Local History

Bay Men's Club celebrates centennial

This year marks the centennial of the founding of the Bay Men’s Club, which lays claim as the oldest club organization in the city.

Formally known as the Community Club of Bay Village, the men’s club was founded in the summer of 1917 when a handful of village men, gathering on the steps of what is now the Rose Hill Museum in Cahoon Memorial Park, met to form a non-partisan organization whose purpose was, and is, to promote good fellowship.

With an eye to the future, its platform from the start was sponsorship of civic, social and moral activities for the benefit of the village.

The new club began meeting in the old red brick schoolhouse at the southeast corner of Lake and Bassett roads, and dues of one dollar per year were assessed.

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

Owners of century homes get plaques

The Bay Village Historical Society offers plaques to the owners of homes older than 100 years. Pictured here are Gary and Connie Clifford with their daughter Grace and granddaughter Rory. They live across the street from each other on Lake Road in century homes, and both recently purchased plaques from the society. Information on ordering the plaques can be found on the society’s website, www.bayhistorical.com.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 9:24 AM, 06.20.2017

The Lilly Weston House matters

What better way to celebrate Preservation Month than to gather in the front courtyard of the Lilly Weston house, one of the two structures in Westlake on the National Register of Historic Places? That is what 30 citizens of Westlake did on the evening of May 31.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated May as Preservation Month for many years and uses it to showcase their “This Place Matters” campaign. The Lilly Weston committee of the Westlake Historical Society thought it would be a good chance to express our affection for the historic house.

The committee has been re-activated and meeting monthly since January 2016 with the goal of making the Lilly Weston house an integral part of the Westlake community.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:20 AM, 06.06.2017

Summer kicks off at the Clague Museum

You know summer has arrived when the Westlake Historical Society hosts their annual ice cream social. The Society invites you to an old-fashioned ice cream social on Saturday, June 10, 1:00-4:00 p.m. It will be held on the lawn of the historic Clague House Museum, 1371 Clague Road.

This is a great opportunity to meet other people in the community and members of the historical society. Families and friends can all enjoy the beautiful setting, guided tours of the museum, and some of the best ice cream and treats around. The museum grounds are the perfect setting for this kickoff to summer. There is no charge for this event, but any donations received will benefit the historical society. A wide variety of cold and delicious ice cream, toppings of all kinds, and old-fashioned root beer floats will be available. Both cups and cones will also be available.

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

Popular cemetery tour returns to Evergreen on May 20

The Westlake Historical Society is preparing to present our very popular Evergreen Cemetery Walk. It will be held this year on Saturday, May 20, 1-3 p.m.

Join historical past residents of our community, portrayed by historical society members and volunteers, as they help the cemetery to come alive! The tour will begin at 1 p.m. under the Evergreen Arch with the laying of a wreath at the entrance to the cemetery. It will end at the 200-year-old Moses Cleveland Tree in the back of the cemetery with refreshments. There is no cost for this community event, but your donations do help to continue the work of the Westlake Historical Society.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:35 AM, 05.16.2017

The return of Leonard Porter

Greetings to all my friends in Dover – oops, Westlake – from the Great Beyond. As great as the Beyond is – and it is, except for golf since everyone always gets holes in one – I always look forward to getting back to my home town every year for the Westlake Historical Society’s Evergreen Cemetery Walk.

I enjoy coming back, meeting with some of my former neighbors and fellow founding families above ground and meeting with the good folks who live in Westlake now. Someone once said, “It’s hard to know where you are if you don’t know where you’ve been.” That’s what history is all about – letting people know where their families have been, letting people know where their country has been and letting people know where the area they live in came to be and how it advanced.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:38 AM, 05.16.2017

The history of Detroit Road, Part IV: Straightening the curve

According to "The Lakewood Story" by Margaret Manor Butler, the last mayor of the hamlet of Lakewood, J.J. Rowe, when discussing his administration which was in place from 1902 to 1905, listed as his first accomplishments: “We abolished the old plank road on Detroit, that was laid before the Civil War … [and] abolished the tollgate at Warren Road and Detroit Avenue.”

