Snippets Of Bay Village History

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

Fishing, a part of Bay's history

Last week on a beautiful 78-degree day, my husband and I went fishing with my son off Vermilion. For me there is nothing like being "on the water." The perch aren’t biting good this year and all the fisherman are whining. Someone was calling across the water, “Here perchy, perchy.” We caught enough to have a few nice meals but not the 30 limit you can catch on a good day. I have a light action Shakespeare Pro Am rod that I love.

This reminded me of all the fishing we have always participated in here on the south shore of Lake Erie. Our early settlers owned cane fishing poles or threw a fishing net into the water off the shore to fish for dinner. For some it was a second income and others, their livelihood. The Saddler family were fishermen. Charles Dodd, a traveling tailor from Henrietta, Ohio, while at the Osborn house making a suit, heard of a position as a deck hand on one of Sherman Osborn‘s boats. He moved his family to Dover and became a fisherman. The Cahoon family, as added income, had the boat/fish house on Cahoon Creek. Leverett and John Marshall Cahoon leased the boat house to the Buckeye Fish Company.

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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 10:23 AM, 10.18.2016

The Great Tomato Battle of 1937

Because it is the end of the tomato season, and I was just out at the Nagel Farms stand on Detroit Road to get the last of the crop, I thought this story by Robert H. Mersbach Jr., Bay High School Class of 1941, was appropriate. Following are his words:

In 1937, the Mersbach family moved from Rocky River to a house at 444 Bradley Road. Kids today only have Easter eggs, Christmas and birthday presents to look forward to, but the West End kids had all those plus the tomatoes. Most of the survivors of the event would probably select the tomato fights as the best of the lot.

In the West End neighborhood there were as many farm houses as suburban homes. Next to the Mersbach house a farmer named Sam Mingo ran a truck garden farm. The fruits, vegetables and corn crops he raised were sold to the big Cleveland markets. He also had a produce stand in front of his farmhouse where 10 to 25 cents would buy 13 ears of sweet corn for local residents.

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Volume 8, Issue 19, Posted 8:58 AM, 10.04.2016

The Clambake

I was raised on fall clambakes. From as far back as I can remember, my family put on several clambakes every fall.

Over the years, my Grandpa Wurtz owned five Square Deal meat markets on the near west side of Cleveland. One day, a customer walked into the shop and told my Grandpa they were selling 50-foot lots in Avon Lake for $50 each. Grandpa drove out, took a look and purchased five lots on Woodstock Avenue. In 1922, he built a cottage in the middle of the five lots.

Every Labor Day, Grandpa would have a clambake. He had a shallow pit dug in the corner of the backyard which he filled with wood. The sides of the pit were made of stacked bricks and an iron grate was placed over them. On top of this large pit, he would place a huge, silver-metal square clam baker that had trays with holes in them that stacked inside it and a lid. There were probably 50 people attending for the day so you know how many bakes it held.

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Volume 8, Issue 18, Posted 9:48 AM, 09.20.2016

Bay Village's lakeside cottages

City folks looking for a place to summer and enjoy the sunshine, beach, and Lake Erie waters, started noticing the southern shoreline in Dover Township in the 1880s with the thought of staying for days or weeks. Along our township shoreline cottages started to appear. Farmers, who saw the desire of city folk wanting to enjoy the lakeside, built cottages for extra income. Most cottages were simple wooden construction with single lathe walls, a light bulb hanging from the ceiling, and no indoor toilet.

Washington Lawrence, President of National Carbon, a millionaire living at 23200 Lake Road in the east end of the township, invited his friends to summer with him in fine cottages that boasted most of the comforts of home at the Dover Bay Colony. The Osborn family built three cottages at Interurban Stop #29 east of Sherman Osborn’s home at 29434 Lake Road, across from sister Betsy Osborn Williams' farmhouse. These cottages were two-story structures containing three bedrooms and a bathroom.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:07 AM, 09.07.2016

Wischmeyer wine casks become cozy cottages

On the north side of Lake Road at the end of Glen Park Road sat the Wischmeyer Hotel on lands extending west to Dover Center Road, and just south of where Wolf Road is today. The Wischmeyer family planted a grape vineyard, and built a wine cellar for their home-brewed wines, a 40-bed hotel, a pavilion for cards and games, and a boat house to accommodate businessmen and families for a summer at the beach. This was a successful business started in 1872.

