Kay Laughlin grew up in Bay Village and probably knows more about its history than anyone. Below are columns she wrote for local publications on her rememberances.
Bay Village: A Way of Life
In 1971, my sister, Gay Menning, and I along with the Bay Village Historical Society, co-wrote the first written history of Bay Village, Ohio. “Bay Village: A Way of Life” was delivered just in time for Christmas, 1974. It is already into its second printing. Today, this book is the Bible of Bay Village history.
Grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the area’s early settlers shared their memories with ease. “Her veart Deutsch gesprocken” quotes Edna Brauer remembering her grandmother, Marie Toensing’s, sign over the door.
Ashton Dodd laughs telling the story of working at Niemeiers on Bradley when the barn caught on fire, and, thinking the house in danger too, everyone picked up something of value and ran outside, Mr. Niemeier carrying the pot of peeled potatoes fixed for supper.
Clifton Aldrich remembers that if he was good he got to ride the merry go round in Mulberry Park on Clague Road.
Evelena Aldrich Thompson recalls, “It was exciting for the children to see the peddler, ‘old man Halle,’ coming up the road.”
Wirt Dodd shares the story of a train catching on fire behind his house and watching the cooked hams and bacons roll out of the burned boxcar.
Edna Hagedorn Toensing reminds us her parents were still slipping into their wooden shoes at the back door in 1900.
Bill Sadler remembers Grandmother Saddler renting cottages on the lake to the Cleveland Indians and Osborn cottages to Wielands and Steinbrenners in the 1930s.
The original sharp turns in Wolf Road were detours around the farmer’s fields.
Robert Swanker recalls a tree stump blowing so hard from explosives, it flew over Parkview School and landed on a parked car.
Clifton Aldrich remembers the Barker children running movie night in their garage for 5 cents on Saturday nights during the depression.
Jim Dodd said, “I have the world by the tail,” when Mrs. Rausch gave him a dollar for returning her watch dropped while boarding the interurban.
Sara Dodd Wymer remembers reading “Black Beauty” and hearing the workers whipping the horses to pull harder (it was also happening in her book) while workers dismantled the Huntington fish house.
“If you were in charge of a Civil Defense Block during WWII, you were known as ‘the Chief Blockhead,’” says Larry Carman.
The Wayne Laverty family watched their neighbor, Fred Drake, plant corn with a lantern tied to his leg during an air raid drill in 1941.
“Feed and entertain them,” said J. Ross Rothaermel, the first father elected Bay PTA president in 1941, and membership jumped from 69 to 350.
John Reed remembers starting the first boy scout troop in 1937.
The “Skin Game” was a group of Bay Village Women’s Club ladies making beautiful leather products.
Marshal Eaton tells us about the first “squad” car, a green Lincoln roadster left behind from a rum-runners raid.
History gives a community an opportunity to celebrate its past. Life was simple yet refined. No one was ever bored, for nature provided many thrills after chores were done. Life in general was one of appreciation.
“Bay Village: A Way of Life” can be purchased at Rose Hill Museum along with a new picture book, “Bay Village”.
The Cahoon family of Bay Village, Ohio
On the morning of October 10, 1810, the Joseph and Lydia Cahoon family wagon stopped at the mouth of a creek on the southern shore of Lake Erie in Ohio country. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the family thanked the Lord for their safe journey.
They were in their new home, Lot #95 in Dover Township #7, Range #15, in the State of Connecticut’s Western Reserve after six weeks of wilderness travel from Vergennes, Vermont. They immediately began building a cabin and within the next eight years constructed the first grist mill west of the Cuyahoga River, a sawmill and a house on the west hill. This would become the family home for the next 117 years.
Joseph’s children, who stayed in the area, were Samuel and Mary in North Ridgeville, William and Benjamin in Elyria, Rebecca in Cleveland, Abigail in Westlake, and Franklin in Norwalk, Ohio. Wilber, a half brother, made his home in Avon. The Lot#95 farm and mills were left to Joel Cahoon, the third son.
Joel married a young widow named Margaret Dickson Van Allen in Frederick City, Maryland, in 1831. Her father was a congressional leader in Washington, D.C., and Margaret grew up in a house across the street from the Capital. Margaret started attending school when she was 4 years old. During the War of 1812, her father took her to the senate chambers to see the fire damage and the burned White House.
She grew up listening to famous orators like Daniel Webster. The chief justices of the Supreme Court visited her parents and Senator Buchannan delivered the family mail to Maryland on trips to Pennsylvania. Margaret’s extensive education and strong religious beliefs along with Joel’s good work ethic were instilled in their children.
In 1842, Joel brought Margaret and their growing family of 11 to Dover Township. The six boys and five girls grew to be far-sighted entrepreneurs and successful businessmen and women. Thomas was a Cleveland councilman and had a lumber business. Joseph invented a cotton compactor which helped transform the cotton industry in Memphis, Tennesee. Leverett and John Marshal became successful businessmen in the area, building and operating a grocery store and boat house. Leverett became an expert in the viticulture industry in the State of Ohio. Lydia, Laura, Martha and Ida became school teachers in the Cleveland School System, often teaching immigrant children their first English words.
Lydia started the Ladies Aid Society at the Methodist church. Ida was on the township school board and helped procure the Easterly School House for the Presbyterian church. The family books became the Dover on the Lake Library in the Cahoon house.
Land for City Hall was donated to the city. The family permitted train tracks to be laid on their property in exchange for the Dover train station being located on Dover Center Road. Parkview School was built on Cahoon land purchased from the city. The farm, left to the citizens of the Village of Bay in the 1917 Cahoon Will, became Cahoon Memorial Park.
The Cahoons left us more than a park. They left the legacy that a good education, along with a good work ethic, produces results and success.
The house at 459 Cahoon Road, on the northeast corner of Wolf and Cahoon roads, was built as a result of a friendship between two sets of sisters.
The Cahoon sisters had two friends named Mrs. Pope and Mrs. Bailey. Mrs. Emma Paul Pope was the widow of the Cahoon sister’s minister, Rev. Pope, from the Methodist Episcopal Church in Cleveland. The other was Emma’s sister, Mrs. Olive Paul Bailey-Kennard. Both were widowed.
