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.

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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!

2023.Y.FIC.33 Doll Face

What Dolls Tell Us About the Lifestyle of Early Residents

The following article was written by Barbara Comienski, a docent and collections volunteer for the Bay Village Historical Society. She is responsible for cataloging our doll collection and has assisted in the dating of our clothing collection, amongst other activities.
Barbara has been a national level doll judge for over 30 years and has submitted articles for various journals. She is currently the president of the Cleveland Doll Club, immediate past president of Northern Ohio Doll Club and secretary of a Zoom club out of the East Coast.

What Dolls Tell Us About the Lifestyle of Early Residents

by Barbara Comienski

The Rose Hill Museum has been fortunate to acquire so many lovely vintage toys. Among these are a varied collection of dolls. The lovely 14” Kling doll pictured gives us a glimpse into the lifestyle of even more refined families in the late 1800s.

14" Kling bisque doll, late 19th century, 2023.Y.FIC.33

14″ Kling bisque doll, late 19th century, 2023.Y.FIC.33

What is the most intriguing insight into this doll is what one doesn’t see when viewing her. With central heating and improved fabrics, we stay sufficiently warm despite winter winds off the lake. Earlier residents of Bay Village, though, had to insulate themselves against the elements. Under this doll’s lovely white dress, one can see how this was accomplished.

As one lifts her dress, one views an appropriate cotton petticoat and chemise. But below that is winter insulation. The doll wears a heavy cream-colored flannel petticoat with pink featherstitch embroidery. She also has a wool knit top.  Then, rather than traditional pantaloons, she wears a knitted set reaching clear to her ankles. The flannel petticoat, heavier weight knit undershirt, and the longer pantaloons would have been utilized by early settlers also. This doll wears heavy knitted boots on her feet, again emulating normal winter wear.

Wool knit pantaloons, 2023.Y.FIC.33H

Wool knit pantaloons, 2023.Y.FIC.33H

The Kling porcelain company was founded in Germany in 1834, but did not begin production of doll heads until 1879. Their dolls were priced for a middle-income consumer, unlike French dolls which were always more expensive.  “Kling” is the German word for “ring”; therefore, the dolls were marked with an incised bell.  Our doll’s blond mohair wig and glass eyes are a typical style for bisque-type porcelain dolls of the last quarter of the nineteenth century.  Most bisque and china doll heads were imported from Germany until the first World War. They would have been readily available in general stores in even small towns and villages. These heads were shipped by the millions, and even were used as ballast in cargo ships!  Because of their fragility though, only a small percentage have survived. Our doll’s head is attached to a commercial fabric body stuffed with sawdust. She has bisque porcelain limbs. Many families made their own all-cloth bodies to save on expense; these were often quite disproportionate to the head.

View of Kling mark, 2023.Y.FIC.33

View of Kling mark, 2023.Y.FIC.33

Capelet, 2023.Y.FIC.33C

Capelet, 2023.Y.FIC.33C

Her white dress was the dressy style favored by upper middle class and wealthy families. Maintaining white clothing which could stain easily was a challenge in and of itself, so a family’s status was reflected in having the resources and means to do so. Her white cotton capelet reminds us of the cool breezes from the lake for which residents would need to prepare when outdoors.

We encourage you to take a second look at the toys and dolls on display at Rose Hill the next time you visit.

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If you are interested in researching objects such as these, please consider donating your time as a volunteer to the Bay Village Historical Society. You may 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 April 2023. Please come and visit us this spring!

Margaret Cahoon circa 1831, 1996.A.058

Letter from President Harrison to Margaret Cahoon, March 6, 1889

by Michele Yamamoto

We continue to discover new surprises in the collections at the Bay Village Historical Society. One such discovery happened last year when two of our archival volunteers, Jack Hanley and Bill O’Brien, came across a letter from a newly inaugurated President Benjamin Harrison. It is dated March 6, 1889, only two days after he was sworn in as the 23rd President of the United States. The typed letter is an acknowledgement of the receipt of what must have been a letter of congratulations by Rose Hill’s own Margaret Cahoon.

