Snippets Of Bay Village History

Finding the 'stuff' of my life

I am moving. I’m selling my house after living in it 48 years. I’m cleaning out my life. When I found this house at 26758 Russell Road, in the horseshoe, I was home. It was perfect.

Over the years I have kept too many things, "my stuff," I call it. So I am leafing through my stuff and I come across a mimeographed copy of the words and music for the Bay High Fight Song from 1946. Then I open some more music and see it is the World War II black music with the white lettering. During WWII, this was the only thing you could buy.

My family was very music oriented. My grandfather bought my mother a baby grand piano for her 14th birthday and it sat in the living room of our house. She could play anything in the popular music genre. My sisters, Barb and Gay, and I took lessons from a lady, Miss Quinn, at Cook and Detroit roads in Lakewood. Barb could really play the piano. She went to Chicago one summer to take lessons under Dr. Rudolph Ganz at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. I still have all of her classical music books plus a few John Thompsons.

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Volume 10, Issue 21, Posted 9:55 AM, 11.06.2018

The Osborn family

The Osborn family is one of the oldest families in Bay Village and in the United States. They arrived in the United States 100 years before the Revolutionary War.

Reuben Osborn lived in Woodbridge, Connecticut, and married Sarah Johnson from the same town in 1802. Reuben and Sarah arrived in Dover Township with their two children, Polly and Selden, on May 17, 1811.

They were greeted by Sarah’s sister, Rebecca, and her husband, Asahel Porter, who had arrived in Dover on Oct. 10, 1810, the same day as the Cahoons.

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Volume 10, Issue 19, Posted 9:51 AM, 10.02.2018

The Wischmeyers' backyard playground

The Wischmeyer family that built a hotel on our lake shore at the Glen Park Creek and Lake Road really enjoyed Lake Erie. They used the lake every day for swimming, fishing and boating. They offered their summer guests rides in their motor-boat and sails on their sail boat. They took them fishing in their rowboats. They fished for food for their guests.

Above the lake on a point overlooking Glen Park Creek, they made an observation deck with benches. Guests were invited to watch the sunrise or sunset while sitting on the benches enjoying the cool lake breezes. Life was good.

The Wischmeyer family first settled in Dover Township in 1872. They tilled their fields and put in grape vineyards, built a wine cellar for the wine they made and sold, built a hotel for their overnight guests, a card and dance pavilion, and boat house. Then they welcomed travelers and city families to the lake for their summer vacation.

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Volume 10, Issue 16, Posted 8:47 AM, 08.21.2018

Elizabeth Hughes Cahoon, 1830-1914

On Dover Center Road just south of the old Broadview Savings and Loan branch office (the current Citizens Bank building) is a small Victorian farmhouse. What is the story behind this house? Who lived there? Who built it?

Elizabeth Hughes grew up in a log cabin on the Ohio River in Cleves, Ohio. Her next door neighbors were Joel and Margaret Cahoon, living in their log cabin. As children growing up together, Joel and Margaret's son Tom Cahoon and Elizabeth played together and became good friends.

When the Cahoon family moved north to Dover Township, Elizabeth and Tom kept in contact through letters and visits. As young adults, they married in 1860, in the Hughes' log cabin, and moved to Cleveland. Tom and Elizabeth had a daughter they named Effie.

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Volume 10, Issue 15, Posted 9:45 AM, 08.07.2018

Marvel E. Sebert, a most admired English teacher

On the third floor of old Parkview School in the northwest classroom with two walls of windows overlooking Cahoon Memorial Park and Lake Erie, Marvel Sebert held court, teaching English to Bay High School students for 36 years. It was the "coolest" classroom in the building. Miss Sebert was greatly admired by her students. She made you understand and enjoy the English language.   

The class of 1947 dedicated their Bay Blue Book to her. Here is what they wrote:

"We the senior class of 1947, wish to dedicate this book which means so much to us, to one who has meant even more to us. She has encouraged us when we were troubled, scolded us when we needed a restraining hand, laughed with us in our fun,  assisted all along the way, and has been not only an adviser but a pal. This friend whom we so greatly appreciate is Marvel E. Sebert."

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 9:24 AM, 06.19.2018

The Cahoon homestead house, Rose Hill Museum, turns 200 years old

In 1818, Joseph Cahoon and his son, Joel, using a simple carpenter’s manual, built the Cahoon homestead house on the west hill above Cahoon Creek, in the style of the gristmill that sat below in the valley. The house contained four rooms up and four rooms down with double-sided lake stone fireplaces in the middle of the four rooms down.

