Westshore Wanders

Native Tree Cover

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Ohio Coastal Atlas Third Edition was published in 2018 by ODNR's Office of Coastal Management. It features information on the Lake Erie Watershed, including a series of maps on just about any topic one can think of. It is available to view online at ohiodnr.gov and also as a free print publication.

One of the many maps in the Atlas is one showing a snapshot of the natural vegetation that was original to Ohio’s Lake Erie region at the time of European exploration and settlement (circa 1800). While much of this vegetation has been replaced by man-made surfaces and landscaping, if one looks carefully at our current environment some of this native vegetation can be observed, particularly ancient trees and their descendants.

The same topography, soils, micro-climates and general drainage patterns have persisted until now to support the same types of trees that have grown in northeast Ohio since a few thousand years after the last ice age ended.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.04.2021

Rebuilt Westshore home pays tribute to original iron works legacy

On the cusp of the western cliff overlooking the Cleveland Yacht Club in Rocky River is a home that looks like it belongs in Boston or on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It is built in the form of a Neoclassical block. A pillared portico with two levels faces the Rocky River and a simple classical façade with a Palladian window faces Frazier Drive. A plaque on a pillar near the front door tells part of the story of this home. It was designed by the architectural firm Scaries, Hirsch & Gavin. It is fitting that the brick pillars that frame the front entrance along the sidewalk support a wrought iron fence.

The plaque states that the home was originally constructed for the James Van Dorn family in 1906.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 10:35 AM, 04.06.2021

What's in a name, anyway?

As part of a new year, I would like to introduce a new column called “Westshore Wanders.” By definition a “wander” is an act or instance of wandering. “Wanders” is the plural form of the noun. To wander is to walk or move in a leisurely, casual or aimless way. There is something very relaxing about the word. Relaxing is something we could all use more of about now. To wander is to ramble, amble or stroll … ahhhh.

“Westshore Wanders” is also a play of words on “Westshore Wonders” as per the internet sometimes people confuse the two words wander and wonder. The bottom line is that there are lots of wonderful historic things in our little beachy slice of the Cleveland area.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 9:58 AM, 01.19.2021