After the Cahoon sisters retired from teaching, they sold their Cleveland home and moved to the Rose Hill farm to live. In 1910, the generous Cahoon sisters built a house south of the barn to provide their friends with a place to live and for seven years enjoyed their companionship. The house was called Capoba Lodge taking the first two letters from each of their last names (Cahoon, Pope and Bailey).
In Ida Cahoon’s book, “Looking Backward,” Ida references Capoba Lodge two times, describing the wonderful picnics in the country her Saturday Club enjoyed at the lodge.
The Cahoon farmland totaled 115 acres in 1919 when the Cahoon Will was probated. Wolf Road did not exit. The Cahoon’s south acreage was purchased from the Village of Bay by the Board of Education and Parkview School was built in 1922. A sidewalk was laid from the interurban stop #24 to the front door of the school for the children when they stepped off the trolley. This walkway, with trees bordering both sides, is still there today. When Wolf Road was laid out in 1926, the house at 459 Cahoon Road became the northeast corner of Cahoon and Wolf Roads.
Mrs. Pope and Mrs. Bailey became the first librarians of the Dover-By-The-Lake Library located in the Rose Hill homestead house. In December 1921, Mayor Wright asked the sisters if they would start a library. Mayor George Morgan, in 1922, gave the sisters $100 to catalog the books and open a library. The stored Cahoon book collection and Mrs. Pope’s husband’s collection filled the shelves. This satisfied the stipulations of the Cahoon Will stating that the Rose Hill homestead house become a library and museum.
The will also stipulated that these ladies could live at Capoba Lodge until their death. The Village of Bay now has a library near the new school for the children to use.
Mrs. Pope was killed by a car on Lake Road, walking home from a Methodist Church service. Mrs. Bailey remarried and moved to California to be near her daughter. Their house then became part of the rental properties left by the family to generate income for the upkeep of the park.
Julia Osborn Scott was a librarian at Dover Bay Library in the 1930s. The library then became part of the Cuyahoga County Library system. By 1960, the library had grown too large for the house and a new one was built south of Wolf and Dover Center Roads. Today, the library is located on Cahoon Road on property once owned by Samuel Osborn and the Board of Education.
In 1973, the city designated monies be given for the restoration of the Rose Hill homestead house into a working museum in accordance with the Cahoon Will. It opened as Rose Hill Museum under the direction of the Bay Village Historical Society for the Christmas season in 1975. The Cahoon barn was remodeled into a community center in 1936 as a WPA project. These three buildings, along with the 1815 Ruben Osborn House, are part of the historical area in Cahoon Memorial Park today.
The Washington Lawrence mansion – now Cashelmara
Washington Lawrence, who was born in Olmsted Township in 1840, attended Baldwin University in Berea, Ohio. He was an associate of Charles F. Brush, the inventor of the arc light and the lighting of Cleveland’s Public
Square in 1879.
By 1886, the National Carbon Company was founded by Myron T. Herrick, James Parmalee and Webb Hays. A large plant was built on Madison Avenue near 117th St. on the west side of Cleveland. Washington Lawrence became president of the company and served until his death in 1900.
Washington married Harriett Collister and reared seven daughters. In the 1870s, he and his family enjoyed coming to the Dover-Bay Colony in Dover Township to summer in the fresh air. Washington decided to purchase three farms east of the Dover-Bay Colony. They were situated along the lake from Clague Road east to the township line and south to the railroad tracks. In 1880, he came into the possession of the Dover-Bay Colony next door and invited several prominent citizens of Cleveland to erect cottages on the park grounds.
By the summer of 1892, life was going strong at the Colony with the addition of a golf course. In 1889, Washington built a clubhouse so the group had a place to congregate.
Washington decided to build himself a fine home on his property. He chose to build his mansion in the Romanesque style popular from 1870-1890. This was a romantic imitation of the past that combined classic and gothic revival. From mid-century on, this style, with its stunning visuals, was a metaphor of great wealth and sudden success that they could create.
The address was 23200 Lake Road. The Cleveland Plain Dealer in “Cleveland Town Topics” reported, “The Washington Lawrences have for several weeks been occupying their splendid new mansion at the Bay… April 29, 1899.”
The mansion contained three sitting rooms, a library, a beautiful dining room, a kitchen, and a massive hall and stairway that led to eight bedrooms on the second floor. The third floor featured a ballroom, two bedrooms, an enormous linen closet, and the servant’s quarters. A section was reserved as a sewing room for the people who came a few times a year to make the family wardrobes. On the opposite corners of the house were two octagonal rooms. The sunroom was on the first floor, and the sitting room off the master bedroom was on the second floor.
The home, unfortunately, was not completely finished before Mr. Lawrence’s death in 1900. While inspecting the workmanship of his new home one day, he fell from the second floor. Having survived this fall, he died months later from an illness. Mrs. Lawrence remained at the house with one of her daughters, Ella, and her husband, William Matthews. It remained in the family until the 1940’s.
In October 1948, the Cleveland Osteopathic Association purchased the old Lawrence mansion to accommodate its growing hospital. They moved from Cleveland to Bay Village and operated an 85-bed hospital with modern facilities. The Richard Sheppard Sr. family was in charge of the hospital. In 1952, a west wing was added. This was a successful business for many years. The hospital closed about 1979, and the mansion building was converted into the main building of the Cashalmara (“Stone House” in Gaelic) condominium complex.
The Lawrence Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Clang, clang, clang went the trolley – (The Village of Bay and the Interurban)
To some it was exciting, to some, necessary, and to others, convenient.
On October 6, 1897, the first maroon deck car, a 40-foot Brill with 22.5 tons weight and a 50-horsepower motor, rolled west from Cleveland to the heart of Lorain, partly on private right-of-way track, 40 to 66 feet wide, with 70 pound rail spiked to oak ties. The Lake Shore Electric Interurban (trolley) had come to North Dover Township.
Leaving the Cleveland station at 25 Public Square, the trolley turned onto the West Superior Avenue approach to the High Level Bridge subway. Down the trolley went to the lower level. Crossing the Cuyahoga River, the trolley surfaced on Detroit Street and turned right onto Lake Avenue running downhill to Edgewater Park.
