Local History

Local D.A.R. chapter named for the 1st First Lady of the U.S.?

The Martha Devotion Huntington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, based here in Bay Village, was organized on Oct. 5, 1940. It was named to honor Martha Devotion, oldest daughter of Rev. Ebenezer Devotion and Martha Lathrop.

Martha Devotion was married, in 1761, to Samuel Huntington of Connecticut, who became a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Connecticut, and, in 1779, President of the 6th Continental Congress.

No children were born to Martha Huntington and her husband but they adopted two children of his brother, Rev. Joseph Huntington, who were carefully reared and educated. One of these children, Samuel Huntington, became Governor of Ohio, in 1810 and 1811. Martha Huntington died in 1794, in her 56th year and her distinguished husband, two years later, aged 65. Their remains rest side by side in the old burying ground in Norwich, Connecticut.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.15.2022

Westlake Historical Society announces cutest pets for 2022

It is once again time to announce the winners of the Cutest Pets in Westlake for 2022!

Our impartial panel of judges reviewed quite a few entries to choose from, but after much deliberating, have made their choices.

The winners are: "Oliver" in the Feline Division, and "Maggie" in the Canine Division.


Oliver, aka “Ollie,” got his name because his mom believes he looks like an Oliver. He’s an orange tabby domestic short hair with the possible heritage of a Maine Coon cat since he weighs 23 pounds, is tall, long bodied with long legs and a big head. He is a lover, not a fighter, and fancies himself a lap cat; sturdy build and all.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:07 AM, 01.18.2022

Memorial wreaths to be placed this holiday season

For over 10 years, members of the Westlake Historical Society have remembered some of our city's historic families by placing holiday wreathes on their graves.

We believe placing a wreath on a grave is not only a symbol of remembrance, it is a sign of respect for that person, who they were and the contributions they made to our city. We would like to extend the opportunity for you, your family, organization or business to place a holiday wreath this year in memory of your loved ones or one of our pioneer families.

Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will be placing wreaths on graves in both Evergreen Cemetery and Maple Ridge Cemetery until Dec. 10 for those individuals, families or businesses who would like to sponsor a wreath. You or your organization can sponsor a wreath from the historical society for a donation of $25 per wreath, then we will place it at the grave site.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:16 AM, 11.16.2021

Westlake Historical Society's rubber duck race returns

The Westlake Historical Society’s rubber duck race, silent auction, and old-fashioned pie contest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Westlake Recreation Center. Rubber ducks can still be adopted on our website, www.westlakeohiohistory.org, or by calling 216-848-0680.

The winner of the rubber duck race will be awarded cash and merchandise prizes. The event promises to be a lot of fun and begins on Oct. 2 at noon.

The silent auction features over 30 themed baskets and items from different donors including theater tickets, movie night packages, event passes, adult beverages, and many other fantastic items. Donations for the silent auction are still welcome. Call Lysa at 216-848-0680 for information.

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Volume 13, Issue 18, Posted 10:11 AM, 09.21.2021

Historical society honors Westlake victim of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

On the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Westlake Historical Society will again meet at the gravesite of Christina Ryook in Evergreen Cemetery. Members of our society have met there annually since 2006.

Lysa Stanton, Westlake Historical Society president, first became aware of Ms. Ryook’s grave while walking her dog at Evergreen Cemetery. Christina was in the World Trade Center when it was attacked.

Because Christina’s family sometimes travels to New York for commemorative observances, Lysa always makes sure there is a local service on Sept. 11. When the Ryook family is in town, they and the Westlake Historical Society hold a joint service.

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Volume 13, Issue 17, Posted 10:47 AM, 09.08.2021

Grand re-opening of Rose Hill a success

Over 120 visitors converged on Rose Hill Museum on Sunday, July 25. All were impressed on the improvements that have been made over the last several years. Nearly $1,500 was raised for further improvements to the facility.

Apologies to the little lady whose wedding dress was on display. In the last issue of the Observer she was identified incorrectly. Her correct name is Lugene (Luigina) Vicchio. She was born in Santa Sophia, Italy, in 1891 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1911.