Hadsell and Rutherford’s "History and Civics of Dover Village" states that Detroit Road in Dover (Westlake) was first paved with brick in 1908. There is a little patch of brick paving still visible if you know where to look for it.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:37 AM, 05.16.2017

The history of Detroit Road, Part III: Taverns and political symbols

Part three in a series about Detroit Road.

As earlier parts of this series on the history of Detroit Road explain, Margaret Manor Butler’s "The Lakewood Story" discusses in detail the construction of a wooden Plank Road from West 25th Street to five miles beyond Rocky River. Construction of it began in 1849 and it lasted for over 50 years as a toll road until 1901 when the gates were removed and the tolls abolished. Butler wrote that it was a great boon to produce farmers who made the trip to Cleveland and that although it eased travel, it had several drawbacks.

One drawback was noise! Butler stated that it was the end of peace and quiet on Detroit with a constant stream of wagons, carts, oxen and horses, clumping and creaking over the planks very early in the morning and making the same noise on the return trip later in the day. Sundays brought a steady stream of carriages from Cleveland, with the occupants enjoying an early version of the “Sunday drive.” The other drawback she mentioned was the increase in the number of taverns and the sale of alcohol along Detroit. Farmers returning home after a day at the market would stop for refreshment and if they stayed too long after dark would spend the night.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 9:35 AM, 05.02.2017

Bay Womenís Club Centennial: The second 50 years

The Bay Village Women’s Club is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Its first 50 years focused on children, community health and education, along with social activities of the era. The second 50 years evolved to support new essentials for the growing community and the changing role of women. Club support for Bay Village included:

  • Selling zip code books for the new five-digit codes (implemented in 1963)
  • Performing many needed tasks at the library by the Club’s literature group, eventually forming the Friends of the Bay Village Library
  • Refurbishing the Community House, including a “modern electric range with self-cleaning oven,” a soap dispenser in the restroom, and a railing outside (early 1970s), followed later by new furnishings, drapes and a sink
  • Spearheading the drive for a Bay Village Paramedic Unit which was the club’s Bicentennial Project (1975)
  • Assisting with Swine Flu shot drives in the 1970s
  • Contributing toward the Fire Department’s rescue boat (1977) and later a CPR monitor
  • Donating a recorder to the Police Department to trace calls (1980)

and the list continues.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:22 AM, 03.07.2017

Easter Bunny returns to Clague House for pet photos

Did you know that the Clague family were pet owners? Old pictures and family stories tell us they owned both dogs and cats, while living on the farm. Sophronia Clague was especially taken by both cats and dogs.

Many years ago, it was common to have pets working on family farms here in 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.

I can imagine if Sophronia were here today, she would enjoy seeing all the pets at the Clague House having 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, March 19, for pet photos from noon to 5:00 p.m.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:22 AM, 03.07.2017

Bay Women's Club Centennial: The first 50 years

The first in a two-part series on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bay Village Women's Club.

The Bay Village Women’s Club observes its 100th birthday this year. The Women’s Club is the oldest such organization in Bay Village. Mrs. Florence Whitney, a school board member, served as the Club’s first president. Beginning Jan. 5, 1917, she and four women called on every mother in the Village to attend a meeting on Jan. 25 in the little Red Brick School House on Lake Road. The response was overwhelming with an overflow attendance of 52 women.

According to notes on the early meetings, “Tea was made over a fire of coals and china was transported to meetings in a little red wagon. The ladies sewed, had musical recitals and, with the proceeds, bought footstools for the children to raise their feet from the draughty floors.” A neighbor’s outhouse was the only “facility” for the school house.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:48 AM, 02.21.2017

The history of Detroit Road, Part II: Bridging the Rocky River

Part two in a series about Detroit Road.