The walls were built of strong oak trees and the floors were poplar. The stairs wrapped around the fireplace on the north side with steps to the upstairs rooms. The basement, open to the east, housed a large stone fireplace for cooking and processing meats. The walls contained white oak lath sprung between the joists. The plaster was horsehair and the green tree plugs, heated and pounded into the beams and then allowed to cool, replaced hard-to-find iron nails.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.05.2018

The home front: I remember WWII

If you were alive during World War II, you were caught up in the atmosphere. It was a time you never forgot.

I was just a little girl. I do not remember Pearl Harbor being attacked. My first remembrance is a voice coming from the orange dial on our console radio. Gabriel Heatter is saying, “Good evening, everyone. There’s good news tonight.” His trademark sign-on was followed by the bad news. He scared me to death. The newspapers had maps with red and blue lines showing how far we had advanced or retreated.

Each neighborhood had an air raid warden and helpers. Ours were my dad, Larry Carman, Ralph Wieland, Harold Inwood and Art Hook. The top guy was known as the chief block head. We would practice blackouts by pulling down the shades while the dads patrolled the neighborhood with flashlights, looking for anything out of place. Spooky times for a little kid.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 9:28 AM, 05.15.2018

Joseph Waldeck

Joseph Waldeck came into Dover Township in 1899. Joseph was the superintendent of the American Steel & Wire Company on East 55th Street in Cleveland. His brother had just purchased a farm in the township where Lakewood Country Club is today, and Joseph considered buying one himself.

Casper Wuebker worked at American Steel & Wire. He lived in West Dover on Bradley Road south of the railroad tracks. He informed Joseph of a farm for sale on Bassett Road. The farm was owned by A.C. and Emma Phinney. The Phinneys had moved to Lake Road on the east end of the township on the lake (Cashelmara today). Porter Creek ran through the property and all told the farm contained 23 acres. Neighbors were Reuben Osborn and the Albers family.

The Waldeck farm was on Lot 83 on the east side of Bassett Road. The first owner of the property had been Caleb Eddy in 1826. At this time, Bassett Road had wide drainage ditches on either side of it, with an iron plank floor bridge across Porter Creek. Joseph built a fine new stucco house on the south bank of the creek behind where the Caleb Eddy house had stood. The address today is 503 Bassett Road. The house was built by Arthur Hagedorn who lived south of him on Bassett Road.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.01.2018

Bay United Methodist Church to receive Ohio Historical Marker

The Story of Elizabeth Tryon Sadler and the Bay United Methodist Church

The Bay United Methodist Church is receiving an Ohio Historical Marker to commemorate the site and give credence to the importance of this church in our town. The new marker will be arriving in June, our 191st anniversary. Many of Bay Village’s first settlers were members of this church. The names of Sadler, Cahoon, Osborn, Foote, Aldrich, Drake, Tuttle, Eddy, Dodd and Mathews, to name a few, are written in the history kept at the church. Their work ethic, will to succeed, thrust for knowledge and strong faith are the backbone of what Bay Village is today. 

Elizabeth Tryon Sadler, (1792/3-1872) grew up in Pennsylvania. Her parents were strict and devoted Methodists who didn‘t play cards, dance or drink. She was named Elizabeth, the connotation being consecrated to God, and she was true to her name. With prior training and Christian example she was early led to give her heart to God, and united with the Methodist Church when about 10 years old.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 9:45 AM, 04.17.2018

George Meyers, a favorite teacher and distinguished educator

“My favorite teacher was ...” is a subject often discussed when remembering school days. Teachers are remembered because he/she taught us something we still use, were kind, understanding, fair or gave of their time.

My sister, Gay, and I were having trouble with algebra in the ninth grade. One day, after class, we walked up to our teacher, George Meyer’s, desk and explained our problem. He said, “Next period is my free period. I will be in this room. I’ll give you a hall pass and you can come in and I’ll help you.” I don’t remember how long we spent with Mr. Meyers on his free period, but we did figure out algebra. We never forgot his kindness.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:11 AM, 03.20.2018

Dover Center Road, Bay Village, circa 1920

Thanks to John Peterson, the Bay Village Historical Society is in the possession of a picture of Dover Center Road in the 1920s. This is the only picture I know of, and it tells a story. It reminds me of a friendly street with all the trees.