Lugene married Frank Vicchio at St. Anthony's Church in Cleveland on April 14, 1912. They raised their eight children in Cleveland before moving to Bay Village in their later years. The dress was donated to the Bay Village Historical Society by Sophie Vicchio in 2006. It continues to be on display in the Victorian Parlor at Rose Hill Museum.

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Volume 13, Issue 15, Posted 9:56 AM, 08.03.2021

Jim Sears receives DAR award for work at Lakeside Cemetery

Jim Sears, a member of the Bay Village Service Department, was awarded an Excellence in Historic Preservation Award on July 8 by our local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

In 2018, the Bay Village Historical Society sponsored Jim’s attendance at a workshop on Gravestone Restoration and Preservation. He put the knowledge he gained at the seminar to work in our small, historic Lakeside Cemetery. He carefully researched the scope of renovation needed for the entire cemetery, and for specific headstones and monuments. 

Jim has restored dozens of stones. Some stones needed raising, straightening and precision cleaning, to make them legible again. At times, heavy equipment was needed. The stones that Jim restored are straighter, brighter and most importantly, legible.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:24 AM, 07.20.2021

Clague Park: A beautiful Westlake treasure

Anyone who has spent any time in Westlake has most likely enjoyed good times at Clague Park at the corner of Hilliard and Clague. The park is officially named “Clague Memorial Park” and was generously donated to Westlake (Dover Village at the time) on Oct. 26, 1926, by Walter and Sophronia Clague, the last remaining survivors of the nine children of Robert and Margaret Clague.

Neither Walter nor his sister, Sophronia, ever married and were the last of the family to reside on the 78-acre farm. Walter had planned for 40 years prior to his death to donate the land to the Village of Dover for the explicit use as a park for the residents of this beautiful area. As the inscription on the large granite monument located in the park across from the Clague family home, now known as the Clague House Museum, reads:

"40 years ago, Walter Clague desired to donate his property for a park, when the opportune time came. This desire was realized on Sat. Oct. 26, 1926, when Dover Village accepted the 78 acres on Clague Rd. for park purposes, which park to be called the Clague Memorial Park, both name and park, for all time."

Clague Park then officially became the first public park in Westlake.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 10:22 AM, 06.02.2021

Survival crackers among items at the Clague Museum

This month, I would like to tell you about the Civil Defense All Purpose Survival Crackers in the Clague House Museum collection.

When the threat of nuclear war in the USA was very possible in the late 1940s to 1960s, it was determined that if anything should happen, people needed some food to sustain them. The decision was to make crackers with bulgur wheat and some other basic ingredients, because this type of wheat is inexpensive, has excellent longevity, and has been used for about 4,000 years.

Many baking companies were contracted by the federal government to make the crackers, including the Cincinnati-based Kroger Company.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 10:16 AM, 06.02.2021

Author and illustrator pens 'Bay Village A to Z'

Joan Hozza Query, an author and illustrator, recently released a book from Bay Village, inspired by Bay Village and for Bay Village.

“Bay Village from A to Z” is an illustrated alphabet book that she created around 1940, when she was 12 years old. The drawings and the verses in the book reflect the spirit of the era and capture the charm of Bay Village, both past and present.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:47 AM, 04.20.2021

Dover the Historical Bear returns

Hey kids (of all ages), I would like to reintroduce myself. My name is "Dover" the wandering Historical Bear from the Westlake Historical Society. You may remember me from my reporting during Westlake's bicentennial year in 2011. I'm back and ready to share more Westlake history. Throughout the year, I will travel to a different location in Westlake and report back to you on what I find!

This month, while I was hanging out in the parlor of the Clague House Museum, I found the new Cat’s Meow replica of Dover Elementary School.

Although I am sad that the school that started in 1949 had to be demolished recently, I am honored to share the same name!

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:42 AM, 04.20.2021

The Cahoon sisters, in living color

When the Covid-19 pandemic caused the temporary closure of Rose Hill Museum in Bay Village’s Cahoon Park, Bay Village Historical President, Cathy Flament, and her staff were given the opportunity to undertake some in-house projects. One of these projects involved the artistic talents of Bay Village resident, Pamela Ebert, who has generously shared her talent with numerous civic organizations.

Several years ago she was commissioned to re-create a charming coloring book featuring numerous historical homes and public buildings in Bay Village.

