Ice-Skating in Bay Village

The feature image of this post is of a 1976 drawing by Ethel Sadler of the early days of ice-skating in Bay Village, 2023.B.23.01.

The 1976 Bay Village Historical Society coloring book tells of the first pond made for ice-skating in Bay. “The original pond, dug especially for skaters, was just north of City Hall where the tennis courts are today. A pond was needed for recreation, as Lake Erie was becoming more treacherous and creeks were too shallow. Later on, a pond was dug at the corner of Cahoon and Wolf Roads. A shelter and benches were provided for comfort.”

In our collections are several examples of ice-skates from this earlier period of Bay Village history.

Metal ice skates that clamp onto shoes, 96.13.66A
Metal and wood ice skates with leather leg braces, 2009.C.03
Metal and wood ice skates with leather straps to hold shoes, 2023.Y.33.03AB

We see much talk about skating rinks in scrapbook pages and maps from the early 1970s. Two outdoor ice-skating rinks could be found at the corner of Wolf and Cahoon Roads, just across the street from Bay Middle School. In one West Life article from 1972, professional figure skater and graduate of the Bay High Class of 1966, Karen Kresge, said she learned how to skate from the age of 8 years-old on the Cahoon Park ice pond. In 1972 she was starring in a touring ice show and Bay Village Mayor Henry Reese declared March 1st of that year, Karen Kresge Day, to celebrate her return to perform in Cleveland.

1970 Bay Village map that shows the two ice-skating rinks at Wolf and Cahoon Roads (2018.FIC.0052). Also note some buildings no longer in Bay. The site where two cottages sit across the street from the rinks is now the Bay Skate Park. The site of the Bayway Cabin at the lower right side of the image is now the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Bay Village Branch.

This same year plans were quickly taking shape to construct a large twin ice arena building in Bay Village. This privately owned arena was supported and approved by the City of Bay to be built on the very southwest corner of town, just north of Naigle Road and east of the border with Lorain County. It would have had a dedicated rink just for open skating and another for hockey games and practice. It would also have served many other sports year ‘round, including tennis courts and even a pool! There were many local winter sports enthusiasts who voiced their support for a rink in Bay, stating its profitability and the taxes it would bring to the city annually. There were also some concerns, voiced by residents living along Bradley Road, that it would bring too much traffic to the area. As we now know, this recreation center was never built. We do not have a definitive reason in our collections as to why the rink wasn’t finished and neither does the Recreation Department. Some say it came down to cost. Other rinks proposed for Avon Lake and Independence also fell through around this time.

Map showing the proposed location for indoor ice-skating rinks in Bay Village from a Cleveland Press article on November 29, 1972.

Also, in 1972 was mentioned the ice rink at Clague Road Park (Reese Park). It was a large rink that would need to be relocated due to the building of the I-90 intersection. Today, the ice-skating rink in Reese Park is the only official ice-skating rink in Bay, weather permitting. A long spell of good, cold weather is needed to open it. If the conditions are just right, it will be accessed along the pathway behind the restrooms area at the park.

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into early ice-skating in Bay Village. If learning historical information such as this is important to you, please consider a donation to the Bay Village Historical Society. Find out more on our website Donate page. You may also contact us by phone at (216) 319-4634 or email info@bayhistorical.com.

Snow Portraits

We at the Bay Village Historical Society would like to wish you and yours a happy New Year in 2024.

Many thanks to all who have helped to make a difference in preserving and sharing the history of our town in 2023, whether through attending our events, volunteering at our historical buildings or giving us your monetary support. We thank you so much! Your support made it possible to continue cataloging and making our collections of objects, papers and photographs more accessible to the public. It helped to create a working model grist mill to demonstrate early industry and engineering of our earliest settlers. It has contributed to making our events, such as Cahoon Christmas, more entertaining every year. For this and so much more, we thank you!

The photos that accompany these good wishes are of two women wearing winter clothing which would be of the style seen in the 1880s. They appear to be braving the snowy winter weather outside in their cozy fur collars and muffs. Could such a perfect portrait be possible in such conditions? A quick search online for such photographs from this time period leads to many examples of subjects posing in fake winter scenes in photography studios. Some even have white “snow” on their clothing, hats and boots. Some have wintry backgrounds with painted trees and mountains, covered with snow. Others have “snowflakes” all around the person pictured. This effect was added to the negative after the photograph was taken. One description of the process to create this can be found here.