The first westward settlers traversing what became Detroit Road had to swim, wade or ford the Rocky River until a ferry service began in 1810. In 1820, Captain Rufus Wright, the owner of a tavern located where the Westlake Condominiums are now, took the lead in constructing the first bridge to cross the valley. According to "Rocky River Yesterday" by the Rocky River Historical Society, due to the capsizing of two stage coaches on the bridge in 1842, this low wooden span, which hung just above the flood-plain, was deemed unsafe due to deterioration and there were calls to build a new bridge and plank the road to improve travel conditions.

George A. Christensen wrote in "Incidents & Episodes: Tales of Rocky River and Rockport Township, Ohio" that the replacement wooden bridge, built in 1850 at a cost of $6,000, was constructed of oak timbers in the important parts of the structure, yellow pine, fir or ponderosa pine in the decorative area, with abutments of sandstone and a deck that was 24 feet wide. According to Christensen, the location of the mud ramp on the west side of the river came up behind the Westlake Hotel (now Westlake Condominiums) in Rocky River. He also says that the bridge was approximately halfway between the height of the water and the height of the natural grade on either side of the river.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:56 AM, 02.21.2017

Westlake Historical Society picks cutest pet

The Westlake Historical Society is happy to announce the winner of our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest: Iggy, a 2-year-old Shih Tzu. She was adopted from the Toledo Area Humane Society as a puppy and moved to Westlake with her owner, Sarah Howard, in 2015. When she was rescued, she was one of 35 Shih Tzus from a hoarding situation in Toledo.

Iggy was born without a tail, and has a 90-pound Aussie Doodle brother by the name of Bentley. They are the best of buddies, though Iggy is the boss. She also enjoys the company of two cats, Max and Louie, but the feeling is not always mutual. Her favorite toy is her pink Lambchop. She simply adores soft squeaky toys. She also enjoys running around the house with empty milk cartons or cardboard boxes. Iggy is a sweet and friendly dog who loves to play, but is also happy to curl up on the couch for a laid back evening at home. Her nickname is "Wiggles."

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:50 AM, 02.21.2017

The history of Detroit Road: From stumps to planks

Part one in a series about Detroit Road.

According to "A History and Civics of Dover Village" written by Hadsell and Rutherford in 1930, Detroit Road follows the shoreline of an ancient lake known as Lake Warren. At different geologic times lakes have formed four different cliff-like ridges at what today is Butternut Ridge in North Olmsted, Center Ridge and Detroit roads in Westlake (known as Middle Ridge and North Ridge roads in the early days) and Lake Road in Bay Village.

Hadsell and Rutherford go on to say that both Lake Road and Center Ridge were used as Native American trails (other sources say Detroit Road was an Indian trail as well) and that the early Euro-American pioneers used the ridges as the earliest roads. Stumps were left in place and the authors go on to say that there were people alive in 1930 who remembered when the main “highways” were rows of stumps. They also say that as the number of pioneers increased the number of stumps decreased to create more desirable dirt roads. Unfortunately due to our climate the dirt roads were often mud roads.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:36 AM, 01.24.2017

An old name in grocery shopping once called Westlake home

The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. While to some that might sound like a new upscale boutique tea shop, others may recognize it as the full name of the old A&P supermarket chain.

Area grocery shoppers once had the option of patronizing an A&P store in Westlake. That A&P occupied a brick colonial-style building located at 27255 Detroit Road, on the southwest corner of Detroit and Dover Center roads. The same building is now home to the E&H Ace Hardware store. Being that same Ace Hardware store was mentioned in the Jan. 10 Observer article I penned recalling past and present Westlake / Bay Village lawn mower maintenance hot spots, this is a sort of follow-on to that piece.

Because the first ad I could find in the Plain Dealer archive listing an A&P at 27255 Detroit Road ran in the June 18, 1964, issue, and a want ad in the May 11, 1964, issue sought help for the “new Union Commerce Bank office” in a wing attached to the east side of the store, I believe A&P opened for business at that location in 1964.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:39 AM, 01.24.2017

Clague Museum celebrates Valentine's Day with party, candy bouquets

The first mailed valentine in the United States was sent in 1806. However, this most personal communication actually dates back much farther to ancient Roman times. 

