Local History

Westlake Historical Society seeks your story

As a history major at Baldwin Wallace University, and previously as a student at Westlake High School, I have studied a myriad of events, throughout many different time periods, spanning all across the world. My fascination with history has remained constant, regardless of the era. It is not the great wars that have taken place or the monuments erected that continue to hold my interest, but the people.

I continue to be in awe of the impact that a single person can have on history. It's amazing to think that every single person has a unique story to tell and every story is important. Every person has shaped history.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:50 AM, 03.19.2013

Cutest pet desk calendars going fast

Each year the Westlake Historical Society holds a contest to find the cutest pet in Westlake. Any kind of pet is eligible: cats, dogs, parrots, ferrets, etc. In 2013 we had our first gecko in the competition. If it's a pet in Westlake, and it's cute, it can compete!  

This year, we honored the 2013 cutest pet contest winner “Toby” (an Airedale mix) by putting him on the cover of our cutest pet desk calendar for 2013. We also added the top 12 pet photos in the competition and gave them each a month of the calendar year. 

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 10:02 AM, 02.19.2013

Westlake Historical Society seeks to add historical photos for collection

Do you have any historical photos from old Dover or Westlake tucked away in a shoe box or album? The Westlake Historical Society is always collecting and scanning photos to add to our collection.  

It is an ongoing project for our society as we continue to add local photos and records to our archives. Photographs, as they say, are worth a thousand words and have the opportunity to tell important stories. They provide clues about the time period in which they were taken and describe life at that point in time. They are a wonderful source for historians and genealogists who study them for clues or more information about ancestors. 

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:25 AM, 02.05.2013

So long to an old frequency

Something happened in our Westshore communities at the end of 2012 that gave the same sort of feeling to this Westlake radio enthusiast that many of the city’s residents likely had when the Red Brick School was demolished.

The occurrence I speak of is that of the Westshore fire departments of Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake moving their radio operations off of the frequency 154.250 megahertz (MHz) and on to a very sophisticated, interoperable radio system – allowing for communication with outside agencies – occupying a number of much higher frequencies. (This radio system move has been confirmed by viewing official documentation online.) Prior to this move the radios of those departments found their home on 154.250 MHz using a simpler communications system for a number of decades, going back at least to the 1960s.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 11:43 AM, 01.22.2013

Clague House lights up the night

The Westlake Historical Society is all aglow with the completion of outdoor lighting at the Clague House Museum. The society would like to thank the city of Westlake for helping us to accomplish this goal.

This lighting not only adds ambiance to the museum, it also makes it possible for the society to fly the American flag 24 hours a day. The flag pole was installed and dedicated this past fall in honor of William and Jean Robishaw.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 11:54 AM, 01.22.2013

High school history buff

I am a history buff. Ever since I can remember, I've always had a fascination with the past. So when it came time to find volunteer opportunities to satisfy Westlake High School's community service requirement, I knew I wanted to do something that I love, and that would keep my interest.

One day last spring, my mom found an article in the Observer describing the Westlake Historical Society and its many opportunities for volunteers. The article was entitled "Do you have a heart for history?" It was as if the article was written specifically for me!

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 9:20 AM, 01.08.2013

Westlake's Kluever century homes

During the 19th and early 20th century, parts of Bassett Road in Dover Township (now Westlake and Bay Village) were known as Dutch Road and Elbow Road. “Dutch” for the residents along it, many of whom were of Germanic ancestry, “Elbow” for the angled configuration of the section between Dover and Detroit roads. St. Paul Lutheran Church was the heart of this community of German people and Bassett Road formed the spine.

The first wave of settlers to Dover were primarily from New England with ancestors who had emigrated from the British Isles. Starting sometime after 1852 these original landowners began splitting up and selling their land to the second wave of settlers who were primarily from Germany.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:45 AM, 12.11.2012

Give the gift of Westlake history

The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping is well underway. Since consumers are often asked to shop locally during this time of year, what is more local than your Westlake Historical Society?