The two Blaha/Peterson buildings are on the left. Bill Blaha, John’s granddad, built the two-story brick building in 1926 after running the Edwards Foods grocery store in the old Cahoon Store since 1914. In 1926, Marie Blaha, Bill’s daughter, opened a beauty parlor in the clapboard building Bill had built next door for his meat market. Behind the beauty parlor was the first building Bill built on his new property. It was a double-bay auto garage. Out by the curb on Dover Center was a Standard Oil gas pump.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.06.2018

A life cut short too soon: Leverett Judson Cahoon

Leverett Judson Cahoon – named for his Uncle Leverett Johnson and a Baptist minister, Rev. Judson – is described as having a happy, cheerful disposition, full of energy and with the ability to plan and carry out whatever he attempted. He grew up working on the family farm with his brothers and father.

Leverett, born Nov. 16, 1845, was the eighth child of Margaret and Joel Cahoon and the grandson of Joseph and Lydia Cahoon, first settlers of Dover Township in 1810. The family history tells that Leverett was very promising, possessing rare learning abilities at an early age. This he improved by studying at the district and select schools in the area. It was the family’s wish that Leverett attend college. However, at age 17, his father became ill and immobile.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 9:36 AM, 02.20.2018

Samuel Foster Osborn’s little corner of the world

Samuel Osborn, son of Nancy Ruple and Seldon Osborn, was given a gift of land on Cahoon Road by his grandfather, Reuben Osborn. His land ran down the west side of Cahoon Road just past the Cahoon vineyards (where the Bay Middle School is today) south to the Oviatt Mills and farm. Samuel farmed 76 acres at this site in Lot 85.

The two main roads in North Dover Township were Lake Road and Detroit Road. To the east off of Cahoon Road was the path that ran over Cahoon Creek by way of the Oviatt bridge by the Oviatt mills to Dover Center Road. (Today, Dover Commons and West Oviatt Road.)

Samuel Osborn married Mary Crocker, daughter of Sylvanus and Sarah Crocker, and built a house at 502 Cahoon Road. They had eight children: Clayton Seldon, Florence, Nettie Pearl, Nellie, Ray Sylvanus, Alice Minerva, Russell and Leverett Crocker. Mary Crocker Osborn was a school teacher. (Alice Minerva married the undertaker, Clifford Pease; Pease Funeral Home is now Jenkins Funeral Chapel.)

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 9:56 AM, 02.06.2018

Bay Village Historical Society offers ‘good reads’ for a cold winter’s night

While growing up in Bay Village in the 1940s and '50s, I never really thought a lot about the history of our town. I knew I lived on David Foote’s farm in his former apple orchard. We had 8 different kinds of apple trees in our backyard. The Foote farmhouse across the street had my best playmates living in it.

I remember, along with the Foote farmhouse (Wieland) at 30906 Lake Road, playing in the William Aldrich II farmhouse (Paul Hook) at 366 Bassett Road. My thoughts on Bay history didn’t go much further than that. (Unless I noticed Mr. Wells sifting through the trash at the Bay Dump on Wolf Road.)

At that time, Dover Township’s history was not taught in the Bay schools like it is today. Here I was, going to school with grandchildren and great-grandchildren of our first settlers and I didn’t even know it. Bill Sadler graduated with me.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 9:57 AM, 01.23.2018

Betsey Osborn Williams' farm on Lake Road in Dover Township

Reuben Osborn accompanied his sister-in-law, Rebecca Johnson Porter, and brothers-in-law, Asahel Porter and Leverett Johnson, to Dover Township, arriving in the afternoon of Oct. 10, 1810. 

Reuben and Sarah Johnson Osborn purchased Lot 93 from Philo Taylor, the land agent for the Connecticut Land Company, for one dollar an acre. His farm extended from the west at the Sadler property, east to the Porter property, north by the lake shore, and south to what is now the Wolf Road area. (Where the high school is today.) Reuben and Sarah had one son, Seldon. Seldon, an herb doctor, married Nancy Ruple of Euclid Township. They lived at 29059 Lake Road on part of Reuben's acreage. Betsey was the third child and second daughter of Nancy and Seldon, born in 1839.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 9:33 AM, 01.09.2018

Bay Recreation dances, 1946-47

I found a letter in some of my dad’s papers. It is a report by the chairman, my dad, J. Ross Rothaermel, of the Youth Dance Committee for the school year of 1946-47.

My folks volunteered to lead the Recreation Youth Dance Committee for the Bay Recreation Department in 1946. The recreation department offered dances in the Community House, for the high school students during the school year. Dances were held on Friday nights, often after a game. The high school students looked forward to the dances and they were well attended.

