Methodist Church Marker

Bay United Methodist Church dedicates historical marker
by Kay Laughlin on 9/18/18

Although rain sprinkles fell, it didn’t dampen the joy and spirit of the day for the Bay United Methodist Church congregation when Pastor Jonathan McCleery, Scott Gregory and Mayor Paul Koomar unveiled the new historical marker for the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church. Spearheaded by Kay Laughlin, church historian, it all came to a conclusion with the unveiling and dedication of the marker during Rally Day, Sunday, Sept. 9.

Laura Russell presented proclamations from the Ohio Historical Connection and Governor John Kasich to the church and Bay Village Historical Society. She remarked about our furthering the knowledge of our state heritage and the governor recognized the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church on how we have encouraged the history of our past as we look to our future.

Kay Laughlin told the story of the church’s founding and shared a video of memories. Paul Koomar stated how fortunate he feels to be raising his kids in Bay and honored our Appalachian Service Project at the church. Rev. McCleery advised us to always strive to be more and make the world better, not sit back on our laurels but know there are strides to make and always look forward saying, “What more can I do to help.”

Elizabeth Sadler, a devote Methodist, arrived in Dover Township in the early 1800s with her husband, William. They lived on Lot No. 98. Elizabeth soon realized there were no Methodists living near her. She did not want to change to another denomination so Elizabeth built a small altar in her backyard where she worshiped daily.
When a Methodist church opened on Center Ridge Road in 1825, Elizabeth started attending church. It was a hard journey for her to make with mud, wagon tracks, wind and rain in the spring, dust and dry rutted roads in summer and snow and blizzards in the winter.

The minister of the church was Rev. Eliphalet Johnson, Sarah Johnson Osborn’s brother. Elizabeth asked him if he would consider starting a Methodist Church on the lake shore. He accepted. In 1827, Elizabeth, Rev. Johnson, his wife Margaret and daughter Rebecca, and Catherine Porter Foote founded the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Church in the Sadler log cabin.

Don Dunham, a member of our church, wrote a short history in 1952 that still rings true today. He was quoted as saying, “Our past is proud; our heritage is rich; our opportunity so great that it should stir the imagination and the hearts of us all. May we give thanks that we were lucky enough to be born and raising our families in such a charming and wholesome community as Bay; and that our forebears handed on to us the organization and building of this Church.”

“The Best Is Yet To Be” and “Take Flight” became the themes of the day of celebration. Outside, standing in front of the marker, our hearts were filled with joy. All is well at Bay United Methodist Church.

Bay United Methodist Pastor Jonathan McCleery, Laura Russell of the Ohio History Connection, local historian Kay Laughlin, Bay Village Historical Society President Cathy Flament, and Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar unveiled the historical marker on Sept. 9. Photo by Denny Wendell

Bay Village: A Way of Life

In 1971, my sister, Gay Menning, and I along with the Bay Village Historical Society, co-wrote the first written history of Bay Village, Ohio. “Bay Village: A Way of Life” was delivered just in time for Christmas, 1974. It is already into its second printing. Today, this book is the Bible of Bay Village history. $25.00

Growing Up on the Foote Farm

In 1936, our father purchased a lot in the Foote apple orchard on the south side of Lake Road across from the Foote farmhouse and later, when the trolley stopped running, Dad bought 500 feet of the interurban track bed making our lot look like a big “T.” “Our buffer against the world,” he would say.

In the years 1940 to 1950, the “neighborhood” stretched from Bradley Road to the county line, the lake on the north and the interurban track on the south. On the outskirts were the Slocum, Gillette, Irwin, Cutts, Young, Brinkman, Jacobs, Larson, and Hoagland families. The inner circle of families were Wieland, Hook, Laverty, Inwood, Rothaermel, Matyas, Kittenger, Lane, Chamberlain and Carman.

The kids in these families played together daily. As in any neighborhood there was rivalry and jealousy, but everyone knew it was up to us to make the fun and keep the neighborhood alive. In those days, Bay Village offered very little in the way of sports or entertainment.

Some yards were better for things than others. In the winter, Wielands, in the Foote farmhouse, was the place to gather. They flooded their front yard into an ice skating rink, and the backyard hills and gullies became the sledding hills.

In the fall, their Mom made homemade donuts and apple cider for trick or treat. We stood in awe as she cut off the head of a chicken and hung it by its legs on the clothes line.

Matyas’s front yard was the best baseball diamond. Laverty’s had the longest and most dangerous rope swing. We played croquet at Wielands and hide and seek in the large Rothaermel back yard along with dress up in their old chicken coop playhouse.

The best swing set was in Hook’s backyard as it had metal swings and a bar, rings and slide. A jump rope tied to their garage meant two could play. Back on the tracks in the ditch was a great place to catch tadpoles. The girls roller skated on the slate sidewalks and played school in Sis Hook’s bedroom. The Wieland and Rothaermel sisters played paper dolls by the hour.

We all watched as Mr. Bosh purchased and turned the Foote barn into a pink house which we called “the pink barn.” “Peter and the Wolf” and “Zippity Do Da” could be heard from the record players. If we needed a babysitter, Mrs. Ganyard would come. The school bus picked us up at the corner of Bradley and Lake. We were all bused to Parkview, then Forestview and finally to Glenview in 1947.

During the years of World War II, we would stand along the road, routes #6, 2, 20 and wave to the soldiers in the trucks headed east to go overseas. Our fathers were the neighborhood air raid wardens and kept us safe. The girl scouts would walk through the neighborhood with a wagon and collect grease/lard for the war effort.