The historical society has several items that are fun, interesting and celebrate Westlake's history. There are several book choices that cover everything from cooking in the early 1900s to historical coloring books. We also have a limited number of Cat's Meow replicas of local buildings such as the Clague House Museum and Old Red Brick School. The society is very fond of a limited edition Christmas tree ornament that features an image of the Clague House Museum. In addition to note cards, we also have a unique print of the Clague Museum suitable for framing.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:49 AM, 12.11.2012

Century-home research uncovers family ties

[Final article in a series on the history of homes in Dover – now Westlake and Bay Village – and the Westlake Historical Society's century-home plaquing program.]

The story of the Sheldon Johnson and John W. Hawkins families has come to light during the research for the plaquing of a century home at 2650 Clague Rd. in Westlake. A goal of the program is discovering the previous owners of a home and linking their stories with that of the house. The book “Maple Ridge Cemetery, Westlake, Cuyahoga County, Ohio: A History of Its People and Families” by Jeanne B. Workman and Jayne A. Broestl, published in 2003 by the Cuyahoga West Chapter, OGS, has information about these two related families.

Sheldon Johnson in 1866 died at age 81. He and his wife, Martha, are buried in Lot 7 of Maple Ridge Cemetery, owned by John Hawkins, Sheldon's grandson-in-law. The same cemetery plot also holds the remains of John, his first wife Vannie, his second wife Katherine and three infant children.

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Volume 4, Issue 24, Posted 11:12 AM, 11.27.2012

Annual wreath-laying honors Westlake's pioneers

For the third year in a row, members of the Westlake Historical Society will remember some of the 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 and 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 one of our pioneer families.

Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will continue to place the wreaths on graves in both Evergreen Cemetery and Maple Ridge Cemetery until Dec. 15 for those individuals, families or businesses who would like to sponsor a wreath.

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Volume 4, Issue 24, Posted 10:41 AM, 11.27.2012

Community cookbooks offer glimpse into history

Today if I want an easy Crock Pot recipe, I simply check the social media site Pinterest or do a Google search. A few clicks and I can find just the perfect beef stew recipe. The internet puts any recipe virtually at my fingertips. This time of year prompts many of us to reach into our collection of family favorite recipes to prepare for a special holiday meal. 

Walk back in time with me as we discover the "community cookbook." Most community cookbooks were and continue to be sold to raise funds for various projects. Maria J. Moss is credited with creating the first charity cookbook. It was sold to help cover medical expenses for the care of Civil War soldiers.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.13.2012

A look at the research used to determine century-home status

[The third in a series of four articles on the history of homes in Dover – now Westlake and Bay Village – and the Westlake Historical Society's century-home plaquing program.]

One of the homes recently researched by the Westlake Historical Society at the request of the owner is at 2650 Clague Rd., on a portion of Original Lot 49. This home is a simple farmhouse in a gable-wing configuration with the gable facing the street. Notes and a sketch from Melanie Olm, a former historian with the Society, state that when a previous owner, Mrs. Crane, was doing a remodeling project she found an 1865 newspaper in the wall. However, Ms. Olm found that the 1860 and 1870 appraised values remained the same on the piece of land that the house is located on.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:38 AM, 11.13.2012

What the 'genealogy' of your land reveals about your home's age

[The second in a series of four articles on the history of homes in Dover – now Westlake and Bay Village – and the Westlake Historical Society's century-home plaquing program.]

The process of determining the actual year of construction of a building is like researching the “genealogy” of the piece of land on which it was constructed, determining both the chain of ownership and the history of the appraised value used for tax purposes.

The telltale sign of the “date of birth” of the house is an increase in the appraised tax value of the land underneath the structure. It is only in relatively recent years that the assessed value of the improvements on a parcel, such as a house, are assessed separately from the value of the land. For century homes, there was a time when the land, with a productive agricultural value was worth relatively more than the house.

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Volume 4, Issue 22, Posted 7:45 PM, 10.30.2012

Free genealogy help session at Porter Library

Westlake Porter Public Library, the Westlake Family History Center and the Cuyahoga West Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society will offer a free genealogy help session at the library on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The session is free and no appointments are necessary.

Visitors will receive 15 to 30 minutes of one-on-one help from an expert. Help can range from how to get started researching your family, to suggestions for getting around dead-ends, to tips on various genealogy resources to try, and much more. Bring your stories, your dead-ends and your research so far, and get expert help.