The year my dad and mom volunteered, Dad had the idea of including some of the high school students in the planning. “Afterall, the dances are held for the students and if they help plan them they can’t complain that we don’t run the dances to suit them,” he said. Dad formed the following committee for the year 1946-47: seniors Madelon Herdtner and Peter Wolf, juniors Charlotte Thompson and Tom Larson, sophomores Sally Irwin and Art Hook and freshmen Janet Smith and Roger Alexander.

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Volume 9, Issue 23, Posted 10:32 AM, 12.05.2017

Bay Village teenage social clubs from the 1930s to the '50s

Not a lot was offered in the way of programs, athletic or social, for a teenager in Bay Village in the 1930-1950 time period. If you were a girl, you went to school and came home. You could have a job in a local store after school, babysit a neighbor’s child or help Mom at home. If you were lucky you had neighborhood friends to chat and laugh with after school. Boys had football, basketball, baseball or track; most just went home or to work. Nothing structured was offered from the high school or Bay Recreation Department for girls or boys back then.

The definition of a social club is: “where members go in order to meet each other and enjoy leisure activities.” Social clubs became popular with many of the teenage boys and girls at this time. The clubs met in members' homes after school and were supervised by a man or woman from the community.

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Volume 9, Issue 22, Posted 9:53 AM, 11.21.2017

Dover Bay Park, Part II: After 1900

To set the scene, Washington Lawrence’s Dover Bay Park was a colony of cottages owned by Cleveland’s finest, situated on the north side of Lake Road at the east end of Dover Township/Bay Village.

Some of the names associated with the park cottages were: John Fuller (Irene Lawrence's husband,) Arthur Newbury, Douglas Dodge, J.B. Zerbe, Dick Bokum, Colonel Myron T. Herrick, Mr. Getzem-Danner, and Judge Hughes. Involved with the golf course were: Walter James (Ida Lawrence's husband,) Chisholm Beach, Charles Nicola, William Matthews (Ella Lawrence’s husband), and Mr. Bourne.

With the death of Washington Lawrence in 1900, life in Dover Bay Park began to change.

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Volume 9, Issue 21, Posted 9:55 AM, 11.07.2017

Bay Village Schools' first kindergarten class

In 1940, Marie Ranney was holding kindergarten classes for the neighborhood children in her home on Bruce Road in the east end of Bay Village. She was a licensed kindergarten teacher and had contacted the Bay Board of Education with the request that they contact the Ohio State Board of Education to apply for a charter to start a kindergarten in Bay. The request was granted but Bay needed enough school children age 5, or would turn 5 in the school year, to start the kindergarten at Parkview School.

Bay was still a rural community back then with a small citizenry. There were only so many children 5 years old to start kindergarten. The board of education decided to look at families with children still 4 years old but would turn 5 during the school year. If their birthday was in January or February, the family was contacted regarding sending their child to school for kindergarten.

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Volume 9, Issue 20, Posted 9:48 AM, 10.17.2017

Bay's 1954 championship football team

“We are the champions, my friends." Finishing undefeated and untied in our 1954 season, the Bay Rockets swept the new Southwestern Conference. (Bay hasn’t accomplished this feat since.)  

It was an exciting time. From the start, everyone thought we would have a good football team. We knew “our boys,” the players, had talent. Each week there was something to look forward to as the team got ready to play another game. You see, this was my senior year and these were our guys.

The three head coaches were Jack Llewelyn, Bob Kitzerow and Cy Lipij. They sure knew how to get the best out of the players in a winning way.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 9:59 AM, 10.03.2017

Remembering the Renaissance Fayre

Barefoot in the Park, which morphed into the Renaissance Fayre, were the creations of Sally Irwin Price when she was the director of BayCrafters. I’m not sure when Barefoot, with its colorful footprints on the drive going down the hill in Huntington Reservation, started or when it turned into the Renaissance Fayre with its decorated poles holding colored streamers on top blowing in the wind lining the drive through the park. I know I miss these functions over Labor Day Weekend at the end of summer.

For me, Renaissance became a Grandma and Granddaughter event. Sara, my granddaughter, would dress up in an outfit and the two of us would head out to enjoy the day. The Fayre was so festive, and there was so much to see and do. It always drew a good crowd.

