Aaron & Elizabeth Aldrich House

by William Krause

30663 Lake Road, c. 1830

The fifth in a series of articles to be published as a walking tour of Lake Road by the Bay Village Historical Society in 2025.

It was in 1816 that Aaron and Elizabeth Aldrich and a son moved from Rhode Island to Dover to live near Elizabeth’s brother Henry Winsor. In 1822, they moved to New York for Aaron to take charge of a cotton factory.

In seven years, Aaron earned enough money to move back to Dover and purchase a 140-acre farm, extending from Lake Erie south to what is now Wolf Road, and build this very fine frame house (in 1830).

Built as a double house it has a two-story west wing with a Federal style fan window in the attic and a single-story east wing. It eventually passed down to George Drake, their grandson.

Henry Winsor’s 1785 desk which he had brought to Dover in 1813, was in this house, crammed with papers that became the foundation of the first written history of Bay Village, “Bay Village: A Way of Life.” Today, that desk is part of the Rose Hill Museum collection.

The Aldrich house is very well preserved inside and out and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A fashion fold-out from the Godey’s Lady’s book, 1863, Vol. 66, part of the Rose Hill Museum library collection.

Women’s Fashions: 1860s-1920s

(Feature image above: 1860s – A fashion fold-out from the Godey’s Lady’s book, 1863, Vol. 66, part of the Rose Hill Museum library collection.)

In anticipation of our upcoming benefit fashion show being held this September (details below), we at the Bay Village Historical Society would like to share some pictures of interesting women’s fashions from the 1860s-1920s, that we have found in our collections. You may see quite a few fashionable dresses and accessories any Sunday at the Rose Hill Museum, especially with our current exhibition, Beadwork: The Beauty of Small Things. The following pictures are not always on display and many are tucked away in our library and archives. Enjoy!

1870s – The Cahoon sisters, left to right: Lydia (b. 1835, d. 1917), Laura (b. 1841, d. 1917), Martha (b. 1844, d. 1903) and Ida (b. 1852, d. 1917), 1996.P.016. The photograph is undated but we can guess at the time period, in part, by the dress of the four sisters. The abundance of ruffles and trim on both the skirts and bodices, the bustles and the cascade of hair curls seem to indicate this photo was taken sometime in the early to mid-1870s.

1880s – Effie Cahoon Ellis (b.1861, d.1888). This portrait photograph was most likely taken on her wedding day in 1883. 2000.P.FIC.014

1890s – Puffed sleeves were all the rage in the mid-1890s, the time period in when we believe this picture was taken of Annabelle Aldrich Terry (b. 1873, d. 1950). 2021.01.1.007

1900s – Mabel Peters (b. 1884) is wearing the “S-bend” style dress, popular in the early 1900s. 2018.P.03.03.84  

1910s – Wedding fashion from the 1910s. This group photo was taken for the 1914 wedding of Meta Stark Hinz (b. 1890, d. 1955) and Arthur Hinz (b. 1890, d. 1956). Meta’s wedding dress is part of The Bay Village Historical Society’s costume collection (2005.P.01).

1920s – Martha Bassett Beaucock (born Aldrich) (b.1865, d.1957), 2021.P.FIC.228.08. With her cloche hat, Mary Jane shoes and drop waist dress, Martha screams the 1920s.

If you love historical fashions from the 1860s-1920s, then you’ll want to attend the Bay Village Historical Society’s benefit fashion show. Silhouettes of Style, co-chaired by Monica Thomas and Pamela Ebert, will be held September 24, 2023 at the Lakewood Country Club. Models will be showcasing both historical and reproduced pieces from private collections. Tickets for this luncheon are $45 a person. Checks payable to the Bay Village Historical Society may be mailed to Pamela Ebert, 153 Kensington Circle, Bay Village, OH 44140. The deadline for reservations is September 19. Details can be found at www.bayhistorical.com.

Frame #14: Aaron Aldrich III and Elizabeth “Betsy” Aldrich

This daguerreotype portrait of Aaron Aldrich II and Elizabeth Winsor Aldrich was taken on April 27, 1854, on Aaron’s birthday. The case made for the daguerreotype was inscribed “A- Aldrich age 62 / April 27-1854 & Mrs. / E- Aldrich age 60 / December 22 – 1854 / Dover Ohio.” However, this contradicts the date of birth given on his grave (1795), which would have made him 59 when this photo was taken.

