Washington & Harriet Lawrence Estate, 23200 Lake Road

Washington & Irene Lawrence Mansion, 23200 Lake Road, c. 1899. Photo by Will Krause

The 26th and 27th in a series of articles to be published as a walking tour of Lake Road by the Bay Village Historical Society in 2026. The articles profile the oldest to the newest minimum-century-old artifacts.

Washington Lawrence, born in Olmsted Falls in 1840, married Harriett Collister in 1863 and they raised seven daughters.  By 1883 the Lawrences owned a summer home in Dover-Bay Colony, located near the eastern border of Bay Village.

In 1890 he developed here, for his family and friends, one of the oldest golf courses in the United States, the Dover-Bay Country Club.

Up to the time of his death in 1900, Lawrence was president of the National Carbon Company. He eventually purchased additional land east of Clague Road to the township line and south to the railroad tracks.

This Richardsonian Romanesque style brick and stone mansion took multiple years to build. The family began occupying it in 1899. It was still not completed when Washington died in 1900 of an illness after surviving a fall from the second floor of this house while he was inspecting its construction.

The new mansion included 10 bedrooms, a ballroom and quarters for seven servants. Harriett died in 1919 and heirs sold the property to the Sheppard family in 1948 for use as a hospital. In the 1980s the mansion became the centerpiece of the Cashelmara condominium project.  

Irene Lawrence Fuller & Frederick Fuller Cottage, c. 1893, 28795 Lake Road (formerly located at 23048 Lake Road)

Edna Irene Lawrence was born in 1875, the fourth daughter of Washington and Harriet Lawrence. She married Frederick Fuller in 1898. It is said that this home, originally located on a hill east of the Lawrence Mansion, was renovated and given to the couple as a wedding present.

Irene and Frederick occupied the home with their three children. The home is a Queen Anne Victorian style. When the Lawrence Mansion became a hospital, this house was used as a nurses’ residence.

In 1954, Dr. Richard Sheppard Sr. and his wife made this their home. Their infamous son, Sam Sheppard, was arrested on the porch for the murder of his wife, Marilyn, shortly after.

In 1981, then-Baycrafters director Sally Price was instrumental in saving the house when the Lawrence Estate was developed into the Cashelmara condominiums.

In 1984 it made international news when it was floated by barge on Lake Erie to its new location. It sat empty for 25 years while funds were raised for its renovation which took place 2009 to 2011. It is now an integral part of the BAYarts campus.

William Krause

William R. Krause, retired as the Assistant Planning Director of the City of Westlake in 2020 after over 30 years with the city. He also served on the Bay Village Planning Commission for 9 years. He was a trustee for the Bay Village Historical Society from 2020 to 2021 and a former board member of the Westlake Historical Society. He was chair of their Lilly Weston Committee and was a member of the Reuben Osborn Learning Center Steering Committee. He is currently a Trustee of the Western Reserve Architectural Historians and the Gates Mills Historical Society. He has been married to Debra for 42 years and is the father of three grown children, grandfather of six and co-owner of a Yellow Lab named Sadie.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:01 AM, 02.06.2024