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:07 AM, 09.19.2017

The history of Dover Bay Park in eastern Bay Village

Dover Bay Park or Dover Bay Colony, what’s in a name? Historical newspaper articles identified this area both ways. One article talked about the organization of "the colony" in Dover Bay Park. Another said a "summer colony" sprang up around the Dover Township park. The residents may have considered themselves a colony. For 20 years in the late 1800s, Dover Bay Park was the place to be.

In 1813, after the Indians departed, the Brown family settled on Lot #90 in Dover Township, the easternmost plot of land along the lakeshore. The Brown boys grew big and tall and some said this could only be accounted for by their healthy location on the banks of Lake Erie. Mary Gant and the Phinneys would become their neighbors in Lot #90.

Washington Lawrence had been keeping a summer home in the Dover Bay area for some years. Lawrence, president of the National Carbon Company, purchased the three farms, with four farm houses, making up all of Lot #90, 125 acres, in 1880. His land was just west of the Rockport Township line on Lake Road.

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Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 9:38 AM, 09.06.2017

The Bay Boat Club

In 1810, the Cahoon family settled on Lot #95 in Dover Township. Through the property ran a babbling little creek of clear water that emptied into Lake Erie. They named it Cahoon Creek. They built their log cabin near the mouth. In 1818, they built a clapboard house on the hill, and the cabin was torn down. For the next 35 years, the creek became the major power for the Cahoon grist mill and saw mill.

With the death of Joseph Cahoon, the mills fell into disarray. Joel, Joseph’s son, returned to the farm in 1842. He restored the grist mill and became a miller. In the 1860s, Joel’s sons, Leverett and John Marshall, built a fish house across the mouth of the creek. For 30 years, this was an active business leased to The Buckeye Fish Company. 

In the early 1900s the fish house was torn down, leaving a sandy beach at the mouth. Dressing-room sheds were built for visitors wanting to swim. It became a tranquil place for a leisurely walk. In 1917, with the death of Ida Cahoon, the farm and creek became the property of the Village of Bay. 

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Volume 9, Issue 16, Posted 10:09 AM, 08.15.2017

The first settlers in North Dover Township, 1810-1818

Unfortunately, the oldest map the Bay Village Historical Society owns dates from 1852. Before 1852, we can only know our early settlers from family stories and deeds which detail the land and list names of buyer and seller.

As an example: Caleb Eddy, an early settler, purchased 140 acres in Lot #83 from James Bryan in 1827. We know from his deed that James Bryan purchased 160 acres of land in Lot #83 from Jedediah Crocker. To go back even further, we find the deed between Jedediah Crocker of Euclid Township and Hubbard and Stow of Middletown, Connecticut, that shows Jedediah purchased Lot #83 along with 13 other township lots totaling 1,950 acres in 1812. These lands were surveyed by Joseph Darrow, who must have lived in the township since so many deeds list Joseph as the surveyor.

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Volume 9, Issue 15, Posted 9:28 AM, 08.01.2017

Geology of Bay Village

Between 3 billion and 2 billion years ago, Earth was in its gaseous and formative stages. Then, scientists assume, it cooled enough for igneous rocks to solidify and for the atmosphere to develop. With the atmosphere’s wind and rain, erosion started and sediments began to accumulate.

Some 400 million to 300 million years ago, a large inland sea covered what are now the Great Lakes and Ohio River drainage areas. The mud on the sea bottom was later compressed into shale. This time period is called the Paleozoic Era or Devonian Period and Bay Village is built on this shale.

It is also called the “Age of Fishes” because fish were the highest form of life then existing. Sometimes fossils were found in the rocks. The largest fossil found in these shales, discovered in the Rocky River Valley, is the head of a giant armor-plated shark, now on display in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. (Along the excavation of the road bed for I-71 in the 1960s, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History did an extensive archeological dig. They found many fossils and interesting items which are housed in the museum.)

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Volume 9, Issue 14, Posted 9:54 AM, 07.18.2017

Bay Presbyterian Church turns 100

The following information about the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Bay Village comes from papers in the Bay United Methodist Church archives written by Bert Lewis and Edward Tuttle.

In the beginning: a one-church town

In the early years of the 19th and 20th centuries, Bay Village contained but one church, the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church, occupying its present location at Lake and Bassett roads near the west end of town. Congregants worshiped in a one-room white clapboard building constructed in 1841. Services were usually presided over by a circuit-riding minister. Residents of Avon, Avon Lake and Bay Village, east and west of Dover Center Road, attended. The Rev. Henry B. Sehnert became the resident pastor around 1905.

