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”.