Local History

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

Another piece of Dover history for sale: Limpertís Fruit Farm, Part 1

Part one of a four-part series on the Limpert family and their bygone fruit farm on Detroit Road in Westlake.

A mere $2.3 million will buy you 8.6 acres, twin circa-1893 Eastlake style homes and a unique piece of Dover history. The property is located just west of St. Paul Lutheran Church on the south side of the street, 28083-28119 Detroit Road. The white frame homes are set back a fair distance from the road and are almost obscured by overgrown vegetation. When they were still clearly visible from the road the “gingerbread” trim was a pleasant sight to see.

An Ohio Historic Inventory form says that a sign advertising “Wine for sale” was still displayed in 1977. As recently as the 1990s I believe a red and white “Bonded Winery” sign was mounted on the side of the road. Was it once illuminated with neon? Did it also say “Limpert’s Fruit Farm”? I can’t remember for sure.

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Volume 11, Issue 16, Posted 9:19 AM, 08.20.2019

Silent auction, pie contest will take place along with annual duck race

Thank you to everyone who has already adopted ducks for the Westlake Historical Society’s annual Rubber Duck Race on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Westlake Recreation Center. Ducks can still be adopted on our website, www.westlakeohiohistory.org. The event begins at noon and promises to be a lot of fun.  

As part of the Rubber Duck Race, there will also be a large Silent Auction and Old-Fashioned Pie Contest.

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Volume 11, Issue 16, Posted 9:18 AM, 08.20.2019

Rubber Duck Race returns Aug. 24

The Westlake Historical Society's Rubber Duck Race is a fundraising event that will be held on Saturday, Aug. 24, at noon, at the Westlake Recreation Center pond. Funds raised will benefit the Westlake Historical Society’s Clague Museum, local history education, and special projects.

Join the race and adopt your rubber ducks – $5 for a single duck, $25 for a “Six Quack,” and $49 for a “Quacker Pack” with 12 ducks! For each duck you sponsor, you receive an adoption certificate with a number that corresponds to a duck in the race.

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Volume 11, Issue 15, Posted 10:09 AM, 08.06.2019

Moses Cleaveland Trees in Westlake

A recent Observer article by Kay Laughlin about Moses Cleaveland trees in Bay Village stated that the last few original Moses Cleaveland trees were gone – that they had all succumbed to lightning strikes or Lake Erie. This led me to wonder how many were left in Westlake.

The designation of Moses Cleaveland trees began in 1946 as part of the celebration of the sesquicentennial of Cleveland’s founding in 1896, spearheaded by the Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve. The idea was to identify 150 trees that had been growing when Moses Cleaveland first arrived in northeast Ohio to survey the Connecticut Western Reserve.

The Committee on Moses Cleaveland Trees of the Sesquicentennial Commission was chaired by Arthur B. Williams, curator of education at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It was estimated that there were thousands of such trees deep in the remote parts of the Cleveland Metroparks where they were still pretty much inaccessible to the public in 1946.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 10:25 AM, 06.04.2019

Westlake Historical Society yard sale marks spring arrival

Signs of spring have arrived in Westlake. The days are slowly warming and spring flowers are blooming. If you look closely you will see the new buds on the trees. The spring flowers are poking out of the ground after that long, cold winter. The feel of spring is in the air! With the start of a new baseball season I am optimistic that the Cleveland Indians will do well this year. Hope does "spring" eternal.

Spring also means that it is time for the Westlake Historical Society's Spring Yard Sale. This yearly sale is looked forward to by many. The bargains are plentiful, but the sale also means winter is out of here.

The sale will take place on the lawn of the Clague House Museum on Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The rain date will be the following Saturday, May 1.

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 9:43 AM, 04.16.2019

Pet photos with the Easter Bunny at Clague House Museum

Did you know that our 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 the Easter Bunny returns to the Clague House Museum on Sunday, April 7, for pet photos from noon to 6:00 p.m. and on Tuesday, April 9, from 6-9 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:41 AM, 04.02.2019

Two share title of Cutest Pet in Westlake

Each year the Westlake Historical Society holds a contest to find Westlake's Cutest Pet. The money raised goes toward children’s programming at the Clague House Museum.