In 1926, the Bay Village mayor and council passed an ordinance that stated there could no longer be businesses located on Lake Road. They did this because Rocky River had just built a strip shopping center on Lake Road at Kensington and widened Lake Road to four lanes. Bay Village was afraid this idea would advance into Bay and shops would start sprouting up along our Lake Road. But, sad to say, this ordinance put the Wischmeyer Hotel out of business.

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 9:45 AM, 08.16.2016

The story of Caleb Eddy Jr., early settler of Dover Township

Who was Caleb Eddy Jr.? We can document that Caleb Eddy Jr. arrived on the east side of Cleveland about 1809 with his parents, Caleb Sr. and Nancy. We know that between 1819 and 1869, Caleb was in and out of Euclid and Dover Townships until his death in 1869. Because of this, his name is often omitted from our list of early settlers. But Caleb has an interesting story.

In 1826, we know he purchased 140 acres in Dover Township's Lot No. 83, on the east side of Bassett Road, one of the larger parcels in the township, for $1,500 from James and Dianthia Bryant. Osborn Road ran through his property. His neighbors were the Osborns, Sadlers, Cochron heirs, and Bassett/Hurst family with the southern boundary later becoming the railroad tracks. This parcel shows on an 1852 map of Dover Township. But let's go back in history two centuries to the Eddy family's arrival in America.

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Volume 8, Issue 15, Posted 9:07 AM, 08.02.2016

Bay resident loses life on interurban railway

Three years of working on the Lake Shore Electric Interurban made George Sarles an old hand on the trolley system. George worked the early morning express run traveling from downtown Cleveland west through the farmlands, often delivering the early morning newspapers to the outlying areas.

Leaving downtown Cleveland a half hour late on July 30, 1905, the trolley car was running at full throttle down Clifton Boulevard. As it rounded a curve on Clifton slick from a heavy rain the night before, the trolley skidded and jumped the tracks. The front trunks slid off the track causing the car to flip over on its side. George was tossed through the vestibule and out of the car, pinning him underneath. Loose live wires came in touch with him. He was electrocuted and died.

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Volume 8, Issue 14, Posted 9:43 AM, 07.19.2016

Bott's service station on the corner of Wolf and Dover Center

Honk, honk! Out of the way! In the early 1900s, the farmers in the Village of Bay were buying new cars and learning how to drive. Ernie Wuebker, who moved to Bay in 1898 at age 14, offers up a couple of funny stories in “Bay Village: A Way of Life” about two men on Bradley Road who were shown how to drive by the auto salesman. One man turned too hard into his driveway during his test drive with the salesman, and drove through his raspberry patch. That was his last time behind the wheel.

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Volume 8, Issue 13, Posted 9:31 AM, 07.06.2016

Two of Bay High's finest: Bob Berger and Ralph Talas

During the Memorial Day ceremonies, we gather near the gazebo and Rose Garden in Cahoon Memorial Park to honor our Bay boys who lost their lives while serving our country in the armed forces. In the Rose Garden is a monument with names of the fallen engraved on it. Two of these names belong to Bob Berger and Ralph Talas, who lost their lives in World War II.

Bob Berger was liked by all. He was a track star and an "A" student at Bay High. His parents, Walter and Martha, were active in the village and friendly to all.