Letter letter signed by Benjamin Harrison, 2000.FIC.02.262EnvThumbnail

Letter from Benjamin Harrison, 2000.FIC.02.262

Margaret A. (Dickson) Van Allen Cahoon (b. 1810, d. 1894) came to live in the area we now know as Bay Village in 1842. She was the wife of Joel Butler Cahoon (b. 1793, d. 1882) who, along with his parents and siblings, was the first to settle in what was then known as Dover Township on October 10, 1810. The family built a framed house in 1818. Margaret later named it Rose Hill because of the abundance of rose bushes that had been planted by her mother-in-law, Lydia.

Margaret was born and raised in Washington D.C. and through her short autobiography written near the end of her life in 1890, we know something about her time growing up there. You may read her transcribed memories on our website under The Autobiography of Margaret Dickson Van Allen Cahoon. Margaret was there as a young child during the War of 1812 and remembered seeing the Capitol building blackened with smoke, the eagle over the Speaker’s chair broken and graffiti on the walls and columns. She was present at the inauguration of President Monroe in 1817 and remembered First Lady Dolly. Margaret wrote that she became friends with one of their grandchildren. Her father, John Dickson, took her to sessions of the Supreme Court where she visited with the judges who took an interest in her education. She would walk by the Capitol on her way home from school and stop in, at times, to hear debates from the likes of John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, among others. The family was friendly with many congressmen and judges.

After marrying Joel Cahoon in 1831, Margaret left Washington, later making the effort to visit three times. One of these journeys was made to see the inauguration of 14th President, Franklin Pierce, during which she rode a train for the first time. Her parents were buried in the Congressional Cemetery and it’s not a stretch to think she had many old friends to visit in the city as well.

The Harrison family could also be one of those visited considering that Benjamin’s grandfather, William Henry Harrison, had been President and his father, John Scott Harrison, served two terms as a U.S. congressman from Ohio. Margaret writes that Joel attended the burial of the first President Harrison in 1841 in North Bend, Ohio, near where her young family was living at the time.

If you are interested in finding your own “treasures” of history in our collections, please think about donating your time as a volunteer to the Bay Village Historical Society. You may find out more about ways you can help us 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 is closed to the general public until April 2023. Please come and visit us this spring!

A Recipe for Every Need: Home Cookbooks of the 1800s

 The Bay Village Historical Society has a number of recipe books in its collections. We hope you enjoy the examples you see here, as well as recipes that have been reconfigured to be cooked in a modern kitchen by North Coast Narrative’s Angie George.

The most important recipe book in our collections comes from Selden Osborn (b. 1809, d. 1867). Selden was the only son of Bay pioneers Reuben and Sarah Osborn. Selden was an herb doctor. He grew his own herbs and his wife, Nancy, brewed them for him to make medicines. The book also contains food recipes, family genealogy and financial dealings, among other notes.

In the introduction to his book, Selden writes: “Selden Osborn’s Recipe Book Dover, Wishing well for myself family & the world & believing that I understand some things that will be of use to be remembered I therefore reduce them to writing as I shall never think of Practicing medicine & shall therefore be liable to forget things that are valuable has induced me to write this Book -Selden Osborn”

Selden Osborn's recipe for ague pills, 2011.B.01.037. Ague was a term used by people in the 1800s to describe a sometimes chronic cycle of fever and chills. Quinine pills were introduced in the 1820s and could reliably provide relief, albeit with some adverse effects.

Selden Osborn’s recipe for ague pills, 2011.B.01.037. Ague was a term used by people in the 1800s to describe a sometimes chronic cycle of fever and chills. Quinine pills were introduced in the 1820s and could reliably provide relief, albeit with some adverse effects.

Rusk recipes, 2010.B.002. Recipes for Rusk. Rusk was a termed used to describe small pieces of bread hardened by rebaking and used as crackers, biscuits or dry cakes.

Rusk recipes, 2010.B.002. Rusk was a term used to describe small pieces of bread hardened by rebaking and used as crackers, biscuits or dry cakes.