Aaron Aldrich III
b. 27 Apr. 1795 (?), Smithfield, Rhode Island
d. 27 May 1856, Dover Township, Ohio
Aaron Aldrich III, was the son of Aaron Aldrich II and Mary (Marcy) Waterman. He married Elizabeth “Betsy” Windsor on September 11, 1814 in Smithfield, Rhode Island. The two moved to Dover Township, Ohio in 1816  with their one year old son, Aaron Aldrich IV, and a year later had another son they named William Waterman (frame #21). The family did not settle permanently in Dover until 1829 when Aaron purchased a 140-acre farm along Lake Erie. There, Aaron set up a tannery and made furniture. He was elected as a magistrate in the township for many years and helped form the First Baptist Church of Dover. Aaron lived to be 61 years old and is buried in Lakeside Cemetery.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Windsor Aldrich
b. 22 Dec. 1794, Smithfield, Rhode Island
d. 28 Dec. 1869, Dover Township, Ohio
Elizabeth “Betsy” Windsor was the daughter of Augustus Winsor and Nancy Waterman. She married Aaron Aldrich III and settled with him in Dover. They had five children together. Betsy lived to be 75 years old. She is buried in Lakeside Cemetery.

Aldrich Family

Frame #20: Aldrich Family Portrait

William Waterman Aldrich II was the first born son of William Waterman Aldrich I and Martha Bassett Aldrich. He was a farmer, learning the trade from his father. In 1857 he bought land from Christian Saddler and built a house before marrying Jeanette Bates on June 12, 1862. They had ten children, all pictured here. It is said that for each child’s birth, a tree was planted on the lawn and the house was steadily expanded to accommodate the family. All seven daughters were married in the parlor of the house William built, and the funerals of William and Jeanette were held there. The house still stands at 366 Bassett Road.
Back row, left to right: Annabelle, Evalena, Martha Bassett, Howard Vincent, Imogene Rachel, Berthenia Capitola, and Edythe Amelia.
Front row, left to right: Gertrude Florence, William Waterman II, Clifton Irving, Jeanette Bates, and William Waterman III.

Imogene Rachel Aldrich

Imogene Rachel Aldrich
b. 6 May 1863, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 24 Mar. 1931, Dover Village, Ohio
Imogene was the first child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. She married George Alexander Williams on November 10, 1880. They had five children together. George ran a fruit farm on Center Ridge Road, which their son Leonard later took over after George’s death. Imogene passed away at the age of 68 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Westlake, Ohio.

Berthenia Capitola Aldrich

Berthenia Capitola Aldrich
b. 2 May 1864, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 26 Apr. 1894, Carlisle Township, Ohio
Berthenia was the second child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. She married Robert John Smith on June 24, 1885. Robert was a farmer and both of his parents were from England. They had six children together. She passed away at the age of 30 and is buried in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Elyria, Ohio.

Martha Bassett Aldrich

Martha Bassett Aldrich
b. 25 Nov. 1865, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 12 Aug. 1957, Chicago, Illinois
Martha Bassett Aldrich was the third child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. She was named after William’s mother. She married Isaac Beaucock on October 27, 1887. They had three children together. At some point between their marriage, and the birth of their son Clarence in 1897, they moved to Chicago where Isaac worked as a contract decorator and painter. Martha passed away at the age of 92 and is buried in Irving Park Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois.

Evalena Jeanette Aldrich

Evalena Jeanette Aldrich
b. 17 Mar. 1867, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 5 Mar. 1956, Lorain County, Ohio
Evalena (Evelyn) Aldrich was the fourth child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. She married George Linsley in 1896 and had a daughter, Grace, in 1898. She then married Heinrich Lade on March 22, 1903. They had a son, Bernhardt Lade. Henry passed away in 1907. Evalena then married John Meister, divorcing him in 1918 before marrying John W. Thomson who worked at a steel plant. Sometime before 1930, he passed away and Evalena and her son went to live with Evalena’s mother. She lived to be 89.

Howard Vincent Aldrich

Howard Vincent Aldrich
b. 22 Aug. 1869, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 6 Mar. 1947, Cleveland, Ohio
Howard Vincent Aldrich was the fifth child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. He married Alice McCarty on November 17, 1889. They had two children together. Howard worked as a manager of a seed store in Cleveland. He passed away at the age of 78 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Westlake, Ohio.