In keeping with the Valentine tradition, please join us on Sunday, Feb. 12, starting at noon, for an old-fashioned Valentine's Day party with the Westlake Historical Society. Shake off the winter chills and come inside the Clague family home located at 1371A Clague Road in Westlake. This annual party for the community began several years ago as a way to forget Old Man Winter, and enjoy an afternoon of crafts, sweet treats and museum tours.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:35 AM, 01.24.2017

Westlake Historical Society continues to light up history

If you have driven past the Clague House Museum or Lilly Weston House at night, you have probably noticed the candles in the windows. Placing a burning candle in one's window is a common tradition that dates back to colonial times.

The candle was often placed in the window when a member of the family was away. The lit candle was also placed in the window as a sign of good news or as a beacon to weary travelers. To keep this historic tradition alive, the Westlake Historical Society has, for the last several years, placed electric candles in the windows of the Clague House Museum and Lilly-Weston House.

In 2016, the historical society set a goal to replace all of our incandescent light bulbs with the newer, energy efficient LED lighting. This included all indoor and outdoor lighting, as well as our electric candles in the windows.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:29 AM, 01.10.2017

Does Westlake have a plank road toll house?

Passing by the Plank Road Tavern at 16719 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood, you might wonder about the unusual name but you certainly wouldn’t connect its name with today’s city of Westlake in any way. But these two places on our changing earth are connected. They are connected, of course, today by Detroit Avenue which extends westward from Lakewood into Rocky River and Westlake (becoming Detroit Road when it crosses the bridge over the Rocky River). The cities also once were connected by a road made of planks of wood which followed this right-of-way. This was during an era when Westlake was known as Dover Township and today’s Detroit Road was known as North Ridge Road in Dover Township.

The Plank Road Tavern prides itself on Midwestern craft beers and contemporary rustic fare. That is a description not too different from the refreshments offered by the taverns that had sprung up along the plank road to serve the Dover and Rockport farmers returning home after a day at the market.

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Volume 8, Issue 24, Posted 10:09 AM, 12.13.2016

Holiday happenings at Clague Museum

The holiday season is upon us and the Westlake Historical Society continues to stay busy.

It is our pleasure to welcome visitors to The Clague House Museum throughout the year. Those wishing to set up an appointment to see the museum should call us at 216-848-0680. Our museum store has several stocking stuffers and hostess gifts for the holidays.

Many years ago members of the Westlake Historical Society began placing wreaths on the graves of founding and pioneer citizens of early Dover (now Westlake) buried in Evergreen and Maple Ridge cemeteries. Individuals, groups, families and  companies can sponsor a holiday wreath this year in memory of anyone buried in Westlake, not just a founder or pioneer.

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Volume 8, Issue 23, Posted 9:39 AM, 11.29.2016

Effort to preserve Lilly Weston house on display at Westlake's Fall Festival

Bustling with energy, the Fall Festival at Westlake’s Recreational Center on Oct. 15 entertained children of all ages with its pony rides, pumpkin hunt, bouncy houses, hay rides and many other fun activities. This year, a new activity was added. The Westlake Historical Society mixed fun with local history in an event themed around the Lilly Weston House. But why is the Lilly Weston House so important? And why exactly is it being showcased at an event geared toward children and their families?

Built around 1844 in what was then Dover Township, the Lilly Weston House is a sandstone and brick home that is an important relic of Westlake’s agricultural past. It is located next to the entrance to the Westlake Recreational Center on Center Ridge Road, where it originated as the farmhouse for what was once a 100-acre farm. As the house passed through at least 17 owners, the acreage got smaller and smaller, until it was eventually donated to the community for use as a museum on its one-acre lot.