It does make for a beautiful portrait through which to show off one’s beautiful winter fashions!

Unidentified woman’s snow portrait (about 1886) 1996.P.04.008.

Unidentified woman poses for a winter portrait, circa the 1880s, 1999.P.04.011.

Please be aware that the Bay Village Historical Society’s Rose Hill Museum, Osborn Learning Center and Replica 1810 Cabin are all closed to the public for the winter season. They will be reopening in April 2024. Until then, please explore our updated website with new features to explore, including a variety of photos, articles and learning activities about the past at www.bayhistorical.com.

Christmas Cards of Bay Village Notables

During Cahoon Christmas 2023 events, the Bay Village Historical Society will be showcasing an exhibit of Christmas cards and imagery in our library. The pictures were created by artist Thomas William Jones, a Bay Village native. Jones recently and very generously donated examples of his work to the Society this year. Jones’s work was chosen as the feature image for President Ronald Reagan and Vice President Dick Cheney’s official Christmas cards. You may view them in person during December at the Rose Hill Museum.

Jones’s cards inspired us to look at some other holiday greetings in our collections. Enjoy this look into the past and happy holidays from the Bay Village Historical Society!

Christmas postcard from Ida Maria Cahoon to Miss Sarah Dodd, circa 1910s, 2012.05.2.

Christmas card from Ernest and Alvina Wuebker to their daughter, Vera. Ernest was the first rural postman of West Dover Township from 1903-1935 and his daughter was part of Bay’s first graduating senior class in 1927, 2018.03.70.

Telegram from Ernie Olchon to his future wife, Dorothy, circa the late 1930s. They were married in 1940. From 1940-1971, Olchon owned Ernie Olchon’s Bay Service Station, at Wolf and Dover Roads, 2018.11.14AB.

President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan’s official Christmas card, 1988. Art by Thomas William Jones, 2023.13.02.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2023.13.02Ainside300DS-Copy.jpg

The final Cahoon Christmas 2023 event days will be held Sunday, December 17, from 2:00-4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, December 20, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. You may find a list of special performances and demonstrations on our website at www.bayhistorical.com. Click on Our Events on the homepage menu to access the Calendar. Contact us at (216) 319-4634 / info@bayhistorical.com, with any questions.

1800s Sleigh at Rose Hill Museum

The Bay Village Historical Society usually asks that visitors do not sit upon any of their antique collections. In December, there will be an exception. An 1800s sleigh will be available for picture taking with Santa Claus during the Cahoon Christmas event days.

The sleigh before the remodel, D.2019.5.1.

It is unclear where and exactly when the two-seater sleigh was built. We do know that it was most likely made sometime in the 1800s. The sleigh was owned most recently by Bill and Grace Anderson Sebesta of Bay Village. Their niece, Bernardette E. Novy Enochian, donated it to the Bay Village Historical Society in 2019. It was restored soon after and painted red and black for the holiday season. The sleigh made its makeover debut for Cahoon Christmas 2022, during which Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elves joined the festivities and posed for pictures with visitors at Rose Hill Museum.

The sleigh being rebuilt, D.2019.5.1

If you would like to take a photo of your loved ones with Santa at Rose Hill Sunday, December 10, from 2-4 p.m., sign up on our website at Cahoon Christmas 2023 and for a $20 donation, a professional photographer will take a digital photo that will be emailed to you. Walk-ups are welcome at $25 cash. The proceeds will help fund activities and collection preservation at the Bay Village Historical Society.

The 2023 Cahoon Christmas event will be held Sundays, December 3, 10 and 17 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays December 6, 13, 20 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. You may find a list of special December performances and demonstrations on our website at the following link: Events Calendar. Contact us at (216) 319-4634 / info@bayhistorical.com, with any questions.

Antique brass sleigh bells, 2006.L.04

1899 children’s book “The First Sleigh Ride,” 2021.B.FIC.010

Happy Thanksgiving!

The following postcard, sent in 1938 to Henry and his sister, Olga Wischmeyer, says it all. Best wishes to to you and yours this Thanksgiving, this time from the Bay Village Historical Society.

Who are Henry and Olga Wischmeyer, you ask? They were the children of Henry and Regina Wischmeyer, the owners of a popular resort hotel in 1800s Dover (now Bay Village). The hotel, which used to stand on the Lake, just west of Glen Park, is now gone. The home of Henry and Olga, though, still stands today.