Another book in our collections with recipes from the 1800s is one that was once on display at the Dover Sesquicentennial in 1961.  The book is filled with recipes and how-tos, both handwritten and in pasted newspaper clippings. It contains instructions on things like preserving cider, whitening your teeth with borax and chalk, brewing grafting wax for plants, and killing bed bugs with quicksilver, as well as for cooking food.

The recipes at the end of this post were collected by Bay Village Historical Society Board Member Cynthia Schuster Eakin from historical cooking expert, Angie George, of the North Coast Narrative. Eakin’s article, Angie George of North Coast Narrative brings history to life, covers cooking in 1800s America and appeared in the October 2022 issue of the publication Currents. It was inspired by a presentation of the topic to our members by George, last fall 2022.

If you would like to find out more about membership in the Bay Village Historical Society contact us at (440) 871-7338 or email: info@bayhistorical.com. You may also sign up via our website on the Support Us Page. Please note that the Rose Hill Museum and Osborn Learning Center buildings are currently closed to the general public until April 2023.

Macaroni Pipes with Cheese (The American Frugal Housewife, Lydia Maria Child, 1832)

Original recipe:
Put a piece of butter, half a pound of macaroni pipes, an onion stuck with two cloves and a little salt into boiling water. Boil them for three quarters of an hour, and then, if the macaroni is flexible, take it out and drain it well. Put it into another saucepan with two ounces of butter, three of grated farmers or parmesan cheese, a little pepper and grated nutmeg. Toss up the whole together, adding two or three spoonfuls of cream. When done, put it on a dish and serve it very hot.

Updated recipe:
Use eight ounces of macaroni, one small onion, two cloves, 1 tsp. salt, four tbsp. butter, 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ tsp. pepper, one tsp. ground nutmeg and three tbsp. cream or milk.
Boil macaroni until tender in water with a small peeled onion with two cloves stuck into it and one tbsp. butter. Drain macaroni and add remaining three tbsp. butter, cheese, pepper, nutmeg and cream. Stir until well mixed. Pour into a serving dish and serve hot.

Cider Cake (Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan, 1839)

Original recipe:
Beat together six ounces of butter, eight ounces of sugar and two powdered nutmegs. Add six beaten eggs, a pint of sweet cider and enough flour to make it a thick batter. Beat it very well. Put it into a buttered pan and bake it in a moderate oven.

Modern update:
¾ cup butter at room temperature, one cup sugar, two tsp. ground nutmeg, four well-beaten eggs, 1 ½ cups cider at room temperature, and three cups of flour.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs about 10 to 15 minutes as they provide the leavening for the cake. Add the cider and nutmeg to the butter and sugar mixture. Make sure the cider isn’t cold or the butter will seize. Fold in the beaten eggs. Slowly add the flour and stir to make the batter. You may need more flour if the batter is too runny. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until done.

Sugar Gingerbread Cakes (200 Receipts on the Art of Cookery, Chardon, Ohio, 1844)

Original recipe:
A pound of flour, eight ounces of butter, a spoonful of ginger, a spoonful of rose water, well beat up. Knead it stiff enough to roll out. Cut into circles. Bake on flat pans in a moderate oven until lightly browned on the bottom.

Updated recipe:
Two cups flour, one cup sugar, one cup butter, 1 ½ tsp. rosewater, 1 ½ tsp. ground ginger.
Cream sugar and butter, add the rosewater and mix. Slowly add flour and ginger and mix well. Roll dough out on a floured board to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut in circles. Place on greased baking sheets in a 350-degree oven and bake 20 to 30 minutes. You may have to chill the dough before rolling it out if it is too sticky.

Rose Hill's Country Kitchen Fireplace small

Angie George of North Coast Narrative brings history to life

The following post was excerpted from an article written by Bay Village Historical Society Board Member Cynthia Eakin. The article appeared in the October 2022 issue of the publication Currents. It discusses 19th century American cooking with Angie George from a presentation of the topic to our members, last fall.

If you would like to find out more about membership in the Bay Village Historical Society, contact us at (440) 871-7338 or email: info@bayhistorical.com. You may also sign up via our website on the Support Us Page. Remember that the Rose Hill Museum and Osborn Learning Centers buildings are currently closed to the general public until April 2023.