This year, as in all years, the competition was fierce.

It is our pleasure to introduce to you, our readers, our 2019 Cutest Pets: Shelby, age 3, and Jett, age 2.

Although not the first year for a tie, 2019’s title of Cutest Pet in Westlake will be shared within the same family.

Pet dad, Bill Hornack of Westlake, wrote a bio about Jett and Shelby that we would like to share.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 9:58 AM, 01.22.2019

Cooley historical marker contains error

The one thing that I am hoping for Christmas from Santa is a corrected Cooley historical marker under my tree. In an ongoing effort to bolster the importance of the Asher Cooley house at 2871 Dover Center Road, an error on the Ohio Historical Marker needs to be corrected. The marker was dedicated in 2015 and placed next to a meandering driveway off Dover Center Road, east of the current police station.

The marker, as well as the promotional material written at the time, states of George L. Cooley, the subject of the marker: “He was born on a farm at the northwest corner of Dover and Hilliard Roads in Dover Township.” This is not true. George L. Cooley was most likely born and raised on the family homestead, known as the Asher Cooley house, which still stands at 2871 Dover Center Road, south and across the street from the Porter Library drive which connects with Dover Center Road.

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Volume 10, Issue 24, Posted 10:03 AM, 12.18.2018

Westlake Historical Society placing holiday wreaths

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Show me your cemeteries, and I will tell you what kind of people you have.”

Each year the Westlake Historical Society makes and places 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 departed loved ones. Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will be placing wreaths soon at either Evergreen or Maple Ridge cemeteries.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:18 AM, 12.04.2018

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.

Photo dates available are Saturday, Dec. 1, 2-6 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Thursday, Dec. 6, 6-9 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 10, Issue 22, Posted 9:33 AM, 11.20.2018

Lilly Weston House restoration project update and fundraising

In 2000, when the city of Westlake accepted the gift of the 1844 Lilly Weston house and one acre of land abutting the Westlake Recreation Center Park from Alice Ladanyi, a Weston descendant, they set aside $50,000 to stabilize and button up the exterior envelope of the building and install the historic marker.

The city hired Lewin and Associates, consulting engineers, to do a structural analysis in 2017. The city of Westlake and the Westlake Historical Society shared the cost of the $7,000 study. The city’s $3,500 share of the cost of the study was taken from the original $50,000 set aside by the mayor and City Council, which now has a remaining balance of $5,000. The rest of the original $50,000 was used to remove a 1960s addition and modern improvements from the interior of the house, re-construct a portion of the rear wall, put on a new roof, chemically strip mustard-colored paint off the exterior stone and brick, repair and paint exterior windows, doors and trim, and repoint the mortar.

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Volume 10, Issue 20, Posted 10:05 AM, 10.16.2018

Fall fun with the Westlake Historical Society

Fall is in the air! Along with apple cider, falling leaves and carved pumpkins, the Westlake Historical Society is busy with various fall activities.

The Clague House Museum will host an Open House on Sunday, Oct. 7, from 2-4 p.m. There will be guided tours as well as crafts for the kids. There is no admission but donations are always appreciated.

Our October general meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. Thomas Strong will be our guest speaker. His topic is "The History Of Medications." Our meeting will take place at the Westlake Recreation Center, 28955 Hilliard Blvd.

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Volume 10, Issue 19, Posted 9:49 AM, 10.02.2018

Learn the true story of the Lake Erie shipwreck, 'The Success'

Learn the true story of the sunken prison ship, “The Success,” at a program hosted by the Bay Village Historical Society on Thursday, Sept. 20.

Mike and Georgann Wachter, well-known authors of “Erie Wrecks and Lights,” “Erie Wrecks East” and “Erie Wrecks West” have been diving around the world since the mid 1970s. However, nowhere else in the world have they discovered the kind of pristine and perfectly preserved shipwrecks that lie in the fresh waters of the Great Lakes.

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Volume 10, Issue 17, Posted 9:14 AM, 09.05.2018

Historical society has free BHS yearbooks

The Bay Village Historical Society is offering old Bay High yearbooks free of charge.