Entering Clifton Boulevard, the trolley traveled west along the tree lawn entering into mid street at the Rocky River station (Coulter’s Drug Store) at Sloane and Detroit Roads. It crossed the bridge span approaching double track right-of-way opposite the Westlake Hotel. Making a sharp ‘S’ turn at the Nickel Plate underpass, the trolley straightened out as it picked up speed through North Dover at 60 mph.
The whistle shrieking at the many crossroads, it sailed across the trestles at Cahoon and Huntington. Soon the station at Beach Park, Avon Lake, 19.7 miles from Cleveland, appeared in the distance.
Numbered destination stops started in Rocky River with stop number 1. Continuing west: Clague Road was 13, Columbia Road 17, Dover Center Road 23, Cahoon Road 24, Bassett 32, Bradley Road 35, Eagle Cliff 38.
School children rode to school on trolley passes paid for by the Board of Education. Commuters took the trolley to work. Butter, eggs, fruits and vegetables went to market on the trolley. The family could spend a day of recreation in the country or visit the folks in the city. Picnickers had a varied choice of spots at which to stop: Scenic Park in the Rocky River valley, Hahn’s Grove (Bradstreet Landing), Wischmeyer Hotel, Huntington Beach, Linwood Park, Beulah Beach, Rye Beach, Volunteer Bay, and Cedar Point.
Tuttles, Osborns, Saddlers, and Cahoons offered cottages for rent. Developers like Mars/Wagner’s Dover Bay Subdivision began laying out streets with 50 foot lots on the old Dover Bay Grape Company land. City folk bought the land and built cottages. North Dover swelled with summer visitors. Soon five more subdivisions were laid out in the farmers’ fields. Families built permanent homes and stayed. North Dover grew.
In 1903, North Dover became the Village of Bay. Soon the town thought we might need another east/west road and, in the 1920s, Wolf Road became more than just an idea.
Although it made life easier, there were drawbacks. Accidents happened, some tragically. Louis Wischmeyer was killed by a trolley at Bradley Road. The Massey family lost their father who was walking the Cahoon trestle. Automobiles afforded families more independence and trolley ridership dropped off. Soon, the interurban was losing money. The last car left Cleveland May 15, 1938, replaced by the orange buses of the Lake Shore Coach Line.
Today, the right-of-way is part of our Bay Village backyards, Huntington Reservation trestle, and Electric Drive(s).
Bay Village German farms and the Wischmeyer Hotel
Warm sunny days and cool nights brought a migration of German people to North Dover Township in the 1850s. They purchased acreage from the Foote, Winsor, Aldrich, Eddy, Bassett and Hurst properties on the west end of Dover Township along Walker, Bradley and Bassett Roads.
Some farmed into South Dover (Westlake) extending down Bassett Road – which they called “the elbow,” as it made many right and left, 90 degree, turns around farmer’s fields – until it exited on Dover Center Road near the Center Ridge business area.
Germans who settled in North Dover included: Hagedorns, Daviders, Meilanders, Peters, Toensings, Kochs, Krumwiedes, Starkes, Wolfs, Albers, Dieterichs and Wischmeyers. They planted orchards of fruit trees and grape vineyards. Produce went to market in baskets called ponies, bushels, pecks, quarts and pints made at the Oviatt family basket factory.
They spoke German in their homes, wore wooden shoes, and read the German newspaper. They traveled in their farm wagons to Ohio City on the near west side to sell their produce and to attend church. They constructed St. Paul Lutheran Church and school on Detroit Road. They lived a quiet and structured existence.
On Link Road, today Ashton Lane, a German Mission Ground was built on property purchased from David Sites. It had a pavilion and bowling alley for their entertainment. The Krumwiedes, Daviders and Kochs were excellent carpenters and built many fine Bay Village homes. The Peters ran a sawmill at Bradley and Naigle Roads, and the Starkes were landscape designers with acres planted in chrysanthemums on Bradley Road. Many of their houses still stand today as century homes.
Henry Wischmeyer Sr. arrived in Ohio City in 1854. He met Regina Rentschler, and raised a family of eight. His life’s dream was to own acreage and grow grapes as his family had done in Germany.
He found just the right place on the old Humphrey and Gardner lands, Lot #96, in North Dover Township. Today, this is the Bruce, Russell and Douglas Road area of Bay. Henry started with a two-acre grape vineyard in the 1860s and erected a family home on the south side of Lake Road near Glen Park Creek.
By 1874, he had most of his acres in grapes and had built a 10,000-gallon wine cellar on the north side of Lake Road. As the family prospered, Henry added a 70-bed hotel, pavilion and boat house. Using the train and interurban, traveling salesmen and families came to the hotel for relaxation by the lake. The Wischmeyer girls cooked the meals, and the boys worked the farm.
In 1926, Bay council passed a law prohibiting businesses on Lake Road and the hotel closed. Henry Jr. began selling lakefront lots, and soon houses were appearing where grape vineyards once stood. The Metropolitan Subdivision was developed in the 1920s.
By the 1940s, with only Henry Jr. living, the grayed hotel with its many verandas stood empty. It was burned down in 1962 by the Bay fire department. Today, only the cook house and family home remain. The vineyard east of Douglas Road was developed in the late 1950s as the Bruce/Russell Road horseshoe.
One of our Germans, Frank Meilander, gave us our name. He said, “We are a village located on a bay.”
Here today, gone forever In Bay Village
George Serb stated in one of his Bay Village Revisited newspaper memoirs:
“All good things must come to an end, an old saying. The CVS Pharmacy plans have been approved for a new store. Many concerned citizens rallied against the project, to no avail. I can’t help it if I seem bitter. I don’t want a special invitation to the groundbreaking.”
And so ended the life of the 1860 Cahoon Store on Dover Center Road built by Joel Cahoon and managed by his sons, Leverett and John Marshall. This grocery store served the Bay community as Edwards Foods, Blahas, Sylvesters, Clausens and then Reehorst Cleaners, for 120 years.
In 1976 for the USA’s Bicentennial, a historic walking tour of Bay Village was designed by the historical society. It consisted of 31 locations. Thirty-four years later, 12 of these locations are gone forever.
