The Nine Oldest Existing Homes in Bay Village, Ohio
Reuben Osborn house – Cahoon Memorial Park – 1815
The Osborns came from England in 1641 and are one of the oldest families in the United States. Reuben Osborn was born in Connecticut and lived in New York with his wife Sarah and their children Polly and Selden. Reuben Osborn brought his family to Dover Township in 1811. They came in a large canoe from Cleveland and landed on the Lake Erie beach near the Porter cabin. Mrs. Osborn and Mrs. Porter were sisters. Three years later, when Mrs. Porter and her infant son were drowned and buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Sarah Osborn raised her three other children as her own.
Osborn, a farmer and fruit grower, built a log cabin, but, in 1815, he constructed the first “modern” house in Bay Village, meaning that it was of frame construction and not made of logs. Several years ago, the land that the Reuben Osborn house sat upon was sold to a developer and the house was donated to the City of Bay Village. The city moved the home a mile east along Lake Road to where it sits today, next to Rose Hill Museum in Cahoon Memorial Park.
Rose Hill Museum – Cahoon Memorial Park – 1818
Joseph Cahoon, wife Lydia and family came to Bay Village, the place that he called, “the most beautiful spot in all of America” in October, 1810. He and his sons built a solid log cabin in four days on the east bank of a creek. By 1818, the family was doing so well that Cahoon and his sons built a large, five-bedroom frame house on the hillside above the creek and overlooking the lake. They cut the lumber at their own sawmill. Doors and window frames were made by hand. Any nails used had to come by wagon 350 miles from Pittsburgh, so they used as few as possible. They cut the boards to fit together perfectly with wooden pegs. Cahoon built the new house to look like a New England farmhouse, like the ones he had grown up in in Connecticut and Vermont.
The house was called “Rose Hill,” named by son Joel’s wife, Margaret Van Allen Cahoon, because of the many rose bushes surrounding it that were planted by Lydia Cahoon. The Cahoons also planted a wisteria tree that has bloomed every spring for more than a century. Today, the Bay Village Historical Society looks after the Cahoon homestead, and maintains it as a museum and library.
Aaron Aldrich House – 30663 Lake Road – 1829
Aaron Aldrich and his wife Betsy, both of English families, moved to Dover from Rhode Island in 1816. Their home still stands today, occupied, with the outside, rooms, floors, doors and windows still as they were originally built. Besides farming, Aldrich made furniture and had a tannery for making leather goods. He was a community leader and a judge elected by the townspeople.
Selden Osborn House – 29059 Lake Road – 1832
This is the second-oldest inhabited home in the city. The Osborn home was the birthplace of three generations. Nancy and Selden lived here all their lives. The house had a gas well and a water tank, and it is said that this was the first house in the village with a bathroom. Many of the near greats of Cleveland came to the home for their summer vacations as paying guests. Selden was an herb doctor, receiving his training in a doctor’s office. He grew his own herbs. Nancy brewed them for him. He traveled by horseback with his two saddle bags – one for his own use, the other for his medicine.
Dexter Tuttle House – 25547 Lake Road – 1845
Dexter Tuttle came from Massachusetts in 1823 when he was 16 years old. His family drove an ox cart, waded across the Cuyahoga and Rocky Rivers, and settled in Rockport (now Rocky River). He married and moved to Dover in 1836. He cleared the woods on Lake Road, sometimes called the Old Wagon Road, and built a cabin where he and his wife raised most of their eight children. He built the Tuttle farmhouse between 1840 and 1845, enlarging it when more children were born. It stands today looking very much as it did more than 150 years ago.
Thomas Powell House – 576 Bradley Road – 1852
Thomas Powell, of English descent, came from New York in 1830. He met and married Sophia, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Saddler, in 1832 when he was 29 and she was 18. His good-sized farm was well south of the lakeshore. The same cedar trees that stood next to the frame house are in the front yard today. The Powell family still lived in the home next door until the late 1970s.
Sherman Osborn House – 29560 Lake Road – 1853
Reuben Osborn bought his land from the Connecticut Land Company for one dollar an acre. Reuben gave his grandchildren Sherman, Reuben, Samuel, David and Betsey each a parcel of this property for a farm.
The grandchildren raised berries, fruits and grapes and, on a smaller scale, raised oats, corn and wheat to supply their own needs. They also fished. Life was difficult, requiring many hours preparing the fruit for market, which was sold, for the most part, in stalls on Broadway Road in Cleveland.
The person selling the fruit had to rise at 1 a.m. and drive some 14 miles to market, as most of the business was in full swing by 5 a.m. Then, too, they had to get the pickers and take them back as far as Rocky River during the time when the harvest was at its best.
Sherman Osborn farmed at 29560 Lake Road and married Nettie Phinney. His children were Calvin, Albert and Emily. His second wife was Myra Yoder.
The David Foote Barn House – 30912 Lake Road – 1855
David Foote was born in Colchester, Conn., in 1760 and married Betsy Hamlin
of the same town. He served in the Revolutionary War. They had 10 children.
In 1815, David packed up part of his family amd moved to Dover Township,
settling on Lot 97 in the northwest corner of the township, with the lake on
the north, Bradley Road on the east, Walker Road on the south and the Avon line to the west. He built a log cabin at 30903 Lake Road, then another for his son next door at 30912. Behind the second log cabin David built his barn in the 1850s.
After disuse by the Foote family during the 1940s, this barn became the basis for a house by Mr. Bosch and was painted pink; the locals called it the “Pink Barn.”
Henry Hagedorn House – 603 Bassett Road – 1858
Sometime in 1852, Henry and Katherine Hagedorn and their five children left Hanover, Germany, and made the long and difficult journey to America. After several transactions, they bought 30 acres of land on Bassett Road, where their house still stands. The family attended Trinity Lutheran Church, on West 30th Street and Lorain Avenue in Cleveland, by walking this distance every Sunday morning with no complaint. They carried a lunch basket and returned in the evening. In 1858, they helped organize St. Paul Lutheran Church.