Last year, Pamela was charged with infusing new life into four cardboard cutouts of the Cahoon sisters. Over the years these cutouts had faded and disintegrated to the point that replacing them seemed the best solution. With the help of a local carpenter and Pamela’s husband, Gary, new plywood silhouettes were created and then handed over to Pamela for painting.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 11:15 AM, 04.06.2021

Bay Village Historical Society seeks pandemic stories

We think everyone would agree that the past year has been historic, and one of the goals of the Bay Village Historical Society is to chronicle history. To that end, the society is asking all Bay Village residents to write up a short article on their thoughts and experiences during this pandemic, a part of history that has touched us all.

Please include: names, ages of family members, a photo if possible, address, a photo of your home if you can, how long have you lived in Bay Village, and your story on how the pandemic has influenced your life, and the life of your family, this past year. These will be stored at the Osborn Learning Center for future generations.

You can send them to BVHS, P.O. Box 40187, Bay Village, OH 44140, or email them to bvhsrosehill@gmail.com. The future thanks you.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 10:40 AM, 04.06.2021

Dover Early Settlers Papers can be viewed online

Did you know that Harriet Beecher Stowe appears in the genealogy of the Foot family?

Did you know that a local boy joined the Ohio Militia under the command of “local popular farmer” and future president Colonel James A. Garfield? Or, that a Dover resident wrote about his children including daughter Elizabeth “killed by Indians”?

These and other fascinating items are included in the Early Settlers Papers project conducted by the Bay Village Historical Society. Close to 600 documents from the collection have been scanned and entered into a museum computer program and are available on the society’s website. The information can be accessed by going to www.bayhistorical.com. On the right side of the page, you will see Document Archive at the bottom of the list. When you click on that, you can view the first page of each document, giving you a glimpse into the past.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 10:28 AM, 03.16.2021

Outdoor pet photos return to Clague House Museum

Did you know that Westlake's beloved Clague family were also pet owners? Old pictures and family stories tell us they owned both dogs and cats, while living on the Clague Road farm.

Many years ago, it was common to have pets working on family farms in places such as Dover, now Westlake. Although most of our beloved pets are not working on farms these days, they are still a big part of our families.

Can you imagine if Sophronia Clague were here today! She would enjoy seeing all the pets at the Clague House having their photos taken. This month you have the opportunity to have your pet's photo taken, as Mr. Bunny returns to the Clague House Museum on Saturday, March 27, for pet photos from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 10:27 AM, 03.16.2021

Rose Hill Museum textile collection documented, preserved

Even though the doors at Rose Hill Museum have been closed to the public for the last year, a lot has been going on to assure that future generations can enjoy its collections.

Volunteers at Rose Hill Museum, under the direction of Bay Village Historical Society President Cathy Flament and working according to COVID-19 safety guidelines, have spent the last 10 months reorganizing, cataloguing and preserving the museum’s costume and textile collection. Flament said that she would like to recognize the efforts of former Rose Hill Director Janet Zvara and faithful volunteers Marj Elhardt, Sue Jachnick and Diane Pavan, in particular. Of the 2,000 items in the collection, more than 800 items had never been documented. Each item had to be stored in archivally appropriate materials to protect it for generations to come.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:15 AM, 02.02.2021

Candy bouquets return for Valentineís Day

Cupid here, I just want to remind you that The Westlake Historical Society will once again be offering treats for Valentine’s Day.

This year we will offer several choices, including our always popular Chocolate Lovers Bouquet! The Candy Variety option is a mix of popular chocolates and other types of candies. All choices include a reusable mug.

If candy is not something you plan to give to that special someone, try our tea bouquet. This bouquet consists of a great assortment of individually wrapped tea bags.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:08 AM, 02.02.2021

Museum offers Little Free Library in memory of Sophronia Clague

Years ago, the idea of offering a Little Free Library at the Clague Museum was certainly on our wish list. With the museum library now closed due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, we believe this little outdoor library is a great asset to our community.

Currently, more than 100,000 Little Free Libraries are registered in over 100 countries of the world. We were proud to receive our charter this past summer. It is sometimes referred to as Lysa’s Little Free Library at the Clague House Museum.