Five 1796 Moses Cleveland Trees are gone; one was taken down for I-90. Parkview and Forestview Schools are gone. The Foote and Saddler Landmark Houses are gone. “Castle Garden,” the Baker/Hassler house just west of Huntington Park, is gone. The Zipp Manufacturing building and the Cahoon Store are gone. Some, when torn down, left empty land, while others have large stone and brick houses built in their place. No longer can you walk Lake Road and look at the lake between the houses as these structures are built lot line to lot line.
Bay Village was described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1936 as: “A little New England west of Cleveland.” Bay has a more eclectic feel today. Cape Cod houses, Nantucket Row and Winston, and Tudor and Colonial Revival, Bruce and Douglas, are no longer popular with builders. In the 1950s, the ranch style house with bay windows became popular. Today we see a lot of brick, stone, and arched windows.
There are no building regulations in place for our older homes as there are in Hudson and Olmsted Falls. Our Landmark and Century houses are allowed to be torn down.
Today, a large skateboard park has been built in the small historic district on the west side of the valley in Cahoon Park. The Cahoon sister’s house, Capoba Lodge – built in 1910 for their good friends, Emma Paul Pope and Olive Paul Bailey, our first librarians – is in jeopardy. Thank heavens the city was offered the Dover Station and the Osborn house, or they would be gone.
Should we be more concerned with what is going and gone forever? Is it important to keep our past alive? Is it important to keep the houses, buildings and family names that tell the story of the town’s history?
My sister, Gay Menning, and I documented the early settlers from 1810 on with our book, “Bay Village: A Way of Life.” George Serb did the 1920’s – 1940’s with his memoirs. Sam Milliken wrote stories of growing up in Bay in the 30’s and 40’s. But, there are still stories to tell.
Now we need you to help us document more of the 40’s and add the 50’s. Who will document the 60’s through the 2000’s. Who will help us preserve the buildings and houses left in our town?
Hidden treasure in Cahoon Memorial Park
“This is the most beautiful place on earth,” declared Margaret Cahoon taking in the beauty of her farm nestled on the south shore of Lake Erie. And so it was.
In 1810, Lydia Cahoon found room in their crowded wagon for a rose bush. The story is told that it thrived and many rose bushes around the area were shoots off this rose. Thus, Margaret gave the farm it’s name, Rose Hill.
“As this house has been in possession of the family for three generations, I hope it will continue for many more but if it should be there is no longer one of the name to inherit it, I hope it may have founded upon it a benevolent institution bearing the name of Cahoon,” wrote Margaret in her autobiography.
Today, Cahoon Memorial Park in Bay Village is the site of two hidden treasures, Rose Hill Museum and The Osborn Learning Center.
Joseph built the homestead house in 1818 on the west hill overlooking the creek. As you walk through the door of Rose Hill you are immediately transported back to 1818 with the original fireplace, the hand-planed doors and Norfolk hardware. Joel Cahoon’s flintlock rifle leans against the fireplace next to William Saddler’s powder box from the War of 1812.
An 1810 Bennington, Vermont, pottery jar sits on a table and Henry Winsor’s 1800 cherry desk highlight the room.
Moving on, your eyes explore the Empire/Victorian Room and you immediately notice that success from hard work was enjoyed by these early families. The beauty of this room is only surpassed by the view of the valley out the windows. This room contains Cahoon furniture plus keepsakes from early settlers.
In the library is the collection of Cahoon books, plate maps, and children’s books. Early settler’s papers are housed in acid-free folders in a Genealogy Room.
Downstairs in the cellar, the Wischmeyer hand-carved boats, early farm tools, crockery, and tin ware tell the story of life on the farm.
The original cooking fireplace, poplar floors and green tree plugs from 1818 are visible.
On the second floor is a portrait gallery, period bedrooms, a millinery, and children’s room. You will notice the contrast between the rope bed in the 1818 bedroom and the Victorian, carved walnut, feather bed. A 1900 bear named Teddy and the Wischmeyer buggy are displayed along with an assortment of toys, games, books and dolls.
Also in the park is the 1814 Reuben Osborn House. Inside you learn who we are and where we come from. Sit and watch a video telling stories of life in Dover Township. Enjoy the displays of picture boards laid out by Ward, or with the plastic plate maps of 1854 and 1880, guide yourself to your 2010 house and street. Make a picture to take home. You will realize that a melting pot of people made up Dover Township.
Today, Rose Hill Museum and the Reuben Osborn Learning Center are open to the public from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoons, April through December. Talking boxes guide you through the displays in Rose Hill and docents are on hand to greet you at the door.
If you have never been to visit this beautiful house, now is the time. Come and see us!
The water tower in Huntington Reservation
Huntington Reservation, on the shores of Lake Erie, was the former country estate of John Huntington (1832-1893), a prominent Cleveland industrialist and philanthropist.
John Huntington was born in Preston, England. His father was a mathematics teacher in the English school system. He made sure John had a good education. In 1852, John emigrated to the United States and Cleveland, Ohio.
He went into the roofing business with his brother, Hugh, and was successful. He soon became a respected Cleveland businessman.
At the turn of the century, many wealthy Clevelanders had homes in the city and beautiful estates in the country.
Huntington was contracted to roof an early oil refinery by John D. Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller offered the brothers payment in cash or stock, and John, daring to adventure a little, accepted part payment in stock. He acquired considerable wealth by this venture and eventually a partnership in the Standard Oil Company.
John Huntington was a creative individual with a lively interest in improving ways of doing things efficiently. In 1863, he took up the business of refining oil and invented many new methods. So great were the advantages from his inventions that the company outstripped all competitors. He patented several improvements in oil refining methods.
He had many commercial, civic, and cultural interests. He was involved in the oil business, a fleet of lake vessels, mining, and quarrying in the Cleveland Stone Co. John was elected to Cleveland City Council where he served for 12 years.
He also helped to initiate the construction of swing bridges on the Cuyahoga River, construct sewer systems throughout the city and build the Superior Street Viaduct. One of Huntington’s biggest contributions to the city was the Art and Polytechnic Trust which he created in 1889 to fund the establishment of the Cleveland Museum of Art. His other major trust, the Huntington Benevolent Trust, supported 19 charitable institutions in the Cleveland area.