Some artifacts of the Wischmeyer Hotel were saved and can be viewed at the Rose Hill Museum, along with Henry Jr.’s collection of model boats. You may come see these exhibits Sundays (excluding holiday weekends), 2:00-4:30 p.m. In addition, come visit Rose Hill during our special 2023 Cahoon Christmas Event, Saturdays, December 3, 10 and 17 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays December 6, 13, 20 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. You may find the list of special performances, demonstrations and photos with Santa on our website https://www.bayhistorical.com/. Contact us at (216) 319-4634 / info@bayhistorical.com, with any questions.

d Olga Wischmeyer, you ask? They were the children of Henry and Regina Wischmeyer, the owners of a popular resort hotel in 1800s Dover (now Bay Village). The hotel, which used to stand on Lake Road, is now gone. Some artifacts remain at the Rose Hill Museum, along with Henry Jr.’s collection of model boats.

You may see these exhibits Sundays (excluding holiday weekends), 2:00-4:30 p.m. In addition, come visit Rose Hill during our special 2023 Cahoon Christmas Event, Saturdays, December 3, 10 and 17 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays December 6, 13, 20 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. You may find a list of special performances, demonstrations and photos with Santa on our website homepage. Contact us at (216) 319-4634 / info@bayhistorical.com, with any questions.

Back of Thanksgiving postcard, 2021.FIC.018

Woman Suffrage Amendment Poster, 1914

by Michele Yamamoto

At the Bay Village Historical Society, we made an unexpected discovery while archiving the college diploma of Elizabeth Hughes Cahoon. The backing used inside the frame for Elizabeth’s diploma was from the women’s suffrage movement in the early 1900s. The poster reads “Vote for Woman Suffrage Amendment 3 on Nov. 3.” A look into Amendment 3 led us to discover this political campaign poster was referring to an attempt in 1914 to initiate an Ohio state constitutional amendment to provide women the right to vote. Suffragists up to this point had been trying to pass state initiatives such as this one to compel the United States Congress to submit a federal amendment. Fifteen other states managed to pass suffrage ballot measures. The amendment cited on the poster was the second attempt to extend the suffrage to women in the state of Ohio. The first attempt on September 9, 1912 failed. The November 3, 1914 attempt also failed, with 60% of the male only voters voting against it, about 3% more than in 1912.

Elizabeth (b. 1830, d. 1914) joined the Cahoon family when she married Thomas Havenner Cahoon (b. 1832, d. 1907) in 1860. Thomas was the son of Joel and Martha Cahoon, the second-generation homeowners of Rose Hill. Before marriage, Elizabeth graduated from Wesleyan Female College in Cincinnati in 1852 with a degree of Mistress of English Literature. This was no ordinary feat in the 1800s, a time during which most American women were discouraged from attending institutions of higher learning.

A young Elizabeth Hughes Cahoon, 2000.P.FIC.013

Thomas Havenner Cahoon,1996.P.008A

Elizabeth Hughes Cahoon’s 1852 college diploma, 2021.FIC.004

Knowing her background, it makes one wonder if she supported the 1914 measure or maybe even campaigned for it. Elizabeth attended college during the very early years of the suffrage movement, which appears to have had a strong presence in Ohio. In a college journal entry from January 11, 1851, Elizabeth wrote that she attended a meeting at a public lecture hall during which she “heard much of woman’s wrongs and rights.” Interestingly, in May of that year, there was an Ohio Woman’s Rights Convention held in Akron, during which abolitionist and women’s rights activist, Sojourner Truth, spoke.

Elizabeth Hughes Cahoon in later years. 2023.P.FIC.011

Elizabeth Hughes Cahoon died on October 4, 1914, one month before the outcome of the November vote. She is buried in the Bay Village Lakeside Cemetery. Almost six years later, on August 26, 1920, the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is certified. It prohibits government from denying or abridging the right to vote on account of sex.

**********

If you enjoy reading Glimpse of the Past, please consider a donation to the Bay Village Historical Society. We rely mainly on the support of private donors to preserve and share our local history. Donations can be made online on our “Support Us” page. You may also contact us at (216) 319-4634 or info@bayhistorical.com.

1914 Woman Suffrage poster, 2021.FIC.005. A portion of the bottom was cut to fit into a frame as backing. It may be viewed in person in a display at Rose Hill Museum through November 12, 2023.