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Volume 8, Issue 21, Posted 10:03 AM, 11.01.2016

50 years of planning in Westlake

On Thursday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m., the Westlake Historical Society will be holding a program in Community Room A of the Westlake Recreation Center. All are invited! The program is titled “Fifty Years of Planning in Westlake.” It is titled this because the two speakers that evening have a combined total of 50 years of direct involvement in the planning for the City of Westlake.

Ken Crandall’s first association with the City of Westlake was in 1957 when Westlake was experiencing its first wave of transformation from agricultural community to suburban city, and his various roles in planning for the city continued for 24 years, until 1981.

Robert Parry was Planning Director for 26 years, from 1987 until 2013, during the years that Westlake was the fastest growing community in Cuyahoga County.

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Volume 8, Issue 17, Posted 11:05 AM, 09.07.2016

More about Caleb Eddy Jr. and his house

This article is a follow-up to the excellent article about Caleb Eddy Jr. and his home that was written by Kay Laughlin in the Aug. 2 issue of the Observer. I too have been fascinated by the Eddy family, who like the Crocker family of Westlake, had family members living in both Euclid Township (a portion of which later became East Cleveland) and Dover Township at the same time. What else do we know about Caleb Eddy Jr.?

Life in Euclid Township

According to a history of East Cleveland written by Ellen Loughry Price, Caleb was 14 years old when he moved with his parents to Euclid Township in 1806. The Eddy family joined other Euro-American families that had begun settling on Dugway Creek where it crossed the Buffalo Road in 1803. The hamlet was named “Nine Mile Creek.” Buffalo Road later became Euclid Avenue on the East Side and Detroit Road on the West Side. Loughry Price says that the journey to Euclid Township was so slow that the Eddy children begged to be allowed to walk. Finally, against her better judgement, their mother, Nancy, consented. They proved her fears right, as they soon became lost. A passing horseman recovered them and took them to the nearest cabin where they were found by their parents.

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 9:43 AM, 08.16.2016

Own a piece of Westlake history

In preparation for Westlake’s Bicentennial in 2011 we began tracking buildings that would have their 100-year birthdays that year. There were 184 buildings determined to meet that criteria. Several were torn down before the Bicentennial even arrived and in the five short years since the Bicentennial, nine have been torn down, one re-muddled, three restored and three have seen significant incremental re-investment.  

The high rate of demolition is primarily because many are homes that are on major streets in commercial or multi-family zoned districts. Now that Westlake is almost built out with less available vacant land, there is more interest in re-developing properties.

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Volume 8, Issue 13, Posted 9:25 AM, 07.06.2016

High school AV recollections

As a Bay High student in the 1970s about the only claim of distinction I could muster was that of being an AV geek. That, and while I can neither confirm or deny it, the possibility I may have been one of relatively few kids at Bay High at the time who enjoyed occupying their study halls perusing the pages of “Hot Rod Magazine.”

Not surprisingly, then, reading the story in the June 7 issue of the Observer about the new Bay High video studio generated a flood of memories for me.

Much of the school’s earliest instructional video recording and playback equipment had been in use during my stint as a volunteer in Bay High’s AV department. While our gear 40-plus years ago was no doubt quite primitive in comparison with that described in the June 7 story, I still very much remember it.

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Volume 8, Issue 13, Posted 9:29 AM, 07.06.2016

Tracing the history of former Westlake sanitarium

On a recent visit to the Special Collections area of the Main Branch of the Cleveland Public Library I re-acquainted myself with a book I had first discovered as a 14-year-old boy. It is called “Beautiful Homes of Cleveland” and was published by The Cleveland Topics Company in 1917. The focus of the book is a selection of substantial homes built within the city of Cleveland and inner ring of suburbs from about 1890 to 1915.

