Circa 1874 Guild home may be saved on-site

The Guild home, former dental offices of Dr. William Bennett, located at 2650 Dover Center Road, was featured in a cover article of this publication about a month ago. The Bennetts, who own the home, were seeking to donate the home to someone willing to relocate it. Several individuals have come forward interested in obtaining the structure in the event it needs to be removed.

After further consideration, the Bennetts are now open to selling the land, located near the northwest corner of Dover Center and Center Ridge roads, along with the structure, allowing the house to remain on its original property. They can be contacted at 440-835-5033 for more information.

The property is zoned General Business and Westlake codes permit it to be used for offices, various service uses such as beauty, barber and hair salons, photographic studios and decorating shops or the sale, teaching or creation of arts, crafts, antiques, flowers, gifts or jewelry. Other types of retail uses may be permitted with a conditional use permit obtained from Westlake City Council. For more information about permitted uses contact the Westlake Planning Department at 440-617-4309.

A mid-20th century photograph of the structure was unearthed on a tax card at the Cuyahoga County Archives. It shows that there was once a flat, hooded entrance into the structure where there is currently a quaint red brick chimney on the front façade. A notation on the card indicates that the chimney was added in 1965. Somewhere along the line the records for the 1874 Guild house became confused with those of a later home owned by Mary Ann Guild which was immediately next door to the south and torn down in 1968 to build the now vacant Shell/Getgo gas station. This later home is the one that was immediately north of the Dover Masonic building and most likely the one once occupied by the offices of Dr. Pease.

As mentioned in the previous article, Fayette Guild was probably the original owner of 2650 Dover Center Road. He had purchased the land from his father Lawrence W. Guild in 1871. It is unclear why he and his wife Floanna Hayes Guild sold the property to his step-mother Mary Ann in 1884. The 1900 Census records have Fayette and Floanna still residing in Dover with their 9-year-old son Albert C. Guild and Fayette still listed as a harness maker. In 1906 Floanna died of a cerebral hemorrhage. In 1917 Fayette died at age 66. Both are buried at Evergreen Cemetery.

An 1892 map shows Mary Ann Guild with a half-acre parcel probably containing the 1874 house and L.W. Guild, her husband, with a structure directly on the northwest corner. Lawrence died in 1899 and Mary Ann inherited his property. The 1900 Federal Census lists Mary Ann as a farmer and as the head of a household living in Dover with her 15-year-old granddaughter, Hatty. In 1909 Lawrence’s former corner parcel became the site of the three-story brick Dover Masonic Temple building. The 1910 Federal Census has Mary Ann still in Dover, still the head of a household which now includes her married 25-year-old “daughter” Harriet Cline, “son” (in-law) Harlan Cline and their 4-year-old son Lawrence. Harlan is a letter carrier.

By 1920 Mary Ann’s half-acre parcel contains three structures, one of which matches the footprint of the Bennett building exactly. The 1920 census has Mary Ann living alone and she dies in 1927. She joins the rest of the family at Evergreen Cemetery. Her estate is settled by none other than A. E. Weston (a descendent of George Weston – of the Lilly/Weston house). As part of the settling of her estate the subject house is sold to L. E. Hayes.

Except for their cemetery plot, the Guild house is the last remaining link to this early family of Dover.

William Krause

William R. Krause, AICP I am the Assistant Planning Director for the City of Westlake. I have worked for Westlake for 25 years. I served on the Bay Village Planning Commission for 5 years. I am a Board Member and Historian for the Westlake Historical Society and a Trustee of the Western Reserve Architectural Historians. I have been married to Debra for 33 years and am the father of three grown children, grandfather of one and owner of two Shih Tzu's.

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Volume 6, Issue 13, Posted 9:11 AM, 06.24.2014