Halloween Costumes of Yesteryear

by Michele Yamamoto

This week there are many Bay Village families planning what to wear for Halloween. From parties to trick-or-treating, there will be many opportunities to show off costumes. The following photos are a glimpse into some Halloween costumes of Bay Village past. May they take you back to your childhood or inspire you to recreate one today!

The first Kindergarten class in Bay Village Schools, October 1941. The kids pose for a group photo in their costumes. More on this class can be found in the Bay Blue Book from 1954, which can be viewed virtually on the Bay Village Historical Society website.

Two photos of Betsy Andrews leading a 1975 Halloween Story Time program at the old Bay Library building where the Bay Board of Education is currently located. Although this is slightly before my time, I did wear that same Casper mask one year and remember well the plastic bib costume and mask sets that continued to be sold well into the 1980s. 2022.P.08.14.02.03.1.3 & 4

A Halloween event circa the early 1990s at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. I see a Mario brother but no Ninja Turtles here. 2021.P.FIC.295

If you are concerned about preserving Bay Village’s past (even our more recent past) consider donating to the Bay Village Historical Society. You may visit our website Support Us Page, contact us by phone at (216) 319-4634 or email info@bayhistorical.com. Also, feel free to contact us if you know any of the unnamed people in the photos.

Lutheran Mission Grounds Bell

The following piece was researched using articles written by Bay Village Historical Society historians George Serb and Kay Laughlin, who shared their knowledge of the subject in 1997 and 2013, respectively.

The next time you visit the grounds of the Rose Hill Museum, you will notice near the south porch a cast iron bell now hanging near the staircase down to the Cahoon cabin. This bell has historical significance as it used to hang next to the pulpit of the old Lutheran Mission Grounds.

A map of Bay Village’s west side from sometime in the 1930s or 1940s, showing the location of the Lutheran Mission Grounds, 2018.FIC.0017

A map of Bay Village’s west side from sometime in the 1930s or 1940s, showing the location of the Lutheran Mission Grounds, 2018.FIC.0017

The Lutheran Mission Grounds was an outdoor gathering spot in Bay Village, used by various Lutheran churches from the west side of Cleveland during summers from June to September. It was located between Bassett and Bradley Roads, reaching south to the railroad tracks, with a road north to Ashton Lane (formerly Link Road). The 10-acre site was purchased from farmer David Sites in 1886 by the churches who were looking for a wooded piece of land out in the country. They eventually erected buildings to house mission festivals, school picnics and other church gatherings. Those attending could ride the train from Cleveland to the site, later driving when automobiles became the preferred mode of transportation.

George Serb remembered visiting the grounds in the late 1930s. Serb’s Lakeshore Ice Company delivered to Lutheran Mission Grounds on Sunday mornings for the refrigerators and coolers located in the large kitchen. A single lane bowling alley (built in 1904), upon which the pins had to be set by hand, was one unique feature Serb recalled using with his classmates. He mentions that a Mr. William Toensing, who lived near the property with his son Leonard, was the caretaker.

Carl Meilander and Victor Toensing play at the bowling alley on the Lutheran Mission Church Grounds, circa the 1930s, RP.01.009.03

Carl Meilander and Victor Toensing play at the bowling alley on the Lutheran Mission Church Grounds, circa the 1930s, RP.01.009.03

The bell has served different purposes over the years. The original bell of the Lutheran Mission Grounds was stolen at some point and replaced with the steam engine bell you see at Rose Hill. It was donated to the church by the New York Central & St. Louis Railroad. When the Lutheran Mission Grounds closed in 1964, that bell was given to the Victor Toensing family for safe keeping. Janet Toensing Bremke took it with her when she moved to Amherst. Janet and her brother Carl Toensing then gifted the bell to the Bay Village Historical Society in 2011, in memory of their brother Robert.

You may see the Lutheran Mission Grounds bell anytime outside of the Rose Hill Museum in Cahoon Memorial Park. Tours of the inside of the home are given Sundays in April through December from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding holiday weekends). Our temporary exhibition, Beadwork: The Beauty of Small Things is currently on display, along with our permanent collection of early American artifacts. You may also contact us at (216) 319-4634 / info@bayhistorical.com.

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.