Lake Road, then an unpaved country thoroughfare, was very muddy in wet weather and so dry and dusty at other times that a gray pall of dust hung over it, settling down upon the trees and foliage that graced its sides and the houses that lined it. (When Ida Cahoon passed away in November 1917, Lake Road was so muddy that her funeral procession needed to travel on Cahoon to Osborn and then Bassett roads to get to the church.) The Lake Shore Electric Railway, some 500 feet to the south, offered regular car service, but an increase in fares at Dover Center necessitated a double fare between the east and west ends of the town to ride to church, separated by the Huntington and the Cahoon farms.

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Volume 9, Issue 13, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.05.2017

My 1954 trip to the Cleveland morgue

What was the most daring thing you did in high school? Back in the '50s there weren’t too many daring things for girls to do at Bay High School. Looking back, we really were puritans. The worst thing I remember is some of the classmates smoked, and look where that got them. 

In 1954, the summer before my senior year at Bay High, Marilyn Sheppard was murdered in the early morning hours of July 4 and Bay Village was never the same again. We headed off to our senior year at Bay High and all we heard was Sheppard, Sheppard, Sheppard. We had a winning football team but the big news was the coroner's inquest at Normandy School. There was news about the coroner and the morgue. People and places we had never thought about before. It perked everyone’s curiosity.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 9:23 AM, 06.20.2017

The building of the Cahoon Log Cabin

It was the year 1976. Our country was 200 years old, and Bay Village planned on participating in the celebration. Mayor Henry Reese formed a committee of citizens he named the Bicentennial Heritage Committee to help plan events for the city. I was a member. The goal was to meet the criteria set by the Washington, D.C. Bicentennial Administration and become a bicentennial city by planning year-round events for the village. 

The committee came up with a list of suggestions to meet the federal criteria. Clubs, schools, churches and organizations met to pick a project that needed to be addressed. An area in Cahoon Memorial Park was mapped out to be designated as a historical site by the city. The boy scouts chose to build a replica of the Cahoon family's log cabin in the valley behind Rose Hill.

John Brandt, scout master, was in charge of the construction, teaching the boy scouts and girl scouts how to build a log cabin as they did in 1810. The following, in John's words (shortened a little), is his story.

There is a replica of the Cahoon log cabin sitting in the valley behind Rose Hill Museum. The cabin is located in the valley just east of the Cahoon homestead house, Rose Hill Museum.

This project got started in 1975 when the USA was getting ready to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 1976. Bay Village Mayor Henry Reese established a commission to plan for the “American Revolution Bicentennial” events. A meeting was held of all the civic organizations to give each a chance to choose from a suggested list of projects to work on.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:07 AM, 06.06.2017

The Oviatt Manufacturing Company, Part III

As sometimes happens after I write a story, a relation from the story finds me and we are able to exchange information and pictures. This is how it was with the Oviatt family article when an Oviatt relative from Chagrin Falls sent me an email with pictures of Dudley and Almira in their latter years and four of their five children – Clarence, Arthur, May and Lillian (Rena is not pictured).

I was also able to find some of the deeds to the Dover Township property. However, I have not found the original deed for family patriarch Nelson Oviatt that says whom he purchased from in 1825. To finish the story, I offer the following information.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 9:31 AM, 05.02.2017

Old Cahoon barn has served community well

The Community House started life in 1882 as the Cahoon barn located in today’s Cahoon Memorial Park. Since 1810, when the Cahoon family arrived in Dover Township, the family had made do with a cluster of outbuildings just south of the house for farm equipment and animals.

In 1882, while Joel Cahoon was still living, the family decided to build a new barn. Some of the outbuildings were removed and a barn built in the same location. The new bank barn was Gothic style and three stories high. Bank barns, built on a rise, used the lay of the land to create a lower level and entrance on one side. The lower level, seen from the south, contained wagons and equipment. The first floor with, doors that opened to the north, held stalls for animals. The third floor was the hay loft. There were windows on all sides, and on top was a cupola which allowed the flow of air.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:56 AM, 04.18.2017

The Oviatt Manufacturing Company, Part II

Five of Luman Oviatt’s children migrated to Ohio from Connecticut. History tells us his daughters, Rhoda (married to Julius Humphrey) and Harriett (married to Washington Bigelow), migrated to Richfield. Luman's son Marcus Oviatt had two children born in Ohio, Aaron Oviatt married Electa Brown and purchased 123 acres around Copley, while Moses Oviatt purchased 150 acres in Lot #20 in the Blake Tract of Parma Township and married Electa Spafford. 