Bob had a sister, Ruth. They lived at 28705 Osborn Road in 1939. Bob joined the United States Air Force after graduation in 1943. He was a Staff Sergeant with the 330th Bomber Squadron, 93rd Bomber Group, Heavy, and stationed in England. During an air mission on Feb. 25, 1945, Bob volunteered to ride with another crew who was missing a member.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:51 AM, 06.07.2016

Remembering the Red Brick School House

George Drake was the son of Metta and Frank Lincoln Drake. He was the grandson of Mary Ann Stephens Aldrich and Henry Aldrich. Henry Aldrich was the son of Elizabeth Winsor Aldrich and Aaron Aldrich who first settled in Dover Township in 1816 and built the 1830 Landmark home at Bradley and Lake roads. George inherited the house and lived there until his death. Following are George’s memories, excerpted from "Bay Village: A Way of Life," about the Red Brick School House that used to stand on Lake Road, just east of Bassett Road.

“When I started to school in 1896, the brick school just east of Cal Osborn’s barn at Stop #30 had two rooms and a separate entry for boys and for girls. There was a woodhouse on the west side of the building, and of course, the boys' back house [today known as an outhouse] on the east side and the girls at the west side.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:40 AM, 05.17.2016

An addendum to the Dover-Bay golf course story

A few months back, I wrote a story about the Dover-Bay Country Club, from its grandeur to its demise. After the story appeared in the Observer, I received an email from a longtime friend who added more information to why the Union Carbide Research Facility was not built in Bay Village. Following is the rest of the story:

In the late 1950s, the Union Carbide Company had proposed to build a research facility on the golf course property. The land where the golf course was located, at the corners of Lake and Clague roads, was not zoned commercial. The first thing the city needed to do was rezone the parcel of land to commercial.

A concerned group of citizens formed a “For the Project Committee.” It was decided every household would receive a post card proposal. The rezoning committee, sent post cards asking for a vote on the proposal. The straw vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the project coming to Bay, roughly 3 or 4 for approval, versus 1 against. My friend remembers, distinctly, the counting of all the returned postcards.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:54 AM, 05.03.2016

Hidden treasures in Cahoon Memorial Park

“This is the most beautiful place on earth,” declared Margaret Cahoon, taking in the beauty of her farm nestled on the south shore of Lake Erie. And so it was.

In 1810, Lydia Cahoon found room in the family's crowded wagon to bring along a rose bush as they journeyed west to their new home in Dover Township. The story is told that it thrived and many rose bushes around the area were shoots off this rose. Thus, Margaret Cahoon, wife of Lydia's son Joel, gave the farm its name, Rose Hill.

“As this house has been in possession of the family for three generations, I hope it will continue for many more, but if it should be there is no longer one of the name to inherit it, I hope it may have founded upon it a benevolent institution bearing the name of Cahoon,” wrote Margaret in her autobiography. Today, Cahoon Memorial Park in Bay Village is the site of two hidden treasures, Rose Hill Museum and the Reuben Osborn Learning Center.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:46 AM, 04.19.2016

Men in black: The hearse, the union and the con that built Parkview School

I found a story in papers at the Osborn Learning Center that piqued my interest. I spoke with Mary Belle Culp Arnold on the telephone to verify the story is true. Mary Belle is 94 years old.

Here is the story. Lois Irwin Dougherty, Class of 1940, relayed an interesting story about a problem that was thrust upon the Board of Education when they were trying to get the Parkview School constructed. Lois refers to Mary Belle Culp Arnold, Class of 1940, who filled in needed information. She was quite knowledgeable, as her father, Dr. W. E. Culp, was a member of the school board in 1921-22 during the planning and the construction of the school.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:13 AM, 04.05.2016

Catherine Porter Foote, a Dover pioneer woman

None of us today can imagine the hardship a pioneer woman and mother dealt with each day. Their Bible study and caring daily for those in need, they saw their tasks to the finish. A tiny woman, Catherine went about her tasks in a positive manner, seeing that all was taken care of.

Four-year-old Catherine Porter traveled with her sister, Emmiline, and her parents, Rebecca and Ashahel Porter, from Waterbury, Connecticut, to Dover Township, Ohio, arriving in the afternoon of Oct. 10, 1810, making the Porter family the second family in Dover Township. Along on the journey were her uncles, Reuben Osborn and Leverett Johnson.