Our Little Free Library is dedicated to the memory of Sophronia Clague, a former school teacher who was also a large supporter of reading. Upon her passing, Sophronia Clague not only asked that a library be established at the Clague House, but also donated a large sum of money to the local community library.

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Volume 12, Issue 24, Posted 9:51 AM, 12.15.2020

Westlake Historical Society placing holiday wreaths

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Show me first the graveyards of a country, and I will tell you the true character of the people.”

For over 10 years, the Westlake Historical Society has been placing holiday wreaths on the graves of founding and pioneer citizens of early Dover (now Westlake). We believe placing a wreath on a grave is not only a symbol of remembrance, it is a sign of respect for that person and who they were.

We would like to extend the opportunity for you, your family, organization, group or business to place a wreath this year in memory of one of our pioneer families or one of your loved ones. Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will be placing wreaths soon at Evergreen, Maple Ridge, and surrounding cemeteries.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:21 AM, 11.17.2020

Former Horseshoe Inn building rides into the sunset

You have probably seen the “Store Closing” and “Building Sold” signs at Warner Interiors at 23123 Center Ridge. By the time this story is published the store will have closed. The building will be torn down to make way for The Villas at Westin Pointe – a project spearheaded by Drew Siley of Liberty Development, consisting of 25 two-story townhouses.

The building was constructed initially as the Horseshoe Inn by the Lemieux family in about 1918 after they purchased land on the south side of Center Ridge from the Sperry family. The Sperry family had owned and operated the Sperry Inn since 1824 just west of this site (approximately where Pebblebrook is now located).

It was in 2010 when descendants of the Lemieux family stopped in to talk to me with pride about their family and the Horseshoe Inn. They shared pictures with me which accompany this article and details about it which I have since lost. What I do know is that on April 9, 1917, Hannah Lemieux purchased a 12-acre site extending west from the Rocky River border from Scott and Sarah Sperry.

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Volume 12, Issue 19, Posted 9:53 AM, 10.06.2020

New housing option coming to Bay

Bay Village elected officials joined with building and development company leaders on Aug. 6 for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of Bay Creek townhouses, on Wolf Road between Cahoon Creek and the Bay Village Square plaza.

Bay Creek is the first cluster housing development to be built in the city since Cahoon Ledges in 2007. The project was developed by Liberty Development and is being constructed by Bay-owned Oster Services.

“Back in 2011, City Council rezoned this property with an eye toward creating development in the village center and in 2017 we formalized that thought by completing a citywide master plan,” Mayor Paul Koomar said at the ceremony. “Part of this was to try and revitalize the village center, keep the character of Bay that we all want and love, but we also know we need to make continued reinvestment in our community. We're really excited to see this project come in."

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Volume 12, Issue 16, Posted 9:18 AM, 08.18.2020

Westlake Historical Society president honored with achievement award

Congratulations to our Westlake Historical Society President, Lysa Stanton, on receiving the Individual Achievement Award given by the Ohio Local History Alliance.

Each year, the Ohio History Alliance presents awards honoring outstanding work in local history in our state. Individual Achievement Awards recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to Ohio’s historical societies, history museums, or the understanding and appreciation of state and local history.

Lysa’s nomination was accompanied by a three-ring binder with letters of recommendation for the award, as well as support material such as news clippings, activity information, lesson plans, publicity and photos.

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Volume 12, Issue 16, Posted 9:14 AM, 08.18.2020

Kay Laughlin, Bay Village historian, passes away

Kay Rothaermel Laughlin, Bay Village historian and longtime Westlake | Bay Village Observer columnist, has died.

She was born Feb. 21, 1937, and passed away July 25, 2020.

Kay was the daughter of the late J. Ross and Alberta (Wurtz) Rothaermel, wife of Gerald Lee Laughlin (married 62 years), sister of Barbara Walker and twin sister, Gay Menning (deceased), mother of Christopher (Connie), Kathy Ann and Thomas (Kelly), grandmother of Sara and Abigail.

Bay Village has lost its historian. No one knew more about Bay Village's history than Kay. She knew all the facts and people that she wove into stories. She had a remarkable memory that served her well all her life. Bay Village's history became her most enjoyable hobby. She lived in Bay Village all her life.