The book also includes one home in today’s Bay Village, the Lawrence Mansion, which is now part of Cashelmara, and one home in today’s Westlake. The home in Westlake is listed as the “Home of Mr. W.H. Becker, West Dover, Ohio.” It is odd that it is included in the book since it is not very architecturally noteworthy and in today’s terminology we would call it “re-muddled.” I was not initially familiar with the home and proceeded to do some research on it.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:35 AM, 06.21.2016

Tribute to Civil War veterans restored on Lake Road

In April 1934, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War began promoting the idea of designating U.S. Route 6 as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway to honor Union forces that served during the war between the states. This notion was originally spurred by U.S. Army Major William L. Anderson as a means of honoring Civil War-era Union fighting personnel.

The Grand Army of the Republic was, in its time, a very influential veterans group formed by members of Union forces who had served in the Civil War after the end of the conflict. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is a successor to that group, consisting of those who can directly trace a blood relative as one who had served in the Union forces.

As they are actually responsible for the roadway, each state that U.S. Route 6 runs through had to individually approve the additional naming of the highway. Beginning with Massachusetts in 1937, each state traversed by U.S. Route 6 eventually cleared the way for the for the honorary naming, and a formal dedication of the Grand Army of the Republic Highway took place on May 3, 1953, in Long Beach, California.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 10:09 AM, 06.07.2016

Westlake Historical Society hosts community art show

The Clague House is turning 140 years old this year and, as a part of our yearlong celebration, the Westlake Historical Society is honoring Sophronia Clague’s love for artistic expression by holding an Ice Cream Social and non-juried Community Art Show beginning on June 10.

All Westlake residents or members of the Westlake Historical Society are invited to submit up to two items for display and/or sale. We ask that all submissions be ready for hanging and suitable for public display to families in a museum.

The show is open to all types of art including drawings, paintings and photographs. Each submission must be your original work.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:42 AM, 05.17.2016

Bus tour takes riders on trip through Bay's memories

The Village Bicycle Cooperative and the Bay Village Historical Society teamed up with the Dwyer Memorial Senior Center on April 28 to present a 14-mile historical tour through the memories of Bay Village.

The event was to help publicize the cooperative’s upcoming “History Mystery Tour” bicycle ride through the city, scheduled for Saturday, May 7.

Local citizens boarded the community’s 14-passenger “covered wagon” to learn about the city’s rich history, spanning from 1810 to the present.“The mystery wave,” Sam Sheppard, Eliott Ness and Cahoon family stories were just four of many discussed that day.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:44 AM, 05.03.2016

Competition brings students and history together

It is no secret that my husband, Dave Pfister, and I love history. As members of the Westlake Historical Society, we spend a lot of time sharing Westlake's rich history. We have even been called history geeks.

Another way we enjoy taking part in history is by serving as History Day judges, both on the regional and state level. History Day is a nationwide student competition that actually began in Cleveland on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in 1974.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:03 AM, 04.05.2016

Museum provides special way to honor a loved one

The Westlake Historical Society offers you the opportunity to dedicate the flying of the American flag at the Clague House Museum, in honor or memory of a special individual or group. The flag will be flown for one month and is a special way to remember someone significant in your life.

Do you have a particular month in mind? You may request a specific month for the flag to be flown, but please remember we only do one per month.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:07 AM, 02.16.2016

February brings love to Clague House Museum

Valentine's Day dates back to Roman times, however it wasn't until 1840 that Richard Cadbury designed and illustrated the first decorative Valentine candy boxes. Please join the Westlake Historical Society on Feb. 13 to learn more about the history of Valentine's Day as we celebrate with our annual old-fashioned Valentine's Day party.

The Clague family home, located at 1371 Clague Road, will be your destination to enjoy an afternoon of crafts, sweet treats and museum tours. There is no charge for the event, but donations are gratefully accepted. Members of the historical society will conduct guided tours of the museum.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:48 AM, 02.02.2016

Medium to offer 'romantic predictions' at historical society tea

The Westlake Historical Society will host a "Hearts & Flowers Romantic Predictions Tea" with medium Susan Averre. The event will take place on Friday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Clague House Museum, 1371 Clague Road.