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Volume 4, Issue 22, Posted 7:38 PM, 10.30.2012

A brief history of early Dover home architecture

The first in a series of four articles on the history of homes in Dover – now Westlake and Bay Village – and the Westlake Historical Society's century-home plaquing program.

Have you ever wondered how old your older Westlake or Bay Village home is? The physical appearance of the house offers clues to the time of its construction.

After the log cabin stage, the earliest and wealthiest settlers to Westlake sometimes duplicated their Federal-style homes from back in New England. This house style is reminiscent of the rectangular shape of the hotel pieces in Monopoly with a symmetrical five-bay façade with central door. The fanlight was a common motif and delicate leaded glass window sidelights sometimes flanked the main door. The derelict 1833 Taylor/Lilly/Glendenning house at 28989 Center Ridge Rd. (across from St. John Medical Center) is a fine example of this style with later Victorian era alterations.

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 9:55 AM, 10.16.2012

Bay's neighborhoods, Eagle Cliff revisited

On a Monday morning in 1880, a group of young people crossed the Superior Viaduct in a horse-drawn wagon for a week of camping in Dover Township. Their destination was the Eagle Cliff Allotment, a campground run by Mr. B. E. Stone. 

The campground was located 50 feet above the water along a cliff on the westernmost edge of the township. The hunt for a choice hammock location and the experiment of setting up a tent on the edge of the cliff with success gave them confidence.

Every morning the days activities were announced. With instructions in hand, milk was gone for, fresh eggs gathered, vegetables dug and cleaned, coffee and tea set up. There was strolling through the neighborhood woods for berries and herbs, foraging trips for apples in the farmer’s orchards, quiet swinging in hammocks, reading poetry, playing games of ball, croquet and euchre, holding sing-a-longs and telling stories by the camp fire. The week ended too soon, and they packed up for home with happy memories.

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 9:54 AM, 10.16.2012

Historical society marks anniversary of Clague monument

Members of the Westlake Historical Society and friends gathered on Oct. 12 to mark the anniversary of the original dedication of the Clague Memorial Monument. The monument is located in Clague Memorial Park, directly across the street from the historic Clague House Museum.

This year marks the 83rd anniversary of the monument, which was erected in recognition of the Clague family, who donated their land to Dover Village for use as a park. Each year on this day, a wreath is placed to recognize the wonderful gift and lasting legacy that this pioneer family left to the citizens of our community.

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 10:04 AM, 10.16.2012

Smith descendants near and far visit Westlake City Hall

Last year, as Westlake celebrated their pioneers in bicentennial events, Westlake residents Craig and Kelly Smith had no idea that Craig’s ancestors were part of the larger Smith family that came from Massachusetts in 1811, to help found old Dover Township and Westlake. Craig’s father, Merle, knew little of his Smith heritage. 

This year, as Kelly began some basic internet genealogical research, she came across some information that pointed to the recent bicentennial book, "Pioneers of Westlake, Ohio," by Jeanne B. Workman. A quick trip to Westlake Porter Public Library to take a look at it made her heart race, as she soon realized that Craig was the great-great-great-great-grandson of Dover Township pioneers Abner and Rebecca Gibbs Smith. According to Workman, Abner Smith was born in 1754 in Chatham, Conn., but moved to Massachusetts before coming to Ohio. Abner died in Dover Township in 1821.

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 9:56 AM, 09.18.2012

Capt. Guy Turner leads Clague House Museum tour as guest docent

The Westlake Historical Society enthusiastically welcomes visitors and special guests to the Clague House Museum throughout the year. Although our traditional open house season is April through October, the museum is delighted to accommodate your schedule by also opening the museum by appointment.

Although most tours are led by historical society members, occasionally we are honored to have a special guest volunteer to lead tours as well. On Sunday, Aug. 26, Capt. Guy Turner of the Westlake Police Department volunteered to be our special guest tour guide. Capt. Turner, who is also a member of the Westlake Historical Society, not only shared the history of the Clague family and Dover/Westlake, but also answered questions as well.