Luman's son Nelson and his wife, Melinda, traveled with their son, Luther, to Parma in 1821. Emily (born in 1822) and Louisa (1823), their daughters, were born in Parma Township. We know Nelson was in Dover Township in 1825 because the next child, Mary, was born in Dover as was Caroline, Dudley and Laura. (We don’t know the connection between Loyal Humphrey, Julius Humphrey and Melinda Humphrey, Nelson’s wife, but they could be siblings. If their father was Dudley Humphrey from Hudson, it could be why Nelson named his son, Dudley Luman, after the grandfathers, which was common then. And it could be why Nelson was in Dover Township in 1825.)

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:23 AM, 04.04.2017

The Oviatt Manufacturing Company, Part I

Bay Village has a West Oviatt Road and an East Oviatt Road, both located off Dover Center Road near the railroad tracks. In Lakeside Cemetery there is a small footstone that reads, “Eugene C. Oviatt, died November 3, 1864 – 1 mo., 10 days.” So who were the Oviatts?

Our Oviatt family started in America with Thomas, who owned a tallow chandlery in Milford, Connecticut, in 1690. Four generations later, Benjamin and Elizabeth Carter Oviatt lived in Goshen, Connecticut. Benjamin Oviatt, Stephen Baldwin and Theodore Parmele jointly invested in one-eighth part of Hudson Township in 1800, one year after David Hudson established the village of Hudson. 

Heman Oviatt, Benjamin’s son, settled in Hudson in 1801 on land south of the village, a gift from his father. Benjamin’s second child, Luman, married Rhoda Norton and later Aloria Sanford in Goshen. He fathered 15 children. Some of his children settled in Parma Township and some in Richfield in Summit County. Although Luman spent his life in Connecticut, he was in Richfield when he died in 1838 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery. The second child of Luman and Rhoda is Nelson G. Oviatt.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.21.2017

When the Downtown Heinen's was a bank: The story of 2 dads

Bay Village Councilman Dave Tadych and I discovered we have something in common. Each of our fathers spent more than 40 years with one company – and it was the same company and our dads knew each other. This is the story of two dedicated guys making a living for their families.

Going through some old pictures for a picture book I was making, I came across a photo of my mother at a bank function with two men I couldn’t identify. I sent the picture along with some others from the Cleveland Trust Bank to a friend who used to work for my Dad and asked him if he could tell me who the people were in the pictures. When I got his answer back he said one of the men was Bernie Tadych. I thought, hmm, wonder if that is David Tadych’s father. When I next saw Dave I asked him if Bernie Tadych was his father. He said yes and we realized our dads had worked together at the Cleveland Trust Company for years. We had a connection. Both our fathers spent their careers there.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:51 AM, 02.21.2017

Martha Hall Bassett, Dover pioneer woman

In 1810, Moses Hall, a farmer from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, came to Ashtabula and Dover Township to look at land. In Dover Township he purchased 2,163 acres for $2 an acre from Hubbard and Stow in Connecticut‘s Western Reserve. Moses Hall, Martha’s father, gave his daughters 50 acres and his sons 100 acres of the Dover Township lands.

Martha, known as Patty, was born in 1790 in Lenox, Massachusetts, the second daughter of Moses and Relief Swift Hall. Patty had 11 brothers and sisters. On June 14, 1810, Patty Hall, then 20 years old, and Nathan Bassett, 25, of Lee, Massachusetts, were wed. Moses Hall moved his family to Ashtabula in 1811. Patty and Nathan traveled with them in a large group of family and friends. In 1811, Patty, taking up her father’s offer of 50 acres of land in Dover Township, then continued on further west with Nathan and her two brothers, Barnabas and James, who were also claiming their lands of 100 acres.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 9:49 AM, 02.07.2017

A look at life in Dover Township, 1820s to 1850s

In 1973, my sister, Gay Menning, and I decided Bay Village needed a written history and began work on "Bay Village: A Way of Life." To write a story about the early settlers that everyone would enjoy, we needed to find lots of little tidbits of everyday life along with the begets and begats. George Drake, our neighbor, lived on the corner of Bradley and Lake roads. We lived at 31011 Lake Road and stood at his corner, Stop #35, every school day to catch the school bus. George’s great-grandparents were Aaron and Elizabeth Winsor Aldrich. We knocked on George’s door and asked for help. George’s family kept every piece of paper that ever came into the house between 1830 and 1920 in a Rhode Island desk in a back room, and we told him we would sort his contents if we could look at them. What follows are some of the stories we gathered from the pieces of paper in George’s desk.