The Huntington country house burned down in the 1920s and the Huntington barns in 1970. The tall tower on the bluff of Huntington Reservation is one of the few remaining features of the Huntington’s country estate. Although the structure looks like a lighthouse, it is actually a water tower built between 1880 and 1890. It was used to store the water once needed to irrigate the fields of the estate. Most country estates had fancy vineyards, orchards, and gardens with unusual European botanical specimens. The Huntington estate was no exception.
The tower is made of cypress wood, but today, the outside has been covered with siding. The original water pipes, stairway, and water tub enclosure still exist inside the tower.
John liked to sit on top of the tower and watch the sun set. If you look down the beach below the tower you can see another original Huntington structure, the brick pump house, which contained the steam engine used to pump water from the lake to the tower. The “H” for Huntington is still on the outside of this brick building. Also in the park is the Huntington stepping stone used when stepping in and out of a carriage.
Cleveland Metroparks purchased the 98.76 acres of Huntington Property from the Union Trust Co. in 1925 for $500,000. Today, it is Huntington Reservation.
Bay Village landmark houses
The first priority of the newly formed Bay Village Historical Society, in 1960, was to plaque as Landmark Houses those houses documented as being 100 years old. Nine houses from seven families received plaques.
Joseph and Lydia Kenyon Cahoon, of Vergennes, Vermont, was the first family. They arrived the morning of October 10, 1810. Joseph purchased Lot #95 and in 1818 built a frame house on Lake Road. This house is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The second family into the township on the afternoon of October 10, 1810, was Asahal and Rebecca Johnson Porter accompanied by Leverett Johnson and Reuben Osborn of Woodbridge, Connecticut. Asahal purchased Lot #94, and his brothers-in-law, Reuben Osborn, Lot #93 and Leverett Johnson, Lot #58. Reuben helped Asahal build a log cabin and returned to Camden, New York, for his wife, Sarah, and children. They returned May 17, 1811.
On April 6, 1814, returning from a shopping trip to Cleveland, in an open boat, Rebecca Porter, her son, Dennis, George Smith, and Noah Crocker capsized at the mouth of the Rocky River. All drowned but Noah Crocker. Sarah buried her sister on land she gave for Lakeside Cemetery.
Asahal moved to Rockport where he died in 1820. Sarah raised her nieces, Catherine, Emeline, and Angeline Porter. Reuben Osborn built the first frame house between Cleveland and Lorain in 1814. His son, Selden, built a house in 1832, and Selden’s son, Sherman, in 1858, all on Lake Road.
William Saddler I was returning from the War of 1812 when his journey to Clarence Station, New York, brought him through Dover Township. He liked what he saw and returned with his father, Christopher, purchasing Lot #92 in 1814. Christopher constructed a log cabin where Saddler Road is today. In 1835, William and Elizabeth Tryon Saddler replaced the log cabin with a frame house between Ruth and Florence on Lake Road.
David Foote, a Revolutionary War veteran, packed up his wife, Betsy Hamlin, and his family from Lee, Massachusetts, purchased Lot #97 and moved to Dover Township in 1815. He built two log cabins before erecting a frame house in 1828 on Lake Road. David’s son, Ranson, married Catherine Porter, Asahal’s daughter. Ranson and Catherine raised 12 children in the house. Their son, Henry, and daughter, Catherine, lived there until their deaths.
Aaron and Elizabeth Winsor Aldrich came into South Dover township in 1817 from Smithfield, Rhode Island. Due to poor health, Aaron returned east in 1822. He returned, purchased Lots #98 and part of 92 at the corner of Bradley and Lake Roads and, in 1830, built a frame house. Aaron’s house is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dexter Tuttle came from Rowe, Massachusetts, in 1823, married Amelia Weidner, and built his house in 1835 on Lots #87 and 88 at Lake and Columbia Roads. The Tuttles raised sheep which they sold to the Silverthorne Hotel. Ezra Tuttle married Victoria Clague and Frederick Tuttle married Mary Jane Bates.
Thomas Powell, born in Olean, New York, married Sophia Saddler in 1832. Tom purchased Lot #81 and in 1850 built a frame house on Bradley Road. Thomas farmed and operated a sawmill at the corner of Bradley and Naigle Roads. Years later, his great grandson, Roger, had a free range turkey farm on the property. The Foote and Saddler houses have been torn down by builders.
The history of Martin’s Deli on Bassett Road
On the north end of Bassett Road is Lake Road and the old Sadler (Saddler) property (Lot #92). Sometime after the Lake Shore Electric Interurban track was laid through their property in 1897, the Sadler family sold a strip of land south of the track on the west side of Bassett Road and a two story building was constructed. The building fronted on Bassett Road with two large windows on either side of the front door. On the first floor was a store with parking in front. Upstairs were living quarters.
Across the street was the Thompson grocery store. It was housed in the old wooden Methodist Church building moved in 1909 from the corner of Lake and Bassett Roads to the interurban tracks. When this building burned down around 1911, the Thompsons moved their store across the street into the empty building.
Bill Sadler and a book about the Lake Shore Electric Interurban tells us the building was built by Mr. Pencik, and he leased it to the West Shore Supply Company in 1919. The West Shore Supply Company was opened to satisfy the needs of the farmers in western Bay and Avon Lake. The store sold grain, grape growing supplies, rope, feed, shovels, etc. It was similar to the Cahoon Store on Dover Center Road near the railroad tracks.
With few good roads, the interurban tracks were the way to transport goods and people. The supply business didn’t last very long, as George Serb tells us the property was purchased by Mr. Grosse. He leased the building to the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, otherwise known as the A&P grocery chain. Behind the building, Fred Sadler ran a hand laundry during World War II. The interurban stopped running in May, 1938, and the A&P store closed soon after.
George Schmidt was in charge of the meat counter in the A&P. When the store closed, George and his wife, who lived across the street, reopened the store as a mom and pop shop in the Volunteer Stores Cooperative Chain. Billy and Julie Blaha lived up stairs. (I grew up west of Bradley and, as a little girl in the 1940‘s, remember my Mom walking to the store and pulling my sister and me in a wagon.) Four generations of the Schmidt family stayed in the village.
George and Bob Serb moved into a one story addition on the south side of the building and opened the Bay Sweet Shop featuring cones, sundaes and shakes. My sister, Barbara Walker, still remembers the gigantic Baby Ruth candy bars for 10 cents. There was a soda fountain counter with stools and booths on the south side.