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 9:55 AM, 08.04.2020

Bay's Moses Cleaveland Trees revisited

This column is dedicated to fellow Observer columnist Kay Laughlin who died July 25. Kay was also THE historian for the Bay Village Historical Society. She, and her twin sister Gay Menning, were the primary co-authors of “Bay Village: A Way of Life” published by the Bay Village Historical Society.

In 2019 Kay wrote an article lamenting the loss of what she thought was the last designated Moses Cleaveland Tree in Bay Village. This led me to do an article about the Moses Cleaveland Trees of Westlake. In the meantime a reader contacted the Observer stating that they still had a plaqued Moses Cleaveland Tree in their yard on Sunset Drive in Bay.

The Moses Cleaveland Tree project started in 1946 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Moses Cleaveland landing here in 1796. Its goal was to designate and plaque 150 trees that were growing in the Cleveland area when Moses Cleaveland arrived.

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 9:52 AM, 08.04.2020

Westlake history marches on

During the first few months of this year, members of the Westlake Historical Society were preparing for and anticipating an incredibly busy 2020 season! We were pleased to offer tours of the Clague House Museum in February, and again in March with Mayor Dennis Clough as our guest tour guide. 

We were planning our 50th annual Antique, Vintage, and Craft Show, as well as our Evergreen Cemetery Tour, Ice Cream Social, Pet Photos, and our very popular Rubber Duck Race and Silent Auction.

Instead, in an effort to help keep our community safe, we closed our doors to the public, following the Governor’s orders and recommendations to implement social distancing. Currently, a skeleton crew of volunteers are maintaining the Clague House and Lilly Weston museums.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:08 AM, 07.07.2020

The Wall

An interesting thing happened in Council Chambers of Bay Village City Hall last month.

The Chambers have been very quiet lately, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and corresponding regulations concerning public gatherings. So, the Service Department seized the opportunity to remove two panels of the north wall in the Council Chambers that were leaking an unknown substance to remove the substance and repair the wall. They told me to stay away from the area for two full days, but I could return to my office directly behind Council Chambers on Wednesday, May 20.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 11:10 AM, 06.02.2020

Things Remembered: Bay High School class of 1970 prom

Fifty years ago, the 1970s opened with a bang: The 26th Amendment granted 18-year-olds the right to vote; Apollo 13 launched on a fateful mission to the moon; and Bay High School’s class of 1970 attended prom. While seemingly superfluous, prom’s place on the national conscious can be traced across three centuries, providing generations of Americans with eager anticipation and entertaining anecdotes.

Prom’s history begins in the latter half of the 19th century; a well-known early mention is in the papers of a student at the all-male Amherst College, who in 1894 attended a dinner and dance with the students of the neighboring all-female Smith College. Throughout the early 1900s prom shifted to high school students, becoming a nationwide event in the latter half of the 1930s. Postwar economics allowed the 1950s elevation of prom from the high school gymnasium to the country club ballroom, and a swanky iteration of prom stepped forth in style.

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 9:40 AM, 05.05.2020

Neighbors buy matching century home plaques

Clark and Barb Young recently purchased a century home plaque for their Electric Drive home from the Bay Village Historical Society. Neighbors Bob and Loreen Dorin saw it and were so impressed they purchased one for their Florence Road home. The Bay Village Historical Society makes available plaques to the owners of homes in the city that are more than 100 years old.

The plaques, made of cast aluminum and colored black and gold, are 10 inches by 14 inches oval, and include the words “Bay Village,” “Century Home” and the year of construction.

The cost is $125, which includes delivery and a one-year membership in the Bay Village Historical Society, a $35 value. For more information call 216-386-5997 or visit www.bayhistorical.com.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 9:04 AM, 04.21.2020

Then and Now in Dover, Part 6

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

Previous Pandemics in Dover

According to the CDC, in February 1957 a new influenza A (H2N2) virus emerged in East Asia, triggering a pandemic (“Asian Flu”). It was reported in the coastal areas of the U.S. in the summer of 1957.

It was during the election of November 1957 that 5,000 residents registered to vote in the Village of Westlake. Having 5,000 voters was one way to achieve city status in Ohio and Westlake was declared a city in December of that year.

