The members of the Bay Village Historical Society, which was founded in 1960 and is one of the city’s largest civic organizations, work to preserve area history; assist and sponsor educational programs of historical nature for learners of all ages; encourage the publication of historical information; cooperate with other organizations for historical purposes throughout this part of Northeastern Ohio; locate and mark historical sites and houses; and operate and maintain the Rose Hill Museum, Osborn Learning Center, the museum’s genealogical library and Cahoon family log cabin replica.
Society members enjoy quarterly potluck suppers at the Bay Lodge on Bradley Road, which includes good food, great people and interesting speakers.
One of the finest small museums in the state, the Rose Hill Museum, genealogy library, gift shoppe and Osborn Learning Center and, periodically, the Cahoon Family log cabin replica, are open from April to December, Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Both are located in Cahoon Memorial Park at 27715 Lake Road, Bay Village. Special group tours can be arranged at other times. For further information call (216) 386-5997.
Annual dues to the Bay Village Historical Society are $150 or more for benefactors; $75 to $149 for patrons; $35 for families, $25 for individuals or $10 for students. You may download an application form by clicking here.
Society members worked with the city on the stabilization of the slope behind Rose Hill. Current initiatives include updating storage of the textile collection; stabilizing the portrait gallery to acid-free materials; re-framing and preserving the society’s collection of textiles to conserve them, and digitizing the historical records and collection. Call (216) 386-5997 for more information or to arrange a tour.
Although there had been talk of forming a Bay Village Historical Society over the years, nothing materialized until Karl Schuele, a past trustee of the Lakewood Historical Society, and Bay High School history teacher Edward Wells gathered materials relating to a society from a variety of sources. An informal committee was formed to draw up a constitution and bylaws. It was agreed that the society should be open to all village residents.
There was much thought about a museum, since the library had just vacated Rose Hill and was set to dedicate its new home at the southeast corner of Dover and Wolf Roads on Jan. 31, 1960. The committee thought that the village would sponsor a museum as stipulated in Ida Maria Cahoon’s will, dated June 16, 1917. The newly formed society sponsored a Sesquicentennial celebration on Oct. 10, 1960, and offered charter membership to all interested persons, who numbered 102.
The society’s first public meeting was held in the high school band room the following January. The principal speaker was Meredith Colket, Jr., who offered the support of the Western Reserve Historical Society.
During the historical society’s first year, its achievements included establishing a temporary museum at Rose Hill and a craft hall in the Community House. Over the years, the society has distributed plaques to designate landmark homes in Bay Village. The historical society’s annual open-air antique show first lined the beautiful drive in front of Rose Hill Museum in June of 1970. This tradition continued for more than 50 years.
In March 1973, Bay Village City Council granted the Joseph Cahoon House, now Rose Hill Museum, $29,000 for refurbishing. Council then appointed the Bay Village Historical Society as managers of the property to organize fundraisers, membership drives and furniture acquisitions.
In 1995 the Reuben Osborn House, the oldest frame structure between Cleveland and Lorain, dating from 1814, was slated for demolition. A group of historical society members lobbied the city to save the building by moving it to Cahoon Memorial Park. The city was receptive to the idea, and paid to have a foundation constructed and the structure moved. That building then came under the purview of the society.
Museum Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Museum Phone: (440) 871-7338
Museum Address: 27715 Lake Road, Bay Village, OH 44140
Museum Hours: The museum is open April to December on Sunday afternoons, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Admission is free, although donations are always appreciated.
Group tours can be arranged at other times by calling (216) 386-5997.