Angie George of North Coast Narrative brings history to life

by Cynthia Schuster Eakin

Ohio’s history came to life in a presentation to the Bay Village Historical Society on pioneer cuisine by Angie George, a member of the North Coast Narrative.

A dedicated group of historical reenactors, interpreters, educators and historians, North Coast Narrative shares tales from Ohio’s rich past.

Angie George makes butter the old-fashioned way. Photo courtesy of North Coast Narrative.

Angie George makes butter the old-fashioned way. Photo courtesy of North Coast Narrative.

George, a Kent State University graduate with a degree in history, specializes in mid 19th century domestic life. Have you ever wondered what people ate before supermarkets existed? How was food prepared? What did kitchens look like 150 years ago, before electricity? George, who has worked in education at Hale Farm and Village, provided the answers.

Most people lived on a farm and grew their own food when Ohio became a state in 1803. The state had very fertile soil and access to major waterways because of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Specialty items like coconuts and pineapple were available, George said, but expensive items like chocolate and vanilla were hard to come by. In fact, she said that most people had never tasted vanilla, unless they lived in Mexico where vanilla beans were grown. “Chocolate ice cream was served as the dessert at President Lincoln’s inaugural dinner,” she noted.

“Lavender and rosewater were used as flavorings instead of vanilla. Without baking soda, it was hard to get a cake to rise. Beverages of the day included coffee, tea, cider, lemonade, brandy and wine. Ladies were limited in the amount of coffee that they were permitted to drink because it was considered too stimulating,” she said.

Cast iron swivel trivet,1996.K.038

Cast iron swivel trivet,1996.K.038

The original method of cooking in a home was over an open hearth with a crane. “This method of cooking is inefficient, since it lets heat escape up and is very smoky. You had to get up very early to start the fire for cooking,” George noted, adding that most ladies spent pretty much the entire day cooking. The cast iron cook stove became widely available in the 1840s. According to George, the base model cost about $4, while the deluxe model with a tank for heating water was priced at about $40. “The cast iron stove top had to be seasoned like a cast iron skillet or it would rust,” she said.

French pizzelle or waffle cookie iron (1890s), 1996.K.041

French pizzelle or waffle cookie iron (1890s), 1996.K.041

George said the first refrigerator was two barrels with straw and ice packed between them to keep food cold for a short time. Large animals were processed on cooler days following harvest before winter. Meats were preserved by salting, smoking, pounding into a paste and potting with butter, and freezing during very cold winters. Eggs were stored by coating with wax and packing them in crates with straw or sawdust. They were also parboiled and buried small end down in powdered charcoal, or stored in a lime water solution. Dairy was turned into cheese or butter.

Ketchup was a common sauce for meat, George noted. Ketchup is from the Chinese word, ke-tsiap, a sauce derived from fermented fish. Early ketchups used mushrooms as a base and were thin and dark. Tomato ketchup, a blend of tomato pulp, spices and brandy, was invented around 1812. However, according to George, some producers handled and stored the product so poorly that contaminants like bacteria, spores, yeast, mold and unsafe preservatives like coal tar and red paint deemed it unsafe for consumption. “In 1876, Mr. Henry Heinz discovered that, if you put vinegar in the recipe, it would extend the shelf life,” she added.

The World’s Fair in Philadelphia in 1876 featured a colonial kitchen exhibit described as revolving around old-fashioned domesticity. “The longest line for any exhibit at the fair was to see a banana. Bananas were unknown in America,” George said. Several banana trees were displayed in a greenhouse. Samples were sold wrapped in paper and were eaten with a knife and fork.

Thomas Jefferson, the son of a well-to-do landowner, was exposed to French cuisine and regarded as a status of sophistication. “Jefferson had a personal chef who traveled with him. He brought a macaroni mould, or pasta machine, back to the United States to make one of his favorite dishes, macaroni pipes with cheese,” she said. Jefferson experimented with cultivating more than 250 varieties of vegetables, stole rice from fields in Italy and shipped it back to America and bought a “cream machine for ice” while in Paris. George said the first ice cream parlor in Ohio opened in Akron in the 1850s.