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 9:56 AM, 09.18.2012

Flag raised in honor of beloved Westlake couple

The next time you visit the historic Clague House Museum, you may notice the new flag pole just to the right of the front door.  The Westlake Historical Society dedicated this flag pole on Saturday, Aug. 11, to the memory of longtime Westlake residents and outstanding society members Bill and Jean Robishaw.

During the ceremony, Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough read a quote by President Abraham Lincoln to describe the Robishaws: “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”

Also speaking during the ceremony were Westlake Schools Superintendent Dan Keenan and Westlake Assistant Planning Director William Krause. A representative from Congressman Dennis Kucinich's office was in attendance with a presentation.

Bill and Jean were married for 67 years until her passing in 2010. After Bill passed away earlier this year, Westlake Historical Society President Lysa Stanton proposed the idea of honoring the Robishaws with the flag pole based on several conversations she had earlier with Bill.

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Volume 4, Issue 17, Posted 10:58 AM, 08.21.2012

Remembering the struggle: Women fight for right to vote

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal – Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

The Women’s Suffrage Movement in the United States first began in the mid-1800s. For the supporters of this movement who wore a gold sash like the one pictured, the color of the silk fabric was as important as the words ”Votes For Women” printed in black.
During a campaign to pass a suffrage state referendum in Kansas in 1867, organizers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony adopted the state symbol – a sunflower – for visual recognition. The color gold was associated with the suffrage movement thereafter.

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:30 AM, 08.07.2012

In the shade of the old sycamore tree

Have you ever noticed the row of sycamore trees on the north side of Wolf Road between Bassett and Saddler roads in Bay? Have you noticed them on Bassett and Walker roads? Ever wonder why they are there?

These trees are called American sycamores. You can tell an American sycamore from the way it sheds its bark, which leaves the trunk with a blotchy appearance. They are mostly found in Bay along Walker, Bassett and Wolf roads where our German families settled. This tree species is native to the Arctic, Central Europe and North America. They can be found as far south as Argentina today. They date back to the Cretaceous age, millions of years ago.

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Volume 4, Issue 15, Posted 10:17 AM, 07.24.2012

Decades of wedding dresses on display at Clague House Museum

Currently on display through September at the Clague House Museum, 1371 Clague Rd. in Westlake, is a special display  of "Wedding Dresses Through The Decades." This display provides a unique look back into wedding fashions of the past and explains how some of our customs have evolved.   

The 1930s gave us the glamorous Hollywood look, the 1920s gave us the flapper style and the 1980s reminded us of the feel of royalty as Princess Diana's gown influenced wedding fashions throughout the decade and even into the '90s. The display highlights how bridal fashion have changed through the years.

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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 12:53 PM, 07.10.2012

Here comes the bride

June is traditionally the month for many couples to marry. This was certainly the case when Mildred Elliott married Norbert Trowbridge on June 7, 1941, in the newly-named village of Westlake. The name was officially changed from Dover in 1940.

Mildred was the granddaughter of Ziba and Sarah Hall. The Halls were a prominent family in Dover Township.

The blushing bride and her groom, both 25 years old, are pictured with Mildred's parents, Pearl and Gilbert Elliott.

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Volume 4, Issue 13, Posted 10:20 AM, 06.26.2012

Link to Bay Village’s past returns to family roots for Cahoon in June

One of the vendors at Cahoon in June will add a bit of history to the June 16 event just by showing up. Lori Aldrich, who will man a table for her Westlake dog boutique Just Dogs Gourmet, is the last member of the founding Aldrich family of Bay Village.

Lori’s great-great-great-great-grandparents, Aaron and Betsy Aldrich, moved to Dover Township from Rhode Island in 1816. Their home on Lake Road still stands today, with the exterior, rooms, floors, doors and windows still as they were originally built. Most of the furnishings from the original Aldrich home are in Rose Hill Museum.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 9:47 AM, 06.12.2012

Bay Village Historical Society announces new officers

The Bay Village Historical Society has elected new officers for the business year 2012-2013. These new officers assumed their duties on June 1. The society looks forward to a year of renewed enthusiasm with fresh ideas for new programs and activities. The preservation of our Bay Village history will be of primary importance.