How many residents in Westlake and Bay Village were sickened or died from this flu is unknown to the writer but the CDC states that the pandemic continued into 1958, therefore this pandemic and the creation of Westlake as a city were simultaneous (but not “hand-in-hand,” if social distancing was in place).

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.07.2020

Then and Now in Dover, Part 5.2

An addendum to 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

[Note: the address was given incorrectly as 2940 in the last article about this house (“Part 5”).]

Cerisa Alexander was the granddaughter of Dover pioneers James and Hannah Alexander. Her parents, Silas and Harriett, were married in Cuyahoga County in 1834. Cerisa was the ninth of their 10 children. Alexander Road in North Olmsted is named for the family.

On Feb. 13, 1878, George M. Winslow married Cerisa M. Alexander. George’s mother, Ann, had died just weeks before. The 1880 U.S. Census has the widowed John (age 63) living with George (25), Cerisa (22) and their son John A. Winslow (1).

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:44 AM, 03.17.2020

Dog and cat share honors as Westlake's cutest pet

For the first time since the Westlake Historical Society's cutest pet contest began, there was a tie between a dog and a cat. This year’s winners are: Owen, a 3-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi; and Spanky, a 16-year-old Himalayan cat.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:08 AM, 01.21.2020

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center celebrates 75th anniversary

The curiosity of a child inspired Elberta Fleming to create a nature center for children. While working at the front desk of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, a young boy approached her to ask about the butterfly in his hand. This serendipitous moment sparked an awe-inspiring conversation for the child and demonstrated to Elberta the power of discovery through hands-on learning.

In 1945, Elberta founded a “Junior Museum” in her home in Bay Village with a display of animals in her backyard, nature specimens throughout her home and a compelling vision to teach nature and science to people in the community. As a mother, artist and environmental advocate, her vision fueled the early formation of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center from modest beginnings.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 9:51 AM, 01.21.2020

Westlake themed items make your holiday bright

The  holiday shopping season has begun! Often, consumers are asked to shop locally during this time of year; what is more local than your Westlake Historical Society?

The historical society has a number of items that are fun, interesting and celebrate Westlake's proud history. There are several choices that cover everything from historical coloring books, to several Cat's Meow replicas of local buildings such as the Clague House Museum, Lilly Weston House, and the vintage fire truck (circa 1937).

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Volume 11, Issue 23, Posted 10:08 AM, 12.03.2019

Santa returns to Clague House Museum in December

As you start your holiday shopping list, please take time to stop by the Clague House Museum for your holiday pet photos with our lovable Santa Claus for a $10 suggested donation. Families, individuals, groups and children are also welcome to get photos taken with Santa. You are welcome to take your own photos too!

The photo dates available are Wednesday, Dec. 4, 6-9 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 7, noon-5 p.m. To make your appointment, please call Lysa at 440-808-1961 or 216-848-0680. Don’t delay, time slots fill up quickly!

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Volume 11, Issue 22, Posted 9:23 AM, 11.19.2019

Westlake Historical Society to place holiday wreaths

For nearly 10 years, members of the Westlake Historical Society have remembered some of our city's historic families by placing holiday wreathes on their graves.

We believe placing a wreath on a grave is not only a symbol of remembrance, it is a sign of respect for that person, who they were and the contributions they made to our city. We would like to extend the opportunity for you, your family, organization or business to place a Christmas wreath this year in memory of your loved ones or one of our pioneer families.

Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will be placing wreaths on graves in both Evergreen Cemetery and Maple Ridge Cemetery until Dec. 10 for those individuals, families or businesses who would like to sponsor a wreath. You or your organization can sponsor a wreath from the historical society for a donation of $20 per wreath, then we will place it at the grave site.

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Volume 11, Issue 21, Posted 9:23 AM, 11.05.2019

Tracing the history of the Lora A. and Russell A. Pease home

Dover Center Road house, circa 1923, was one of first built as Westlake transitioned from farmland to suburb

Most of the nearly 200 century homes in Westlake are vernacular farmhouses rather than “high style.” That is, they were built to be functional domestic dwellings rather than making an architectural statement or appearing monumental.