Join us for all your traditional tea favorites. Enjoy the ambiance that the Clague House Museum offers as we enjoy conversation and predictions from the medium.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:00 AM, 01.19.2016

Tax records offer clues to age of 'Hagedorn Homestead' at 603 Bassett Road

In the last issue we discussed the Henry and Marie Hagedorn House at 600 Bassett Road, circa 1908. Now we will discuss Henry’s grandparents' house that still exists across the street from it at 603 Bassett Road. It is another gable-and-wing structure of a little over 1,300 square feet that sits close to the east side of the road as you pass over the railroad tracks from Westlake to Bay Village. It is currently painted a mustard brown color with light blue shutters.

It is known as the "Hagedorn Homestead" and is one of only 25 homes in Bay Village that were called “Historic Homes of Bay Village” in the City of Bay Village Architectural Design Review Standards Workbook prepared for the city by Metro One Design Group in 1994. Since that time three of these elite 25 have been torn down and one “re-muddled.”

I have not written about 603 Bassett Road until now because there has been a lot of confusion about when it was actually constructed. The county auditor lists its year of construction as 1833. Some other sources say 1857. There is also confusion about both first and last names of the original owners. This is probably why it has been known simply as the “Hagedorn Homestead.” It has been quite an enigma until now!

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:01 AM, 01.19.2016

Interstate 90 wasnít always a fixture in Westlake

Should a resident of Bay Village or Westlake desire driving directions to Boston, Massachusetts, they would be quite straightforward: Simply enter Interstate 90 eastbound from the nearest access point in Westlake and follow that route all the way to the historic New England metropolis.

What if the above-mentioned resident wished to motor their way to Seattle, Washington, instead? The directions would be similarly direct (although encompassing much more mileage): Again enter I-90 from one of the two Westlake interchanges that permit westbound access to the highway and keep heading west until reaching the Pacific Northwest hub of technology.

Interstate 90, sometimes piggybacking along with other interstate routes, runs roughly 3,120 miles, completely traversing the northern United States with its western terminus being in Seattle and eastern terminus finding itself in Boston.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:59 AM, 01.05.2016

Dinner and talk on impact of LTVís bankruptcy

CWRU History Associates will host a dinner at the Cleveland Skating Club, 2500 Kemper Road, Shaker Heights, on Jan. 27 followed by a lecture entitled “LTV’s Bankruptcy and De-industrialization of the Steel Industry in Northern Ohio.” Bay Village resident Susan Murnane will deliver the lecture. 

Murnane’s talk will discuss Northern Ohio’s development as an international center of steel manufacturing at the end of the 19th century, and its subsequent decline at the end of the 20th century, as seen through the prism of LTV’s bankruptcy. While many factors contributed to the restructuring of the steel industry, including foreign competition, technological change, troubled labor relations, and the rise of private equity, Murnane argues that the distribution of gains and losses from the restructuring in northern Ohio was profoundly shaped by the 1978 bankruptcy reform that introduced Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:03 AM, 01.05.2016

The Henry and Marie Hagedorn House, 600 Bassett Road

It seems fitting to be discussing the home of some very devout family oriented Lutheran Christians in an issue of the Observer covering the period of the Christmas holiday. Lutherans not only introduced the custom of using an evergreen in their celebration of Christ’s birth, they shaped the early Dover (Bay Village and Westlake) community.

According to "Bay Village: A Way of Life," and a family history generously provided to the Bay Village Historical Society by Hagedorn descendent Janet Marie Toensing, the first Hagedorns to come to Dover were Henry, Katherine and their five children who came from Hanover, Germany, to America around 1852. They bought 30 acres of land at 603 Bassett Road and began farming.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:36 AM, 12.15.2015

Holiday happenings at the Clague House Museum

Santa Paws will return to the Clague Museum on Saturday, Dec. 19! Santa is excited to visit with his well-behaved pet friends and is available for photos from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The requested donation is $10; please make a reservation for your pet in advance by calling 216-848-0680.