By 1826 the township of Dover had five school districts and 70 households. Nathan Bassett distributed the school bill in 1832 among Amos Cahoon, Elizabeth Johnson, William Saddler, Aaron Aldrich, Ranson Foote, Benjamin Stephens, Mr. Snider (the only one we don’t know), Joseph Cahoon, and himself.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:34 AM, 01.24.2017

The portables at Parkview School

In 1922, a two-story Parkview School was built on Cahoon Road at the south end of Cahoon Memorial Park. (There was no Wolf Road at the time.) Parkview School housed grades one through twelve. All the Bay Village children went to school in the building. Two years later a third story was needed. In 1926, Forestview School was built to house grades one through six for the many children who now lived in the east end of the village. Parkview still contained grades one through twelve, being the elementary school for the west end children.

For many years Parkview contained the west end elementary and high school grades with no problem. Sometime in the 1930s the school board decided to purchase portable clapboard barrack-style buildings and add them to the west end of the school to help the overflow.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:10 AM, 01.10.2017

Dad built a dollhouse for Christmas

In 1934, my dad, J. Ross Rothaermel, built a wooden dollhouse for my sister Barbara. An architect friend drew blueprints for a two-story colonial house. (We still have the blueprints.) When finished, the house sat in the middle of a five-by-two-foot grass-covered yard containing a walkway with trellis adorned with climbing roses that led to a driveway and garage.

The house and yard sat on a table that rolled on wheels. The chimney had a big metal “B” on it for Barbara. Downstairs there was a living room with fireplace, front hall with hall closet, and dining room. The kitchen was housed in a one-story addition next to the dining room. Upstairs was the master bedroom with another fireplace, bathroom and children’s room. A porch was over the kitchen.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 10:04 AM, 12.13.2016

Musical memories at Bay High School

The first musical memory I have is playing the wood blocks in Mrs. Marie Ranny’s kindergarten class at Parkview School. I remember many pleasant moments singing in school. I always enjoyed music, especially the high school choir. 

When I was growing up in the 1940s, Miss Mabie was our music teacher at Parkview School. (The portables on the west end of Parkview School were my home for the second and third grades.) She would come into the classroom with her pitch pipe, and we would pass the music books around and sing in our seats. I remember the books were green with a picture of the world on the cover. I remember because while in Miss Lineberry’s third-grade classroom during music, a classmate threw up all over “the world.”

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Volume 8, Issue 23, Posted 9:36 AM, 11.29.2016

Two turkey tales about Bay Village

For Thanksgiving, here are two turkey tales about our town.

Powell Turkeys

Thomas Powell of Olean, New York, purchased 80 acres of land, Lot #81, on the west side of Bradley Road from Nehemiah Hubbard. Thomas married Sophia Saddler. In 1850, Thomas built a clapboard house at 576 Bradley Road, which still stands. Thomas and Sophia had three children, Perry, Elisabeth and West.

Perry married Sarah Milner. His children were Isaac Clinton (I.C.), Elvie and Mary. Perry’s son Clinton married Amanda Wuebker. Clinton built a house north of the old Powell house at 562 Bradley Road.

Their son, Roger Powell, raised turkeys. They were “free range” turkeys, meaning they roamed around the farm and were not cooped. Powell’s turkeys were very popular. Most Bay Villagers purchased a fresh Powell turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas in the 1940s and '50s. When the Powell farm was sold, everyone was sad. Where were they going to get their turkey?

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Volume 8, Issue 22, Posted 9:47 AM, 11.15.2016

The German Starke family at 294 Bradley Road

German farmers Henry and Eleanore Starke, with their children, Caroline, Henrietta, Henry, Fred and Frank, came to Dover Township in 1868. Their 40-acre farm, Lot #91, purchased from Henry Winsor, was on the west side of Bradley Road.

On the land was a small frame house, part of the Henry Winsor house left on the property when Henry's house was moved north on Bradley Road. Henry built a split level, brick house in front of the small, frame house and attached the two houses. The sign above the new front door read 1871. This house, with more additions, and painted yellow, still stands on Bradley Road today. As in the German tradition, Henry deeded his land to his youngest son, Frank, and his wife, Anna Meilander.

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Volume 8, Issue 21, Posted 10:04 AM, 11.01.2016