The new officers are: president, Cynthia Eakin, dining and entertainment columnist for West Life, Avon Lake Press, North Ridgeville Press and editorial contributor in Currents newspapers; vice president, Doug Gertz, Gertz Building Company; treasurer, Abigail Sammon, housewife; corresponding secretary, Cindi Lindgren, program planner for the City of Westlake community services department.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 9:51 AM, 06.12.2012

Clague House memorial garden begins to take shape

On a recent weather-wonderful day, members of the Westlake Historical Society were joined by employees of R.E. Warner & Associates, a Westlake engineering and architectural firm, to begin the transformation of the memorial garden at the Clague House Museum.

The memorial garden is a way to remember past members of our organization. The recent passing of the society's former president, Mr. Bill Robishaw, inspired current president Lysa Stanton to come up with a way to honor not just Bill and his wife Jean, but the other members of the society that have passed away but who gave so much to our organization.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 9:58 AM, 06.12.2012

The Clague House Museum opens for summer

The Clague House Museum, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in Westlake, is pleased to announce its 2012 summer season opening on Sunday, June 3. The Museum is located at 1371 Clague Rd., just south of Detroit Road. 

Built originally in 1876 for Mrs. Robert (Margaret) Clague, and now home of  the Westlake Historical Society, the Clague House has stood witness to the the growth of old Dover Township, now Westlake. Once a sprawling fruit farm of 78 acres, it still sits majestically within Clague Memorial Park. It's one of Westlake's most well-kept secrets and one that the Westlake Historical Society wants to be shared by all.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 9:59 AM, 05.30.2012

Dover's second-grade class, 1913

The school year is winding down and this photo reminds us all of that class photo taken when we were younger. Taken in 1913, Miss Fannie Gage and her second-grade class pose in front of the Red Brick Schoolhouse that was located on Dover Center Road.

The Westlake Historical Society extends our congratulations to the Class of 2012 as they graduate and move on to the next wonderful stage of their lives.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 11:46 AM, 05.15.2012

Do you have a heart for history?

A little over 50 years ago, several residents noticed how quickly Westlake was growing and realized a need to preserve our local history. After the celebration of our city’s 150th birthday in 1961, the Westlake Historical Society was organized to collect and preserve the local history of our area for the benefit of everyone – past, present and future!

Our organization is entirely operated by volunteers from Westlake and other communities as well. Funds raised from donations and memberships help to sustain the Clague House Museum, which is home to our local collection and also to our organization.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 05.01.2012

Good will at its best

Bay Village’s second-graders from Normandy School will be visiting Rose Hill Museum and the Osborn Learning Center over a four-day period at the end of May. Each class will visit five different areas within the museum complex. This will be the culminating event for the school unit on the history of Bay Village.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:13 AM, 05.01.2012

Society helps owners mark historical significance of century homes

Has your home turned 100 years or older this year? If so, we would like to help you celebrate!

For almost 40 years, the Westlake Historical Society has provided our residents a way to honor their century home or building with a plaque to be installed on the celebrated residence. The cost is nominal and the plaque is custom made for each individual home.
Century homes are a very important part of our community because they are a significant link to the rich heritage of our city. We are proud that so many of these historically significant residences continue to beautify present day Westlake.    

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:21 AM, 04.17.2012

Dover High Girls Athletic Club

The Westlake Historical Society would like to share a photo from our Historical Photo Vault.

On April 5, 1940, the Dover Girls Athletic Club hosted the All-Star Game. The team was divided into two teams, Navy and Notre Dame. Admission to attend this event was a mere five cents. All the girls who made the All-Star team were presented with all-star pins before the game.

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 10:45 AM, 04.03.2012

Westlake Historical Society seeks new acquisitions

How many of you remember these old fashioned sounds?

The “woooosh” of a rotary dial telephone; the clackity clack of a manual typewriter; the sound of the shutter on an old 35mm camera; the tick of the sprocket on a film projector. All of these now seldom-heard sounds inspire memories of days gone by and gadgets that have largely been replaced. 