The following years are available: 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1999.

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Volume 10, Issue 17, Posted 9:15 AM, 09.05.2018

Ready, set, duck! Annual rubber duck race returns to Westlake on Aug. 25

The Westlake Historical Society's annual Great Rubber Duck Race is a fun fundraising event that will be held on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 1 p.m., at the Westlake Recreation Center pond. Funds raised will benefit Clague House Museum upkeep, children’s programs and special projects.

You can join the race and adopt your ducks – $5 for a single duck, $25 for a “Six Quack,” and $49 for a “Quacker Pack” with 12 ducks! For each duck you sponsor, you will receive an adoption certificate with a number that corresponds to a duck in the race. When the rubber ducks are released into the Westlake Recreation Center pond, the first duck to cross the finish line wins!

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Volume 10, Issue 15, Posted 9:43 AM, 08.07.2018

Meet the Clagues, Part II

Second in a series of articles on the Clagues, one of the founding families of Dover (now Westlake). Part I was published Dec. 5, 2017, and is archived at wbvobserver.com/read/columns/digging-dover.

The best known Manx emigrant to America was Myles Standish – the military leader of the Pilgrim Fathers who sailed for New England in 1620. Why Robert Clague, the patriarch of the Dover/Westlake Clagues left the Isle of Man and came to Dover nearly 200 years later, in 1829, is unknown, but we have some clues.

John Feltham, an English travel writer, describing the Isle of Man in 1797, stated that: “The population of the island in general is excessive: it is no uncommon thing for fourteen to be grown up in one family. But in general, except the eldest son and daughter, the whole are obliged to quit the island to gain their bread, and seldom return.” It was also stated that the increase in population had pushed the cultivation of unsuitable land and the rulers of the island raised the rents and tithes, including a tithe on potatoes in the 1820s.

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Volume 10, Issue 14, Posted 9:56 AM, 07.17.2018

'Old Hurst Home' at 2004 Dover Center Road dates to 1854

Hurst has been a fairly common name in Dover which makes it difficult to research. It has been hard to determine if they represent one or multiple families who settled in the geographic area that now encompasses Bay Village, Westlake and Avon.  

Multiple sources state that three or four brothers named Hurst emigrated directly from England to Dover Township and Avon in the early 19th century to take up sheep farming. Both Josiah and Thomas Hurst’s homes are featured in an 1874 atlas of Cuyahoga County. Thomas Hurst’s circa 1838 brick home, which still exists on the north side of Detroit Road, west of Bradley, is marked with an Ohio Historical Marker. Josiah N. Hurst’s home was located west of Thomas’s home and while the house is gone, one of his barns pictured in the 1874 drawing still exists, painted white, at 31450 Detroit Road.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 9:36 AM, 05.15.2018

Westlake Historical Society yard sale ushers in spring

The Westlake Historical Society is collecting items for the spring yard sale, which will take place on Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Clague House lawn, 1371 Clague Road. We are happy to have your classy cast-offs and no-longer-needed knickknacks. As you are doing your spring cleaning, please remember the historical society. What a great way to rid the clutter and get an end-of-year tax deduction.

For more information, or if you would like us to pick up items, please call Jan at 440-227-0061 or Dave at 440-610-2728, or email claguemuseum@yahoo.com. Letters of donation (for tax purposes) are available upon request.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:08 AM, 05.01.2018

Beloved artist and Westlake native son passes away

Celebrated artist and sculptor Harold Balazs passed away on Dec. 30, 2017, in Mead, Washington. He was 89 years old.

Harold was born in Dover (now Westlake) in 1928 and graduated from Dover High School in 1946. While in school he participated in basketball, hockey, volleyball, football, track, and student council. He was president of student council during his senior year.

Harold started art lessons at the Cleveland Museum of Art at the age of 12, and continued them for several years after. He was encouraged in this by his mother, who worked as a telephone operator. His father’s work in sheet metal fabrication and air conditioning repair provided young Harold the opportunity to become familiar with materials he would later use in his art.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:25 AM, 03.06.2018