the bridge will become scenic trails for our residents to enjoy.

There was always a need for a bridge over the creek and as soon as the Cahoons arrived and built their cabin close to the lake on the east side of the creek, they needed a way to cross the creek without getting wet. This area started with a wooden bridge in 1810 built by the Cahoons.

As more people arrived and Lake Road was used more, a field-stone bridge was built. (I do not have a date for the building of this bridge or who built it, the Cahoons or the county.)

The Cahoons owned the land, Lot #95, from Dover Center Road to Huntington Reservation today. As Lake Road passed Dover Center Road headed west, it headed down the hill to the valley and made a right turn heading north, crossing the creek on the stone bridge. After crossing the bridge, the road continued on a straight course, then turned left heading south and climbed the hill, passing north of the Cahoon homestead house and Cahoon Road where it straightened out approaching the Porter Creek valley.

At Cahoon Road, the road bed was further south than it is today. The trench lines and incline just to the south of Lake Road and the beautiful oak tree next to it today, can still be seen disappearing down the east side of the valley to Porter Creek. At Porter Creek the road turned right around the creek, crossed over it and made a left, appearing again coming up the hill, on the north side of Lake Road, same as it does today if you are in the park. The Metroparks replaced this bridge and road with a new stone bridge and new road underneath.

I’m not sure how much of the stone bridge structure at Cahoon Creek remains by the creek today, but maybe the stone could be saved and something done with it at Rose Hill Museum or incorporate it somehow along the new walking and bike paths.

I think about what the Cahoon ladies thought in 1917 as the road and bridge area outside their north door was torn up for the new road which was built much closer to their house. The noise must have been distracting. The ladies were modernists though and probably understood the needs of the new road and bridge. The whole area was changed and graded to conform with the bridge. The three ladies passed away that same year.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:51 AM, 03.05.2019