We may remember many of these items, but younger generations will most likely not know anything about them. These products are not only a part of American history, they are a part of our local history.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:55 AM, 03.20.2012

The tradition of burning a candle in the window

"There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle" – Robert Alden

Placing a burning candle in one's window is a common tradition that dates back to colonial times. Candle light often evokes the warmth of home and family. The fireplace was center of family life in days gone by, and thus the candle was generally lit from that fire.   

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. Candles also represented friendship and were seen as a sign of welcome to others.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 1:35 PM, 03.06.2012

Scaled-down Clague House a big job

The Clague House Museum is a familiar landmark to many in the city of Westlake. The stately home sits proudly as she has since being built in 1876. The former home of the Clague family, and current home of the Westlake Historical Society, is one that showcases Westlake's fine heritage.

The late Ruth Cunningham, a founding member of the Westlake Historical Society, as well as a miniaturist, envisioned in the mid-1970s building a miniature version of the Clague House. She initiated the idea by commissioning a carpenter to build the shell. The carpenter built the dollhouse-sized model completely enclosed.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 2:42 PM, 02.21.2012

Old mission bell returns to Bay Village

A major part of Dover Township history teaches us that German families settled along Bassett and Bradley roads in the 1860s. Names such as Meilander, Hagedorn, Toensing, Wolf, Davider, Koch and Krumwiede come to mind. Many of these families lived in Hanover, Germany, and immigrated to the Cleveland area in 1858 to escape suppression.

These families lived, worshipped and schooled their children together in the old German manner. Wooden shoes were worn, only German was spoken in the home, German newspapers were read, and school and worship began at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Just west of the Hagedorn farm on Bassett Road and east of the Wolf farm on Bradley Road, along the north side of Link Road and north of the New York Central & St Louis Railroad tracks, David Sites farmed. In 1886, David sold 10 acres of his land to a group of west side Lutheran churches belonging to the Missouri Synod.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 2:35 PM, 02.21.2012

Keys to finding your Civil War ancestors

As we now observe the sesquicentennial anniversary of our nation’s most divisive war, some of us may be wondering about our ancestors’ participation in that war. But, where might we begin this genealogical/family history quest?

The first place to look is on-line at Ancestry.com or Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com) for Civil War Pension records. But not all soldiers received a pension. The filing process took so long that some died before collecting a pension. If they outlived their spouse and/or dependents, no pension was paid. Records for these individuals might be found in the national or state Service Record files and/or Muster Rolls. Another place to look is at the local level, where the soldier was buried.

Veterans’ graves in all of Ohio are/were registered at the County Recorder’s office. For soldiers buried in Cuyahoga County, the Recorder’s Office has compiled a Graves Registration list that can be searched at recorder.cuyahogacounty.us/veterandefault.aspx. This list is an ongoing project in Cuyahoga County, in conjunction with the Memorial Day Association of Greater Cleveland. Their registry covers veterans from all wars. However, this collection is not complete and some errors exist.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 1:56 PM, 01.24.2012

Updated coloring book celebrates Westlake's history

The Westlake Historical Society has updated and reprinted a picture history of Westlake, formerly known as Dover. The Dover Coloring Book was originally created as part of the "Heritage 76" project, published during the 200th birthday celebration of our nation in 1976.

At the end of 2011, the Westlake Historical Society updated and reprinted the coloring book to help celebrate the 200th birthday of Westlake. The goal of the project was to share this historically based book with all second-grade students (and parents) who attend Westlake elementary schools. 

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 1:51 PM, 01.24.2012

History of the Wolf Family Smoke House

While walking toward Rose Hill Museum to visit, one notices a small stone building surrounded by an herb garden standing to the right of the south porch. This building had been the smoke house for the John Wolf family at 492 Bradley Rd.

The Wolf family arrived in Dover Township in 1819. Wolf Road is named for the family. Descendant Alfred Horace Wolf served as mayor of the Village of Bay from 1910 to 1915.

Even before Alfred Horace became mayor, the smoke house was being used as a jail. Prisoners waiting to be transferred to the county jail found themselves locked up for the night in the smoke house. Later, when the Zemi family lived on the property, it was used as a haunted house at Halloween.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 1:50 PM, 01.24.2012