The Porter family built a log cabin near the lake on Lot No. 94, Section 7, Range 15, of Connecticut’s Western Reserve, and set up housekeeping. The next year, 1812, a sister, Angelina, was born and a brother, Dennis, in 1814.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.15.2016

Dad at the helm of Bay Village PTA

This story begins with my dad, J. Ross Rothaermel. Parkview School was way overcrowded in 1945 and a new elementary school on the west end of town was greatly needed. Attendance at the PTA meetings was down and the village was having difficulties in increasing interest.

World War II had just ended and parents had much on their minds; returning home from the war and putting their lives back together. Still, fathers saw a need to contribute. Understanding the problem, my dad met with the PTA with an idea of how to generate more activity in the PTA and raise interest in a bond issue greatly needed. He offered to be the PTA president if the meetings would be moved to nighttime so the fathers could attend.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:35 AM, 03.01.2016

The Bay Village Cahoon Sisters

Margaret and Joel Cahoon conceived five daughters. Mary Emma Cahoon, the tenth child, died when just a young girl at the age of 8 from rheumatic fever. Lydia, Laura, Martha and Ida grew to womanhood. They became school teachers, and at one time, worked together at Barkwell School on Broadway Avenue in Cleveland.

They purchased a house on Broadway next to the school to prevent traveling during week days. After a week of teaching, they would ride the train to their home, Rose Hill, getting off at the Cahoon Store, or trolley stop No. 24 on their property, for a quiet weekend with church and family. Outside of school, they worked every day to benefit others through their religious and community endeavors. All the sisters were active in the Commodore Perry Chapter of the Daughters of 1812 and the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church. None of them married. Lydia, Laura and Ida, in this order, died in the same year, 1917.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:54 AM, 02.16.2016

1949 brings a new shopping center to Bay Village

When I was a little girl, Dr. Knoll, the village dentist, purchased 250 feet of Lou Scholl’s farm land on the south side of Wolf Road near Dover Center Road. The land was between the Columbia Gas Company building on the east and the Scholl farmhouse on the west. In the middle of his new farmland, he built a red brick, one-story, colonial medical building with a center door and office space on each side. Here he set up his dental practice. Earl Ross, a medical doctor, rented the other side. It was the first medical office building in the village.

Dr. Edward Knoll was the mayor of Bay Village. At the time, the village had a population of 6,600 residents and 1,840 homes. Dr. Knoll predicted that the biggest spurt in population would be in the next 5 years and could reach 25,000 residents in 18 years.

In 1948, the only shopping area in the village was on Dover Center Road near the railroad tracks. Mayor Knoll saw a rising need for more shopping. He decided to move his medical office (today Pizza Hut) behind Ernie Olchen’s gas station and clear the farmland for a shopping center. Construction was actively underway for a $350,000 shopping center, including bowling alley, to open in July 1949.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:52 AM, 02.02.2016

Snippets of Bay Village History: The Hassler Family on Bassett Road

In 1854, Grandfather Charles and Grandmother Babette Hassler lived in Dover Township, farming 35 acres of land at 28838 Lake Road on Lot No. 94. Charles (Carl in German) grew wheat and grain. Charles was from Bavaria. Not finding the soil to his liking, he moved his family to a farm in Cleveland. A son, J. Robert, and a daughter, Matilda, were born in the Lake Road house we know today as the Baker/Hassler house.