A Sohio gas pump was in front of the store. The brothers delivered ice, sometimes by motorcycle, from Pop Serb’s Ice Store at Hahn’s Grove. When World War II came along, George and Bob Serb sold their ice cream business to Ma (Katherine) Liebtag who moved the business into the store.
Don Carpenter was on the Bay High basketball team in 1944 and remembers Ma inviting the team to lunch in the sweet shop. He remembers the counter was in the front of the store and boxes of cereal and canned goods lined the walls. My sister remembers sitting with Sally Price at the u-shaped counter, with Ma standing in the middle, in the 1940’s, having a hot fudge sundae.
When they saved enough money, 25 cents, they would get off the school bus at Ma’s Sweet Shop, have their treat and walk home to Bradley and Lake Roads. The Beck family lived upstairs, and Don, Lois, and Marjory graduated from Bay High School. Lois was Miss Cleveland in a beauty pageant. Mr. Wertz, the shop teacher at the high school, who lived on Bassett, also operated the ice cream parlor for awhile.
In the 1950’s, the store was renamed The Bay Superette and a barber shop was in the south addition. Armond and Ferris Karim ran the ‘Supe’ with Ferris behind the meat counter. Their meats were highly respected. Margaret Hook who lived in the William Aldrich II farmhouse walked down to the store almost every day to shop and buy meat.
Ferris and his family lived on the second floor and then Tom Phillips, Director of the Osborn Learning Center, took his turn upstairs. Goomba Nick’s Pizza took over the barber shop on the south side. Goomba’s was very popular. Their pizza was the best, and the high school students were huge noontime customers in the 1970’s and 80’s. Goomba’s later moved to Detroit Road at Dover Center.
Today this building is known as Martin’s Deli and one of Bay’s historic buildings. Earl Martin, once the mayor of Rocky River, owns the deli. The front door was moved to the north side and the front windows removed. The small building on the south side became a dining room.
Today, Martin’s is a thriving business selling great food and wine in the store. Be sure to pay them a visit.
Bay Village houses and building on the National Register of Historic Places
Bay Village has five structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although changes have been made to some of these structures over the years, these changes have not affected their status with the register.
In 1994, Rose Hill Museum and the Cahoon Barn (Community House) located in Cahoon Memorial Park qualified for this distinction. The application says, “Rose Hill Museum and the Community House are significant under Criterion A because of their association with the innovative philanthropy of Ida Maria Cahoon. Miss Cahoon was the last surviving child of Joel and Margaret Cahoon and was granddaughter of the township’s first settler.”
The 1917 Cahoon Will gifted intact the 128-acre family farmstead to the citizens of Bay Village.
Rose Hill Museum built by Joseph and Joel Cahoon in 1818 sits on a foundation of sandstone (Chagrin shale), on a hill overlooking Cahoon Creek. They used mortise and tenon joinery, horse hair plaster, milk based paint and white oak beams with poplar floors. The architecture is vernacular with a little Gothic Revival and Colonial Revival influence in the two 1842 and 1910 additions.
When it was a library, there were bay windows in the eastern addition. These windows and a north door on the south wing were removed during the 1973 renovation. The stairs had been relocated to the south wall of the northeast room when the building became a library. For traffic flow as a museum, some walls were added on the first floor.
The Cahoon Barn retains its basic form, proportions and structural features of the 1882 Gothic barn. It sits on a foundation of sandstone. The wood post and beam system remains from the old barn with steel columns and trusses added for reinforcement.
The exterior of colonial revival clapboard siding and windows were installed during the 1936 renovation by the Works Progress Administration. The inside was turned into a meeting room with knotty pine paneling, popular at the time. Kitchen and bathroom facilities were added.
The application for the National Register states, “Neither Rose Hill nor the Community House are major architectural landmarks. Instead they are representative examples of the architecture of their times, Community House being a well-preserved example of the 1930’s Depression-era architecture and Rose Hill retaining its form from its historic period of usage as a community resource.”
With the makeover by the Work Progress Administration, the farm became known as Cahoon Memorial Park and the barn as The Community House.
The Washington Lawrence Mansion is at 23200 Lake Road. The 1900 house was built in the Romanesque Style popular from 1870-1890. There have been many changes over the years. In 1948, it became Bay View Hospital, and its beautiful rooms were covered with wall board to make them more suitable for hospital offices and beds. When the building became Cashalmara, a swimming pool was added and the upstairs rooms became apartment suites. With the removal of the wall board, the original walls were revealed.
John Huntington Pumping Tower is located in Huntington Reservation. The tower built around 1870-1880 was used to store water brought up from the lake to irrigate the fields. All the implements are still inside the cedar tower; however, the siding on the outside has been changed.
Aaron Aldrich III House, built in 1830 at 30663 Lake Road, is the only building that hasn’t had major changes or additions. At the time the house was placed on the register, Aaron could have walked into his frame home and found it practically as it was when it was built – Greek Revival on the outside, and the rooms, floors, fireplaces and basement cooking area as they were 145 years earlier.
The tulip newel post, family wall paper from the late 1880’s, rugs and furniture were preserved with great care by Aaron’s great grandson, George Drake. Every item, whether a massive chest of drawers or Betsy’s library card, was saved.
With George’s historical treasure and unselfish desire to share, the historical society was able to put much of the “Bay Village: A Way of Life” sections together in their book. This was a “double house.” On the east side lived the Fred Drake family with grandmother, Mary Anne Stevens, and grandfather, Henry Aldrich. On the west was Henry’s sister, Lucy Aldrich Peel and her family.
George worked very hard and never gave up until his house was chosen to be on the register.
Golf and Bay’s back-yard playground
Location, location, location. The following two stories began with a lake at the back door.
Golf!!! It all began with Washington Lawrence, president of the National Carbon Company, purchasing three farms along the lake at the eastern border of Dover Township. Washington had seven daughters and six of them married men who enjoyed the new game called golf. He indulged his sons-in-law and developed the oldest golf course in Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Golf Played at Dover Bay Prior to 1895: Although not the first incorporated club in Cleveland, it is probable that the first golf was played where Dover Bay now stands.”