The exception are some of the homes along the section of Dover Center Road between Hilliard Boulevard and Center Ridge Road which include  a cluster of existing “high style” early homes in Westlake which were designed to make an architectural statement and appear monumental. This area is a prime candidate for a local historic district designation one day. One of enigmatic jewels of this stretch of road is a substantial brick home on the northwest corner of Dover Center Road and Seneca Drive.

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Volume 11, Issue 20, Posted 9:27 AM, 10.15.2019

Bronze memorial plaque makes unique gift

Each Memorial Day, The Bay Village Foundation hosts a well-attended public ceremony in Cahoon Park. The event honors friends and family with the dedication of a beautiful bronze plaque. For some families in the past, this was their perfect gift for a loved one.

A bronze plaque is engraved with personalized text and permanently installed on the footbridge of the T. Richard Martin walking trail overlooking the lake in Cahoon Memorial Park.

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Volume 11, Issue 20, Posted 9:28 AM, 10.15.2019

Dover's agricultural roots: Limpertís Fruit Farm, Part 4

Part four of a four-part series on the Limpert family and their bygone fruit farm on Detroit Road in Westlake. The property is up for sale.

At one time the Westlake Historical Society maintained tan colored loose-leaf binders of information, much of which was incorporated in the book “You’ve Come a Long Way Westlake...” by William Robishaw. One article that didn’t make it into the book is a long letter written by Fern Standen Crehan to Mae Weston, dated Feb. 5, 1969. In this letter the elderly Mrs. Crehan reminisces about her childhood years growing up on her grandfather George Standen’s farm. The Standen farmhouse was located where Earth To You is located now (26690 Detroit Road).

Fern describes in detail her neighbors from New England and those of direct English and German descent who occupied the farms along Detroit Road in the 1890s and early 1900s. She states that between Bradley Road and east past Clague Road grape vineyards lined most of both sides of the Detroit Road – or as they knew it, North Ridge Road. She said there were also patches of berries, orchards of plum, pear and apple, but vineyards took up most of the landscape.

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Volume 11, Issue 19, Posted 9:16 AM, 10.01.2019

Tracing the Limpert family's immigration to Dover: Limpertís Fruit Farm, Part 3

Part three of a four-part series on the Limpert family and their bygone fruit farm on Detroit Road in Westlake. The property is up for sale.

Claire Gebben, an author and native of the Cleveland area whose German ancestor came to Cleveland in 1857 to become an apprentice blacksmith in his uncle’s carriage works, has written several books about her German relatives in Cleveland. The first is a historical novel titled “The Last of the Blacksmiths” and the second a memoir, “How We Survive Here: Families Across Time.”

Interesting things I have learned or have had re-iterated to me from her books about German immigration to Cleveland include:

  • Chain migration, when one member or nuclear family of an extended family immigrates and creates a “beachhead” for later members of the extended family to immigrate was common;
  • Many of the German immigrants around 1850 were called “’48-ers” because they were members of the German society who had fought for the unification of the many German-speaking kingdoms into one country and for a measure of democracy, they faced persecution and possible imprisonment if they remained, therefore they came to the United States from all strata of society, not just the lowest ones;
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Volume 11, Issue 18, Posted 9:14 AM, 09.17.2019

Limpertís Fruit Farm, Part 2: Dover's grape-growing legacy

Part two of a four-part series on the Limpert family and their bygone fruit farm on Detroit Road in Westlake. The property is up for sale.

I first became aware of the Limpert property during the 1990s when inspecting some new construction at St. Paul’s church and school next door. The property looked like a farming time capsule with “ancient” abandoned farming equipment scattered around the property. The last owner named Limpert, Carl, died in 1998 and the current owner inherited the property through probate court in 2000. Residents of Settler’s Reserve subdivision say the vineyards have not been tended for at least 15 years and it is probably more likely the 21 years since Carl Limpert died.

The book “You’ve Come a Long Way Westlake…” states that around 1900 Dover was the second largest grape producer in the United States and in 1930 had over 1,200 acres of fields devoted to vineyards. In those days Dover wines were prized and Limpert’s Winery had a wine press used to press grapes to extract the grape juice.

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Volume 11, Issue 17, Posted 9:54 AM, 09.04.2019