The museum will host an Elf Overnight on Friday, Dec. 18. Check-in for the elves is from 6-8 p.m. While there, you and your elf can decorate holiday cookies. You can also decorate a personalized ornament and hang it on the tree. Enjoy a traditional reading of "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" by the tree. Your elf will spend the night at the museum. The next morning, you can pick up your elf at 9 a.m.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:44 AM, 12.15.2015

Trip to Canadian 'sister city' honors famed Westlake native

In 2012, Kingsville, Ontario, became a Sister City with Westlake through the common legacy of one John Thomas Miner, better known as Jack Miner. Born in 1865 near the present-day intersection of Dover Center Road and Westown Blvd., Jack moved with his family to Kingsville when he was 13. His early roots instilled in him a love of nature and wildlife and he studied migratory birds until his death in 1944, becoming known as the Father of Conservation. The August premiere of “An Evening with Jack Miner” at the Clague Playhouse generated an invitation for me to reprise the role at Jack’s migratory bird sanctuary in Kingsville.

On Oct. 16, with passport in hand, I crossed the border to not only attend but participate in the 46th Annual Migration Festival. This year’s festival was a little different as its theme included the 150th birthday of Jack. The festival celebrates Kingsville’s place in history as the home of the man who changed the migration routes of the fowls of the air. I arrived Friday afternoon in time to attend the festival’s opening ceremonies with a wine and cheese reception that was held in Kingsville’s Carnegie Visitors Center. Jack himself (or a very convincing American re-enactor) made an appearance and read from his autobiography, "Wild Goose Jack," setting a celebratory tone for the remainder of the weekend.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:21 AM, 11.17.2015

Who were the Westons of Westlake? As family name fades away, donation keeps legacy alive

Part five of a five-part series.

In part 3 and part 4 of this series, we introduced you to the oldest two sons of George and Rhoda Weston, Asa L. and Arthur E. Weston. In this article we will introduce you to their youngest son, Frank, who received the southern portion of their 100-acre farm on Columbia Road in the late 1800s. George, Rhoda and their sons had earlier occupied, and Frank was born in, the currently city owned Lilly-Weston house at 27946 Center Ridge Road, next to the Westlake Recreation Center.

Based on a 1920s plat book it appears that Frank built a home, most likely at 2535 Columbia Road. While it no longer stands, in the 1930s it appears to have been split into two units, with the lower unit occupied by his grown son Wells Weston and his family in 1940, as per the U.S. Census that year. The same 1940 Census shows that the Weston name was still strong on Columbia Road with May E. Weston, her brother George I. Weston and his wife, Mida, and three adult children occupying 2283 Columbia (still standing), which was built by their father Asa L.; Burton Weston and his wife occupying 2363 Columbia (still standing), which was built by his father Arthur E.; Burton’s brother Charles M. Weston, his wife, Esther, and children (including Doris) occupying the house Charles built next door at 2391 Columbia (destroyed). It is no wonder that May, Charles and Doris loved and felt connected to Dover/Westlake – their neighbors and their family were one and the same!

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:24 AM, 11.17.2015

A legacy of Hueys over Westlake

Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump … That staccato and determined thumping seemed to go on and on until the helicopter producing it would fly overhead, after which the sound would all but disappear.

In the 1970s and early '80s that bit of drama would repeat itself rather regularly right over, or nearly so, my Westlake residence. The helicopter creating it at any given time would be one of six Bell UH-1H Iroquois models that called Cleveland Hopkins Airport home, heading back to its base of operation in the southwest sector of that aerodrome.

First ordered for the U.S. military in 1960, all model variants of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois are more commonly known as Hueys, most likely due to their original type designation being HU-1 (until 1962) and GIs informally assigning the aircraft its familiar nickname derived from that designation. The very pronounced thump, thump, thump sound as they approach is a characteristic trait of Huey helicopters in flight.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:17 AM, 11.03.2015