Golf Retold reported, “August 22, 1896: To anyone who has had the good fortune to be a guest at Dover Bay Park, it must seem astonishing that there are not more such places around Cleveland. Each family has a house of its own. The clubhouse makes a rallying place… It is certainly a community of clever people.”
In 1899, Chisholm Beach was the golf champion having won over Mr.’s Chase, Dodge, James, Matthews and Bourne.
Opening day, 1903, saw a reorganization, and a new name, Dover Bay Country Club. Public members were welcome. The golf pro was Alex Miller and the manager, Jack Quinlan. Members rented rooms in the club house for the summer season. For awhile, Mickey McBride, of the Cleveland Indians, owned the property. He sold it in 1956 for residential development. Union Carbide was interested in building their research laboratory on the property, but the city voted to keep Bay Village a city of homes.
In Bay Village, Lake Erie is our backyard playground. Hobo, Loafer, Restless and Bum – such names don’t usually find their way into a sailing story – but add to them Vagabond, Wanderer, Tramp and Roamer and attach them to eight home-made sailing dinghies, and you have the nucleus of the Bay Village Yacht Club, the youngest yachting organization in the area in 1940.
The Biloxi dinghies were owned by Bay High School boys with the names of Smith, Hruby, Sims, Asher, Sutliff, Miller, Nyerges and Brueggemann. The boys ranged in age from 13 to 18 years old.
All the boats were home-made either by the boys and their parents or Henry Wischmeyer. Henry was the caretaker of the old Wischmeyer Hotel on Lake Road. At times he needed workers to pick peaches and strong backs to cut down and haul away trees and brush. He would hire high school boys who lived on the streets near the hotel to do chores around his property, and they became friends.
Henry’s boat house, no longer in use, was offered to the boys as a yacht club to store their boats and equipment. Almost every day during the summer months, the boy’s boats could be seen catching the warm summer breezes off the Cahoon and Wischmeyer beaches.
World War II began the breakup of the sailing fleet as seven members joined the Navy, four on the same day. When the war ended, and the boys came home, they found they had different interests and the club disbanded.
The one thing that stayed constant was the lake which still pleasures us today.
The Peterson Family buildings on Dover Center Road
As you sit at the traffic light on West Oviatt and Dover Center Roads in Bay Village, facing east, your eyes see a two-story brick building with a sign that reads “Bay Hair.” To the north is a wooden building with a garage behind. Today, these buildings belong to the John Peterson family.
William (Bill) Blaha, who built the buildings, was John Peterson’s grandfather. William Blaha married Mary Januska in 1908 and their daughter, Marie Blaha Peterson, was John Peterson’s mother. In 2007, Marie’s beauty parlor became the longest continuing business in Bay Village when it celebrated 80 years. Five generations of this family have made Bay Village their home.
In 1914, William Blaha was operating a grocery store in Cleveland on East 65th St. when Edwards Foods, a wholesale food distributor, purchased the Cahoon Store from the Wischmeyer family. They approached Bill with an offer to move his grocery business to the Cahoon Store in Bay Village. He accepted and his grocery business opened on the first floor with the family living quarters upstairs.
Bill prospered. With Bill still operating his grocery in the Cahoon location, he purchased a piece of land from the Cahoon family, north of the store. The first building he constructed on the site was a double-bay auto garage with two Sohio gasoline pumps in front. Sohio advertised that it had a dot on its Ohio State road map for every township with a gas pump. When the map came out, however, the Bay Village location wasn’t on it. Bill made sure that the next road map Sohio printed had a dot locating Bay Village. You could say Bill was the man who put Bay Village on the map.
Bill built a brick building, in 1926, south of the garage and moved his grocery business and meat market. The family moved into a three-bedroom, one-bath apartment upstairs. Mary could always be found behind the cash register and Bill behind the meat counter. The family also operated a grocery store on Clague Road. This building no longer exists.
In the apartment on the second floor, Bill and Mary raised their family of four girls and one boy; Marie, Marguerite, Jo Ann, Millie and Bill. While in high school, Marie was a star basketball player on Bay’s championship team in 1926.
After graduation from Parkview School, Marie was asked to play for a semi-pro girl’s basketball team but opted to attend beauty school instead. She opened a beauty parlor in the wooden building north of the alley, in what had been her dad’s meat market.
In 1917, work began on a new bridge over Cahoon Creek on Lake Road. Many workmen came into the village. There being no bank in town, the safe in Bill’s grocery was the place to go to secure their money. This way the workmen had access to their money when the store was open. For an emergency, he would open day or night. This was not your average financial arrangement, however, as true to his nature there would be no charge for the service. This was always done as a courtesy.
When the depression hit in 1929, Bill had a thriving business. Friends and neighbors Bill had lived alongside for years were now losing their jobs or had their wages cut so drastically they didn’t have enough money to feed their families. Bill began carrying a tab for anyone down on his luck. Some tabs were carried for years and some tabs never paid back. This generosity became a hardship on his grocery business, and Bill found himself going into debt. Soon he was not able to keep up with his own bills, and the store closed in 1940 when many customers defaulted on their tabs.
Some tabs were so large that he received the offer of a 40-acre farm near Warren, Ohio, and an apartment building on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio, in exchange for the tab. Bill closed the store and put his property up for sale. Mrs. Sylvester purchased the property. Marie rented and operated her beauty parlor in the wooden building.
After the grocery store closed, the brick building housed the Bay Village Post Office, a TV Repair Shop, and Neil O’Conner’s Florist on the first floor. In 1963, Marie moved the beauty parlor into the brick building. Mrs. Sylvester, who married Mr. Hanushak, stayed true to her word with Marie. The Peterson family would have the first opportunity to buy back the buildings should her family decide to sell.
In 1985, the buildings were purchased by the Peterson family. The wooden building became ‘Potpourri,’ a popular card and gift store and then a dental lab. The Blaha’s grocery store was a family enterprise. As both the stores and the garage needed workers, grandpas, sisters, brothers, cousins, and brothers and sisters-in-law, became part of the family business.
Joe Januska met his future wife on a delivery run to the Kreb’s farm in Avon Lake. Despite everything that happened with the business, Bill always said, “I wouldn’t have done it any other way.” Bill’s generous heart stayed with him to the end.