Happy New Year 2023!

Happy New Year’s Day from the Bay Village Historical Society. We hope you are ringing in 2023 with those you love. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us during 2022 through donations, volunteering and attending our events. The Rose Hill Museum and the Osborn Learning Center are now closed to the public, reopening April 2023. Until then, we will touch base with you through our Glimpse of the Past collections posts. Enjoy!

Victorian era holiday card, 2021.FIC.030

Christmas Trees of Bay Village

Christmas Trees of Bay Village (20th Century)

The former home of the Cahoon family (now the Rose Hill Museum) is decorated for the season, both to reflect Christmas in the early 1800s and later in that century. We hope to see you at Rose Hill on Sunday, December 18th, from 2:00-4:30 p.m., as we continue our celebration of the holidays. You will be greeted by volunteers in period costumes, who will be available for questions. Our newly restored upstairs portrait gallery, early 1800s rug with pastoral scene and Aldrich family hair wreath are on display, along with miniatures of Christmas scenes. There will be spinning wheel, loom and rug hooking demonstrations and Preston Postle will be reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” at 3:00 p.m. Visit the Bay Historical Society’s website for all of the details and we hope to see you there: Cahoon Christmas 2022

The Bay Village Historical Society would also like to share with you some pictures of past Bay Villagers’ Christmas trees from our photo collections. We hope they bring back some happy memories for many of you.

Christmas tree in the Bay Village living room of Ernest and Alvina Wuebker (probably December of 1934) 2018.P.03.03.59. Ernest was the first rural postman of West Dover. His last home, built in the 1920s on Bradley Road, still stands today.


Dorothy Sheppard, wife of Dr. Richard Niles Sheppard (m. 1943) and longtime board member of the Bay View Hospital, gazes at her Christmas tree, circa 1940s. Bay Village Historical Society, Sheppard family photo album.

Dorothy Sheppard, wife of Dr. Richard Niles Sheppard (m. 1943) and longtime board member of the Bay View Hospital, gazes at her Christmas tree, circa the 1940s. Bay Village Historical Society, Sheppard family photo album.


A Christmas morning in the mid-1950s, Gretchen Freal Collection, Bay Village Historical Society.

A Christmas morning in the mid-1950s, Gretchen Freal Collection, Bay Village Historical Society.


Members of the Fuller family in front of Christmas tree at Rose Hill, December 1998, 2021.P.FIC.287a

Members of the Fuller family in front of a Christmas tree at the Rose Hill Museum, December 1998, 2021.P.FIC.287a

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/

Forest Views and Giving Thanks

Forest Views and Giving Thanks

by Michele Yamamoto

Forestview Elementary was a K-6 school in Bay Village. It was built in 1927 at 493 Forestview Rd. In 1981 the school was closed down due to declining enrollment and the students that attended were moved to other elementary schools. The building then housed a Montessori school for a time before it was demolished in the early 2000s. In 2010 the land became the site of a community garden.

Forestview Elementary 3rd Grade Class in 1937, Bay Village Historical Society Collection

In the school collections of the Bay Village Historical Society, we have a very small collection of three editions (1937, 1938 and 1940) of the Forestview school’s publication, Forest Views. The publication was produced entirely by students and teachers of the elementary school. It won two awards, according to the Bay Alumni Foundation, including a recognition from a national mimeograph company. The copies in our collection range from 10-12 pages in length, separated into various sections which do not change much through those years. “Bay Peeps” contains reports from each grade on projects they are doing or subjects they are studying. A section titled “Tale Chasers” lists all of the social happenings of the students at Forestview. Other sections include a calendar of upcoming events, sports reports and puzzles. The topics in the publication could range from what student went on vacation and where to serious contemplations on the news of the world.

Cover of January 1937 Edition of Forest Views, 2021.BVS.05A

April 1938 Page of Forest Views

In the November 20, 1940 issue, the students recognize the war going on in Europe that, thankfully, had not yet touched Americans. One sixth grader, Wallace Bower, wrote “As the day approaches when all people give thanks, news comes of discouraging incidents in the nations beyond the sea. In this free country, true Americans should give humble thanks to God for the peace that is still theirs to share and for the privilege of preserving the American way of living.”