A Child’s Memory of the Cahoon Sisters

by Michele Yamamoto

At the Bay Village Historical Society archives we have recently come across a couple of remembrances of the Cahoon sisters. They were written by two former residents of Bay Village who recalled their time growing up in the town over 100 years ago. It is an interesting peek into what the sisters, Lydia, Laura Martha and Ida Cahoon, may have been like.

In “Remembering the Cahoons,” written by Wilfred C. Swanker (1907-1983) for Westlife in 1982, Swanker wanted to make sure that the Cahoon sisters’ characters were correctly recorded. “They were very civic minded,” he wrote. They opened their property up to the public long before giving it to the City of Bay Village in 1917. “The Cahoons engendered a spirit which I feel still prevails today. Their foresight was superb. They were a decent and kindly family which lived their religion.”

Ida, Lydia and Laura Cahoon about 1910, 1996.P.012

Swanker remembered the ladies giving the public access to their beach. Children unaccompanied by parents were requested to check in with the Cahoons for their own safety. “They opened their beach and grounds to the public when nobody else did. They built dressing rooms for the public as well as a pair of outdoor toilets.” A set of men’s dressing rooms were on the west side of Cahoon creek and another for ladies was on the east side. Swanker notes that this was before the building of Huntington Beach, whose stone levees contributed to coastal erosion on the Cahoons’ beach.

Another account of the Cahoon sisters was handwritten on notepaper by Roger Jewitt (1891-1993) in 1959. He was sharing his memories after a call was put out by the Kiwanis Club in a local paper and as part of the 150th celebration of Dover Township (Bay Village). Jewitt stated that he was the youngest child of Dr. E.H. Jewitt, physician to the Cahoon family, who summered in a cottage on the Cahoon property from 1896 to about 1912. Roger jokes that his boyhood pranks may have caused the sisters to practically disinherit his father. Indeed, only a Dr. Clifton Dalton Ellis (the husband of Ida’s cousin, Effie Cahoon) is mentioned in the Cahoon will.

Jewitt also wrote about the Cahoon family and their beach. He hinted that the sisters could actually be very forgiving in the defiance of their rule of not allowing bathers on Sundays. “The religious old gals put up and still up (under their wills) on Cahoon Beach a sign ‘No Boating or Bathing on Sunday.’ Every Sunday A.M. with their field glasses they checked me as a bather and if the culprit turned up in the Methodist Church my violation was condoned because I washed for the Lord. Tough quandary each Sunday for a growing boy.”

Swanker does mention in his article that the women may have had an interesting bathing habit. “Saturday morning was quite practically set aside for taking a bar of Ivory soap (it floats) and modestly taking a bath while wearing your bathing suit. You had to be a bit of a gymnast.”

Cahoon Creek meeting Lake Erie at Cahoon Beach, October 1940, 2000.P.FIC.119

Perhaps the ladies were just softies for the kids. Swanker talks about how the sisters would talk to the children who visited them and take an interest in their activities. “They were school teachers and liked kids. I remember they often wore high lace collars. For some reason the collars interested me.” Jewitt remembered Ida “would cover my neck and face with kisses with loud smacking of lips, as I resembled my doctor father, her best friend, charity on a young boy’s part.”

The Fourth of July was a time of big celebrations in Bay over a hundred years ago and the Cahoon property was a part of this even before Bay Days. Swanker wrote that “the Cahoons threw open their grounds and people came from all over. Picnics were a must. There were other families with much land but it was always the Cahoons who offered. No one else did. We had lots of races and contests and the Cahoons gave prizes. Fireworks were not like they are now but we thought they were the greatest.”
Swanker mentions that the sisters were ahead of their time. One small example was given in the way Ida Cahoon (1852-1917) chose to commute to work. “I remember Ida, the little one, riding her bicycle to teach school in what is now Westlake. In those days, very few women ever learned to ride a bike. It was considered unladylike. The Cahoons were a very modern family. I wish I had their acumen and foresight.”

*********************

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the lives of the Cahoon sisters. If learning historical information such as this is 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.

Another way to support us is by attending our benefit historical fashion show Silhouettes of Style, September 24, 2023 at Lakewood Country Club. Details can be found on our website events and programs page at www.bayhistorical.com.

Come visit us Sundays, April through December (excluding holiday weekends) from 2 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the Rose Hill Museum. Currently on display for 2023 is our temporary exhibition, Beadwork: The Beauty of Small Things, as well as our permanent collection concerning early Bay Village history.