Annabelle Hurst Aldrich

Annabelle Hurst Aldrich
b. 30 Oct. 1873, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 9 Oct. 1950, Lakewood, Ohio
Annabelle was the sixth child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. She married Clayton M. Terry on January 25, 1897. He worked as a clerk at a steel plant in 1910. They had three children together. She passed away at the age of 76 and is buried in Butternut Ridge Cemetery, Eaton, Ohio.

Edythe Amelia Aldrich

Edythe Amelia Aldrich
b. 14 Aug. 1876, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 8 Jan. 1961, Elyria, Ohio
Edythe Amelia Aldrich was the seventh child of William and Jeanette Alrdich. She married Herbert Marcus Barker on April 5, 1905. Herbert had a younger sister, Mary Adeline Barker who married Edythe’s younger brother, Clifton. Edythe and Herbert moved to Elba, New York within a year, where Herbert started a farm. The couple had one child together, Gertrude Barker. Herbert passed away in 1924. By 1930, Edythe had moved back to Ohio where she made a home with her daughter in Elyria. She passed away at the age of 86 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Westlake, Ohio.

Clifton Irving Aldrich

Clifton Irving Aldrich
b. 21 Nov. 1878, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 17 May 1970, Avon, Ohio
Clifton Irving Aldrich was the eighth child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. He married Mary Adeline Barker on August 27, 1903. Mary Adeline’s brother would marry Clifton’s older sister two years later. Clifton and Mary Adeline had three children together. They raised their children on the fruit farm Clifton owned. He passed away at the age of 92 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Westlake, Ohio.

Gertrude Florence Aldrich

Gertrude Florence Aldrich
b. 3 Apr. 1880, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 25 Dec. 1949, Benton Harbor, Michigan
Gertrude Florence Aldrich was the ninth child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. She married Frank Leslie Simanton on March 7, 1907. In 1908, when Gertrude gave birth to her first child, Edith, they were living in Illinois. By 1910 they had moved to Fargo, North Dakota where Frank taught high school. By 1920 they were living in Illinois again, in Brookside, where Frank was working as an entomologist with the U.S. government. Ten years later they were living in Benton Harbor, Michigan where Frank continued his work as an entomologist. The couple stayed in Benton Harbor for the rest of their lives, having a total of five children together. Gertrude passed away at the age of 69 and is buried in Crystal Springs Cemetery, Benton Harbor, Michigan.

William Waterman Aldrich III

William Waterman Aldrich III
b. 4 Sept. 1882, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 30 Sept. 1946, Toledo, Ohio
William Waterman Aldrich III was the tenth child of William and Jeanette Aldrich. He married Florence Mitchell  on December 25, 1906, and they had one child together, Melvern William Aldrich. They lived in Rockport (now Rocky River) where William worked as a clerk at a coal office. The couple later divorced in 1918. William then married Ruby Teasdale on August 16, 1920, and they had two children together, William Waterman Aldrich IV and Norma Jean Aldrich. By 1930 he was working as a manager for a heating company in Elyria. Ten years later in 1940, he and Ruby were divorced and he was working as a timekeeper in Lorain. He passed away at the age of 64 and is buried in Ridgehill Memorial Cemetery, Amherst, Ohio.

Laura Jeanette Bates Aldrich

Frame #33: Laura “Jeanette” Bates Aldrich

b. 6 Feb. 1841, Avon, Ohio
d. 27 May 1931, Village of Bay, Ohio
Laura Jeanette Bates was the sixth child of Daniel and Rachel Bates. She married William Waterman and Martha Aldrich’s first son, William Waterman Aldrich II. They lived in a house William II built on land he had bought from Christian Saddler. Many additions were added and Jeanette cared for a large flower garden on the grounds. Jeanette passed away at the age of 90 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Westlake, Ohio.

Martha Bassett Aldrich

Frame #35: Martha Bassett Aldrich

b. 7 Oct. 1818, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 29 Nov. 1875, Dover Township, Ohio
Martha Bassett was the daughter of Nathan Bassett and Martha Hall. Her father was an early settler of Dover, arriving in 1811 and serving as a town trustee from 1813 to 1839. Martha married William Waterman Aldrich on July 4, 1840 and they had eight children together. She passed away at the age of 57 from tuberculosis and is buried in Lakeside Cemetery.