Unfortunately, the peace would not last and by December 7 of the following year, America would be compelled to end its isolation after a surprise attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. Three days later, after Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, our country became fully engaged in the Second World War.

Forest Views, November 1940, 2021.BVS.05A. The students give thanks that America isn’t part of the war in Europe.

The Bay Village Alumni Foundation has a larger collection of Forest Views. Issues from the 1940s include stories of children raising money for war bonds and cover air raid patrols.

We Need You!

Your donations and memberships help keep these artifacts preserved and accessible to all and can be made by visiting our webpage https://www.bayhistorical.com/support-us/. We appreciate any support you may give.

If you have any questions or information for us or are interested in volunteering with Bay Village Historical Society, please call us at (440) 871-7338 or email us: info@bayhistorical.com.

Come visit us!

We have fashion on display at the Rose Hill Museum, with an emphasis on the 1920s. The museum is open on Sundays in April-December from 2:00pm to 4:30pm.

Military Collection of the Bay Village Historical Society

Military Collection of the Bay Village Historical Society

by Michele Yamamoto

Veterans Day is November 11. It is a day to officially recognize the men and women, both living and deceased, who served in the U.S. military. At the Bay Village Historical Society, we have items that help tell the story of many veterans from our community and beyond. The collections contain pieces from the Revolutionary War up to the Vietnam War, including uniforms, photographs and papers. We’d like to share a small sample of some of those collections with you today in honor of all of the veterans we recognize for their service and patriotism.

Gun powder tin said to have been carried by William Saddler I from Clarence N.Y. in saddle bags on horseback when he came through what is now Bay Village as a scout with the Army in the War of 1812. Saddler participated in the Battle of Lake Erie as a sharp shooter. Saddler liked the area so much he convinced his extended family to move to the territory when the war ended.

Civil War Ohio Volunteer Infantry cartridge box inside ammunition bag 2003.C.09

World War I Marine Corps uniform 1996.C.209

Ernie Olchon at camp in the Philippines (about 1945) 2018.P.11.05. Olchon was the owner of the Ernie Olchon’s Bay Service station from the 1940s-1971. The U.S. Army was fortunate to have such a talented mechanic. Of the many positive remarks by his superiors was this: “PFC Olchon has been devoted to his duties and put in many hours of overtime beyond his actual required work. His loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness and his mechanical ability is unquestionable.”

 

A selection of pieces from the Chauncey Howard Franks collection, 2013.1. Franks was stationed in North Africa and Italy during World War II. He used his skills as part of the 815th Engineer Aviation Battalion, working on a historic strip on the Anzio beachhead which is listed as perhaps the single toughest aviation engineer assignment of the Mediterranean Air War.

 

MIA bracelet for Capt. Peter Woodbury Sherman, 2000.C.12. Traditionally, these POW/MIA bracelets were worn by waiting loved ones in the United States until the soldier it honored was returned. Sherman graduated from Parkview (Bay High School) in 1947. During the Vietnam War, on June 10, 1967, he was the pilot of a Douglas Attack Aircraft Skyhawk (A-4C) over Nghe An Province, Vietnam when his aircraft crashed 45 miles off shore near Hon Me Island. His remains were recovered on January 16, 1991 and identified on April 29, 1991. Capt. Sherman served with honor in the United States Navy and was awarded the Purple Heart.

We Need You!

Your donations and memberships help keep these artifacts preserved and accessible to all and can be made by visiting our webpage https://www.bayhistorical.com/support-us/. We appreciate any support you may give.

If you have any questions or information for us or are interested in volunteering with Bay Village Historical Society, please call us at (440) 871-7338 or email us: info@bayhistorical.com.

Come visit us!

We have fashion on display at the Rose Hill Museum, with an emphasis on the 1920s. The museum is open on Sundays in April-December from 2:00pm to 4:30pm.

Next to the Rose Hill Museum is the Osborn Learning Center which now showcases exhibits ranging from Eliot Ness and the “Untouchables” to the Sheppard murder case. It also houses various research materials from our archives for visitors.