The Dover Station on the New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad
New and exciting sounds were heard in North Dover in 1882 with the beat of the steam locomotive exhaust, the shrill call of a whistle and the rumble of iron wheels on steel rails.
Clifton Aldrich and his dad rode on their manure spreader to see the first green and red locomotive come through. Joel Cahoon was taken by his sons in their wagon to see the newly laid track that Joel always said would come.
This train with the ambitious name became the “Nickel Plate.” The generally accepted story involves the rivalry between Norwalk and Bellevue, Ohio, with each bidding for the line to come through its town. Bellevue won, but the Norwalk Chronicle editor name it “the great, nickel-plated railroad” and the term became a nickname. Eventually, even the locomotives and cars were so marked. It was primarily a freight hauler but carried passengers, too.
The railroad station was the center of all the comings and goings in town. We remember that the Cahoon family negotiated the placement of the station on their property in Dover Township on the north side of the tracks in return for the track being laid through their property for lease.
Excerpted from “Bay Village: A Way of Life” is the following explanation of a day at the Dover, Ohio, train station:
“An air of anticipation hovered about the station. Things are about to happen. Folks were gathering; the men in tight-legged trousers, high choker collars and derby hats; the ladies with wasp waists, bustles and voluminous skirts all topped with impossibly huge hats. Baggage trucks are piled high with trunks, sacks of mail, boxes of grapes, crates of baby chicks, milk cans, and mysterious packages addressed to far way places.
“Then in the distance, the sound of the whistle. The train was coming. The people could see it down the track and picked up their suitcases as it swept to a hissing, steaming halt before them. With the brakes grinding and sparks flying from the wheels, the conductor stepped off almost before the train stopped. The ladies daintily lifting their skirts were helped on by the conductor, while the men followed. The baggage man boosted the trunks and mail and boxes into the baggage car.
“Then the word, ‘Board,’ called as only a railroad conductor could call it, a wave of his hand to the engineer, two toots of the whistle, the sharp bark of the engine, and the train rapidly disappeared down the track. The station was quiet again. Only the telegraph sounder clicked, and the wind hummed in the wires overhead.“
This little scene was repeated many times over the years at Dover Station in our Bay Village. The Travelers Official Guild for June 14, 1893, shows eight passenger trains a day stopping at Dover with trains east bound to Cleveland, Conneaut, Buffalo or westbound to Fort Wayne and Chicago. A 1914 Nickel Plate folder entitled “Summer Outings” is illustrated with idyllic fishing and bathing beach scenes.
In a list of country homes for summer boarders are Mrs. George Miller who only accepted women at 75 cents a day and lived 200 feet from the track, and Mr. Henry Wischmeyer who could board 40 people and charged one dollar a day to be on the beach.
North Dover businessmen caught the train at the station for Cleveland. They could conduct their business and be home in a day. The Cahoon sisters, who taught school in Cleveland, took the train to the station and got off at the Cahoon Store, were picked up there and taken to their home on Cahoon Road for the weekend. It made life so easy.
Soon the train was not the only way to go. Horseless carriages became popular and offered more independence, and the trains no longer made a stop at Dover. Through the 1940s, the station remained in use to receive freight and express, but finally it was closed.
In 1963, it was given to Bay Village. How fortunate we are that today it stands in Huntington Reservation. For many years it was the headquarters for Baycrafters. They used it as their Station Shop for the consignment of artists’ works for sale. Some years ago a Victorian Tea Room was added in the back of the building with the consignments still in the front waiting room. A caboose was brought in next to the station to complete the scene. When Baycrafters became Bayarts, the station became Vento Restaurant.
Growing up on the Foote Farm – The Neighborhood
In 1936, our father purchased a lot in the Foote apple orchard on the south side of Lake Road across from the Foote farmhouse and later, when the trolley stopped running, Dad bought 500 feet of the interurban track bed making our lot look like a big “T.” “Our buffer against the world,” he would say.
In the years 1940 to 1950, the “neighborhood” stretched from Bradley Road to the county line, the lake on the north and the interurban track on the south. On the outskirts were the Slocum, Gillette, Irwin, Cutts, Young, Brinkman, Jacobs, Larson, and Hoagland families. The inner circle of families were Wieland, Hook, Laverty, Inwood, Rothaermel, Matyas, Kittenger, Lane, Chamberlain and Carman.
The kids in these families played together daily. As in any neighborhood there was rivalry and jealousy, but everyone knew it was up to us to make the fun and keep the neighborhood alive. In those days, Bay Village offered very little in the way of sports or entertainment.
Some yards were better for things than others. In the winter, Wielands, in the Foote farmhouse, was the place to gather. They flooded their front yard into an ice skating rink, and the backyard hills and gullies became the sledding hills.
In the fall, their Mom made homemade donuts and apple cider for trick or treat. We stood in awe as she cut off the head of a chicken and hung it by its legs on the clothes line.
Matyas’s front yard was the best baseball diamond. Laverty’s had the longest and most dangerous rope swing. We played croquet at Wielands and hide and seek in the large Rothaermel back yard along with dress up in their old chicken coop playhouse.
The best swing set was in Hook’s backyard as it had metal swings and a bar, rings and slide. A jump rope tied to their garage meant two could play. Back on the tracks in the ditch was a great place to catch tadpoles. The girls roller skated on the slate sidewalks and played school in Sis Hook’s bedroom. The Wieland and Rothaermel sisters played paper dolls by the hour.
We all watched as Mr. Bosh purchased and turned the Foote barn into a pink house which we called “the pink barn.” “Peter and the Wolf” and “Zippity Do Da” could be heard from the record players. If we needed a babysitter, Mrs. Ganyard would come. The school bus picked us up at the corner of Bradley and Lake. We were all bused to Parkview, then Forestview and finally to Glenview in 1947.
During the years of World War II, we would stand along the road, routes #6, 2, 20 and wave to the soldiers in the trucks headed east to go overseas. Our fathers were the neighborhood air raid wardens and kept us safe. The girl scouts would walk through the neighborhood with a wagon and collect grease/lard for the war effort.
It was peaceful in the country. Our neighborhood was only one of many in Bay Village where life was simple and fun. All have a story to tell. As kids we thought we had the world by the tail, how could what we had get any better?