J. Robert Hassler and his wife, Anna, raised daughters Laura, Edna, Gertrude and son, Robert C., in Cleveland. The children's great-uncle, Theodore Liebrich, Babette’s brother, owned 25 acres of land at 379 Bassett Road in Dover Township, buying the property in 1875. (These acres, part of Lot No. 93, once were owned by Christopher Saddler.) Uncle Theodore had a white frame cottage on his property. The family enjoyed summering with him, picking peaches and apples from the extensive orchards behind the yellow barn.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:03 AM, 01.19.2016

Snippets of Bay Village History: An original Cahoon Christmas story featuring Lydia Cahoon

Our house sits on a bluff above Lake Erie next to a little creek. The horse and cow barns are on a small rise south of the house. The well and smoke house sit between the house and the barn. Grandfather, Joseph Cahoon, and our Pa, Joel, built our house in 1818 using timber cut in our saw mill on the creek.

Grandfather Cahoon was a miller. He built a grist mill and mill pond behind our house near the creek. Our Pa farms the land and part of the land is planted as a grape vineyard. The year is 1853. My name is Lydia Cahoon and I, along with my Mom, Pa, brothers and sisters live here on the farm. Christmas is coming and we are all excited for the socializing and good will that will soon take place. Today is a special day because Mom is baking Christmas cookies.

And so the day begins: Lydia jumps out of the feather bed she shares with her two sisters. Her feet hit the cold floor boards. She lifts her dress off the peg hanging on the wall and quickly dresses. Pouring water into a crockery wash bowl, she wipes her face. She combs her hair. Looking out the window she can see Pa and Thomas already coming back from the barn after feeding the livestock. They have milked the cows and are carrying the morning milk in a bucket.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:42 AM, 12.15.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: The gas station that put Bay Village on the map

When John D. Rockefeller started Standard Oil he realized a need for gas stores for selling his gas and oil. All over Ohio, gas stations began popping up in townships and large cities to supply the demand.

Out in the country, in the little Village of Bay, John D. Rockefeller supplied the gas to a small station built by William Blaha at the intersection of Dover Center and West Oviatt roads. At the time, Dover Center was a dirt road and you drove your car up to the pump, literally, by the side of the road.

In 1914, William Blaha was operating an Edward Foods store in the old Cahoon Store next to the railroad tracks. It being successful, Blaha purchased land to the north of the store at the intersection of West Oviatt and Dover Center Roads with the thought of one day owning his own butcher shop and store. The first building he constructed, however, was a Standard Oil gas station. Standard Oil boasted that they had a "dot’" on their road maps for every township with a pump. When the map came out, the Blaha gas station did not appear on the map. Bill let them know about that, and the next map of Ohio printed had a dot for the Village of Bay.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:53 AM, 12.01.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: How Bay High School sports teams became the Rockets

In 1920, the Bay Village Board of Education was facing a real need for a larger school that offered grades one through 12. The Red Brick School on Lake Road already had two additions and was overcrowded. After eighth grade, the Bay Village students went to school in Dover (now Westlake), Rocky River and Lakewood to finish their 12-year education. The Bay Village Board of Education paid for their tuition.

A bond issue was passed, and a new two-story brick building, named Parkview School, was completed in 1922 on lands purchased from the Cahoon Park trustees just south of Cahoon Memorial Park (where Bay Middle School is now located). It served grades one through 12 and all students in Bay Village moved into the new school, closing Easterly at Columbia Road and the Red Brick School house. A third story was added in 1925.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:19 AM, 11.17.2015

Snippets of Bay Village History: Growing up in the David Foote apple orchard

Warm summer days and cold summer nights got the juices flowing in fruit trees and vineyards. Our early settlers usually had a few acres in orchards on their farms. One of the first things Joseph Cahoon did when he arrived in Dover Township in 1810 was to plant apple and peach orchards on the east side of Cahoon Creek.

The Wischmeyers had apple and peach trees behind Granny Wischmeyer‘s house on the south side of Lake Road, east of Dover Center. Picking fruit was a summer job at Wischmeyers for Bay High School boys who wanted to store their boats in the boat house on the beach. The Cahoons talk, with pride, in their personnel papers housed at Rose Hill Museum, about their two-acre Baldwin apple orchard on the southeast corner of Wolf and Dover Center roads.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:09 AM, 11.03.2015