William Waterman Aldrich

Frame #36: William Waterman Aldrich

b. 17 Oct. 1817, Dover Township, Ohio
d. 19 Nov. 1903, Lorain, Ohio
William Waterman Aldrich was the son of Aaron Aldrich III and Elizabeth Winsor. He was born in Dover before the family left for New York. They returned when William was twelve. He was a successful farmer and rancher, eventually becoming a breeder of Hereford cattle in Elyria. He passed away at the age of 86 and is buried in Lakeside Cemetery.

The Cahoon sisters, Lydia, Laura and Ida 1996.P.027

Women in Early Dover History

March is Women’s History Month in America. It is a time to commemorate and encourage the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. The Bay Village Historical Society has been reflecting on this and our own history of women who have contributed to the success of the Bay Village community through the memories they have left behind. We are lucky that many took the time to write these recollections down. They have informed much of what we know of about the history of women in Dover and the town in general.

Margaret Cahoon in later years, 2000.P.FIC.007

Margaret Cahoon in later years, 2000.P.FIC.007

Margaret Dickson Van Allen Cahoon (b. 1810, d. 1894) wrote down her memories in 1890, near the end of her life. In it, she tells her children about her early life growing up in Washington D.C. where she lived through the taking of the Capitol in 1812 and how she conversed with many well-known statesmen and women who were important in the early years of America. She writes of her married life with one of Dover’s earliest settlers, Joel Cahoon, including their travels through Ohio. She recounts meeting Joel’s parents, Lydia and Joseph, and later settling into their home at Rose Hill with her growing family in 1842. Many details we know about the life of the first generations of Cahoons to settle in Dover (now Bay Village) come from her writings. You may read her memoir on our website under The Autobiography of Margaret Dickson Van Allen Cahoon.

Ida Cahoon, 1996.P.012

Ida Cahoon, 1996.P.012

Margaret’s youngest child, Ida Cahoon (b. 1852, d. 1917), was proud of her family’s pioneer roots in Bay Village and wrote the history down many times. She was a teacher who worked in Cleveland. Her History of the Cahoon Family was used to help write Bay Village: A Way of Life. In 1896, she contributed to a publication about the pioneer women of Ohio, writing a chapter about Dover. Ida not only wrote about her own family, but also mentioned various notable women in the history of our town, retelling the history she was taught by her elders. She writes about the sad story of Sarah Osborn’s (b. 1779, d. 1856) sister, Rebecca Porter (b. 1777) who, along with her infant son, were drowned at Rocky River, coming back in a row boat from a trip to Cleveland in April, 1814. Ida names them the first to be buried in the Lakeside Cemetery. Another story was of the recently settled Stocking family from Massachusetts. Jane Fisher Stocking, who shared five children with her husband, Joseph, began a farm near Dover Center. Ida writes “Their early housekeeping was somewhat primitive and amusing. The dining table was the family chest, around which pumpkins were placed for chairs.” She spoke of women traveling to Dover writing “After a journey of ten weeks from the Isle of Man, Mrs. Margaret Clague and daughter Ruth walked from Cleveland, in 1837, to the farm now occupied by her children, which was ever afterward her happy home.” There is a link to an electronic copy of Ida’s article under our Useful Links Page on our website, titled Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve/Cuyahoga County (after clicking on the title choose “View All,” then start at page 58, Pioneer Women of Dover).

In 1965, Hazel Cousins Dorsey (b. 1907, d. 1998) wrote her memoirs as a descendent of early Dover settlers Elizabeth and Aaron Aldrich and Martha and Nathan Bassett. Her family history was typed and arranged in two parts, written and dedicated to her grandsons Donnie and Michael Yeargan, for their twelfth and thirteenth birthdays, teaching them about the origins of their family. This Topsy-Turvy Family tells about Hazel’s ancestors settling in Dover and later moving to California. Her second piece, Pioneering in Ohio, contains passages which were quoted in Bay Village: A Way of Life and are listed as a resource. There is a section about the American Indians who also used the lands in Dover for activities such as hunting and collecting maple syrup. Native women are mentioned, but only as far as their interactions with white settlers. Hazel tells of the daily life and hardships endured by some of these early settlers of Dover and the surrounding communities. Food and drink, clothing, work, illness, schooling, churches and the Civil War are given sections in the piece. There are stories of women getting lost in the woods, chasing off bears and living in the wagons that brought them to Dover until a cabin could be built. Woven in, occasionally, are her own family’s stories. We are currently working on transcribing a copy of Hazel’s work about the pioneers which will be added to the Bay Village Historical Society’s webpage in the near future. Look for it as it is a fascinating read.


