On a cold and dark winterís night in the 1940s ...
Henry Wischmeyer Sr. arrived in the Western Reserve’s Ohio City in 1854. Working hard, Henry accumulated enough money to purchase two acres of farmland in Dover Township. He planted his fields in grapes as his family had in the old country of Germany.
In 1872, after many years of working his fields, Henry and his wife, Regina, moved their family of seven, including five children – Ida, Olga, Matilda, Julius and Henry Jr. – to Dover Township.
As the years passed, Henry was successful and able to increase his vineyard acreage. Henry’s land stretched from Dover Center Road east along Lake Road to just beyond Glen Park Creek and through the woods south of where Wolf Road is today.
The vineyard was on the south side of Lake Road. On the north side of the road he built a wine cellar and went into the business of making wine. Customers began to come from the city to buy his wine. Henry built a hotel over the wine cellar for his customers. Behind the hotel a boat house, cook house and pavilion for cards, games and dancing were constructed.
Across the street from the hotel the family built a house at 26556 Lake Road. They called it “Granny’s house.” Just west of the house was a barn for the domestic animals, horses and cows. A large, rectangular building for farm machinery and tools was constructed west of the old barn. Sometime in the 1920s, May Company came out to Bay Village and painted their ad across the west side of the building.
By the 1940s, the only Wischmeyer sibling still living was Henry Jr. He lived in Granny’s house and tended the property. One cold and dark winter’s night a fire was ignited inside the tool and machine barn. The old, dry wood flamed up almost immediately and there was no saving the barn and its contents.
Across the street, Rudolph Hubach lived in a small house on land purchased from the Wischmeyers. Rudolph had married a Wischmeyer cousin and had a son, Jay, who served as police chief from 1960-1964. Rudolph took his camera outside and took pictures of the blazing barn. Rudolph loved to take pictures. He has left us a wonderful picture history of the Wischmeyer family which is housed in the Osborn Learning Center. Enjoy Rudolph’s picture of the burning barn.