Then and Now in Dover, Part 5

The circa 1890 George and Cerisa Winslow residence as depicted on a Leiter RPPC in about 1910. The "1792" in the bottom left corner is an image inventory number.

Part five in a series on the "real photo postcards" (RPPCs) of early 20th century Dover, now Westlake and Bay Village.

1890 Residence of George M. and Cerisa M. Winslow at 2840 Dover Center Road

In 1850, 34-year-old John A. Winslow and his 40-year-old wife, Ann Winslow (nee Silverthorn), and their sons David and Edward, all born in England, first show up on the U.S. Census for Dover Township, Ohio. He is a laborer and owns no real estate in 1850. In 1856, for $100, he purchases a quarter-acre parcel near the southeast corner of Dover Center and Center Ridge on what today is a portion of the Rite Aid drugstore parking lot and builds a home. By the 1860 Census, George and Ann have added 8-year-old Maria and 5-year-old George M. Winslow to the family, and John is listed as a farm laborer.

In 1862, for $398, John Winslow purchases 8-½ acres on the west side of Dover Center Road south of Center Ridge. It includes much of the land that the current Porter Library building and south parking lot and  drive from Dover Center Road are constructed on. He continues to live on the east side of Dover and as per the 1870 Census still shares the home with his wife, Ann, 30-year-old son Daniel and 14-year-old son George.

In 1877, 22-year-old George marries 20-year-old Cerisa (possible maiden name Alexander). In 1878 Ann dies and the 1880 Census has the widowed John living with George, Cerisa and their 1-year-old son (his grandson), John A. Winslow. Grandfather John is listed as a farmer and George as an engineer.

In 1883 John Winslow Sr. dies and wills the quarter-acre and house they are living in on the east side of Dover to his youngest son George as well as all but a half-acre of the 8-½ acres on the west side of Dover which goes to George’s older brother Edward. Presumably it is his inheritance which enables him to buy an additional 18 acres in Dover near what is now the North Olmsted border and to build the house that is the subject of this postcard in 1890. George sells his childhood home on the east side of Dover that same year. There is no guessing what year the subject house was built – the 1890 date is clearly visible in the c. 1910 Leiter RPPC (real photo postcard).

Because of the multiple properties owned by the Winslow family we wondered if we could determine for sure where the home on the postcard was located. The intricate Victorian paint scheme on the house made it look unfamiliar. The sidewalk out front was a hint that it was probably near the center of town. It was a joy to discover that the house still stands just south of the Dover Center driveway of the Porter Library at 2940 Dover Center Road. The evergreen trees planted over a hundred years ago have matured and partially obscure the house from Dover Center Road. But there it is, in all its glory, with most of its fancy wood trim still in good condition thanks to the current owner.

William Krause

William R. Krause, AICP I am the Assistant Planning Director for the City of Westlake. I have worked for Westlake for 30 years. I served on the Bay Village Planning Commission for 5 years. I was a member of the Reuben Osborn Learning Center Steering Committee. I was a Board Member and Historian for the Westlake Historical Society and am a Trustee of the Western Reserve Architectural Historians. I have been married to Debra for 38 years and am the father of three grown children, grandfather of four and owner of a Shih Tzu.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 10:05 AM, 03.03.2020