If historical documents such as these are important to you, please consider a donation to the Bay Village Historical Society. Find out more on our website Support Us Page. You may also contact us by phone at (216) 319-4634 or email info@bayhistorical.com.

Rose Hill and the Osborn Learning Center are closed to the general public until Sunday, April 16, 2023. Please come and visit us this spring!

Singing Christmas Tree

Singing Christmas Tree

by Michele Yamamoto

As the Bay High School Choirs prepare for another performance of holiday music this December, we at the Bay Village Historical Society decided to take a look into our archives for some history about the much-loved “Singing Christmas Tree.” Housed in our archives are programs from the first years of the tree and information on how the structure came to be.

Curt Crews, 1968 (Bay Bluebook)

Bay High Choir Director and Vocal Music Teacher Curt Crews (Walter Curtis Crews) was quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in December of 1960 that he got the idea for the tree from a news article about a similar structure in Denver, Colorado. The school in Denver that owned the structure sent Crews their own blueprints, but after calculating the costs, it seemed the price was too prohibitive for Bay High School to build one of its own. Earl Danielson, president of the Danco Metal Company, had children at Bay High School and he and his associates agreed to build and donate a tree to Bay High School which would otherwise have cost $5,000.

The Bay High Choir on the Singing Christmas Tree, 1960 Bay Bluebook

The tree took eight men four hours to assemble for its seasonal appearance. Because of the tree’s size, the annual Christmas performance had to be moved to the gym for its first appearance in 1959. This meant the lighting installation had to be adapted for the new space, which presented a challenge. The structure was built at 21 feet high and 14 feet at the base. Risers were built every two feet and safety bars were placed in front of the singers to prevent accidents. All of the singers could take their places on the tree in less than five minutes. Crews noted, “We don’t have much of a problem deciding who will be at the top of the tree. Many of the singers don’t want to go up that high. I find it a little dizzying myself.”

The “Singing Christmas Tree,” as it was called, was used for its first performance by the Bay High School Chorus on December 16, 1959. 86 Bay High Choir members are listed in the program. They were dressed in green robes with aluminum collars, holding red, white or green electric candles. A two-foot white star graced the top of the tree. The choir sang a number of traditional Christmas songs, the first listed being Adeste Fideles.

Page 1 of the 1959 Bay High Christmas Concert program, 2021.BVS.10d

The 1959 program closes with notes in appreciation, including: “The structural tree that enhances our program tonight was fabricated and erected by Danco Metal Products Company of Westlake. Messers Earl Danielson and Mauri Halstrom with a Denver news clipping to guide them have all but invented the structure which weighs over one ton and can be disassembled and used year after year. This is one of the most considerable gifts ever presented to our school. Very few audiences in the world are hearing choral voices placed as these singers are tonight as high as twenty-two feet in the air.”

The next performance of the Bay High School Choir on the “Singing Christmas Tree” will be happening 63 years after the first, on December 18 and 19, 2022. Visit the Bay High School website for more information and how to buy tickets: 2022 Holiday Choral Concert Tickets

The holidays are here at Rose Hill – December 4, 11, and 18, 2022!

You may hear the Bay High Choraleers sing Christmas carols at the Rose Hill Museum on December 11 from 2:30-3:30pm in the Victorian parlor room. The performance is part of holiday celebrations happening December 4, 11, and 18th at the museum. Also making an appearance on the 11th is Santa Claus, who will be available that afternoon for photographs in our newly reconditioned 1800s sleigh. The cost for the photo is $20 and reservations are available on our website. Throughout Sundays in December, you will be greeted by volunteers in period costumes, taking you through our festively decorated home. Our newly restored upstairs portrait gallery, early 1800s rug with pastoral scene and Aldrich family hair wreath are on display. There will be spinning wheel, loom and rug hooking demonstrations and Preston Postle will be reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Visit the Bay Historical Society’s website for all of the details, how to reserve a time with Santa and the route he’ll be taking through Bay Village on December 4th: https://www.bayhistorical.com/cahoon-christmas-2022/

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.