It was peaceful in the country. Our neighborhood was only one of many in Bay Village where life was simple and fun. All have a story to tell. As kids we thought we had the world by the tail, how could what we had get any better?

The Dover Station

New and exciting sounds were heard in North Dover in 1882 with the beat of the steam locomotive exhaust, the shrill call of a whistle and the rumble of iron wheels on steel rails.

Clifton Aldrich and his dad rode on their manure spreader to see the first green and red locomotive come through. Joel Cahoon was taken by his sons in their wagon to see the newly laid track that Joel always said would come.

This train with the ambitious name became the “Nickel Plate.” The generally accepted story involves the rivalry between Norwalk and Bellevue, Ohio, with each bidding for the line to come through its town. Bellevue won, but the Norwalk Chronicle editor name it “the great, nickel-plated railroad” and the term became a nickname. Eventually, even the locomotives and cars were so marked. It was primarily a freight hauler but carried passengers, too.

The railroad station was the center of all the comings and goings in town. We remember that the Cahoon family negotiated the placement of the station on their property in Dover Township on the north side of the tracks in return for the track being laid through their property for lease.

Excerpted from “Bay Village: A Way of Life” is the following explanation of a day at the Dover, Ohio, train station:

“An air of anticipation hovered about the station. Things are about to happen. Folks were gathering; the men in tight-legged trousers, high choker collars and derby hats; the ladies with wasp waists, bustles and voluminous skirts all topped with impossibly huge hats. Baggage trucks are piled high with trunks, sacks of mail, boxes of grapes, crates of baby chicks, milk cans, and mysterious packages addressed to far way places.

“Then in the distance, the sound of the whistle. The train was coming. The people could see it down the track and picked up their suitcases as it swept to a hissing, steaming halt before them. With the brakes grinding and sparks flying from the wheels, the conductor stepped off almost before the train stopped. The ladies daintily lifting their skirts were helped on by the conductor, while the men followed. The baggage man boosted the trunks and mail and boxes into the baggage car.

“Then the word, ‘Board,’ called as only a railroad conductor could call it, a wave of his hand to the engineer, two toots of the whistle, the sharp bark of the engine, and the train rapidly disappeared down the track. The station was quiet again. Only the telegraph sounder clicked, and the wind hummed in the wires overhead.“

This little scene was repeated many times over the years at Dover Station in our Bay Village. The Travelers Official Guild for June 14, 1893, shows eight passenger trains a day stopping at Dover with trains east bound to Cleveland, Conneaut, Buffalo or westbound to Fort Wayne and Chicago. A 1914 Nickel Plate folder entitled “Summer Outings” is illustrated with idyllic fishing and bathing beach scenes.

In a list of country homes for summer boarders are Mrs. George Miller who only accepted women at 75 cents a day and lived 200 feet from the track, and Mr. Henry Wischmeyer who could board 40 people and charged one dollar a day to be on the beach.

North Dover businessmen caught the train at the station for Cleveland. They could conduct their business and be home in a day. The Cahoon sisters, who taught school in Cleveland, took the train to the station and got off at the Cahoon Store, were picked up there and taken to their home on Cahoon Road for the weekend. It made life so easy.

Soon the train was not the only way to go. Horseless carriages became popular and offered more independence, and the trains no longer made a stop at Dover. Through the 1940s, the station remained in use to receive freight and express, but finally it was closed.

In 1963, it was given to Bay Village. How fortunate we are that today it stands in Huntington Reservation. For many years it was the headquarters for Baycrafters. They used it as their Station Shop for the consignment of artists’ works for sale. Some years ago a Victorian Tea Room was added in the back of the building with the consignments still in the front waiting room. A caboose was brought in next to the station to complete the scene. When Baycrafters became Bayarts, the station became Vento Restaurant.

The Peterson Family Buildings

As you sit at the traffic light on West Oviatt and Dover Center Roads in Bay Village, facing east, your eyes see a two-story brick building with a sign that reads “Bay Hair.” To the north is a wooden building with a garage behind. Today, these buildings belong to the John Peterson family.

William (Bill) Blaha, who built the buildings, was John Peterson’s grandfather. William Blaha married Mary Januska in 1908 and their daughter, Marie Blaha Peterson, was John Peterson’s mother. In 2007, Marie’s beauty parlor became the longest continuing business in Bay Village when it celebrated 80 years. Five generations of this family have made Bay Village their home.

In 1914, William Blaha was operating a grocery store in Cleveland on East 65th St. when Edwards Foods, a wholesale food distributor, purchased the Cahoon Store from the Wischmeyer family. They approached Bill with an offer to move his grocery business to the Cahoon Store in Bay Village. He accepted and his grocery business opened on the first floor with the family living quarters upstairs.

Bill prospered. With Bill still operating his grocery in the Cahoon location, he purchased a piece of land from the Cahoon family, north of the store. The first building he constructed on the site was a double-bay auto garage with two Sohio gasoline pumps in front. Sohio advertised that it had a dot on its Ohio State road map for every township with a gas pump. When the map came out, however, the Bay Village location wasn’t on it. Bill made sure that the next road map Sohio printed had a dot locating Bay Village. You could say Bill was the man who put Bay Village on the map.

Bill built a brick building, in 1926, south of the garage and moved his grocery business and meat market. The family moved into a three-bedroom, one-bath apartment upstairs. Mary could always be found behind the cash register and Bill behind the meat counter. The family also operated a grocery store on Clague Road. This building no longer exists.

In the apartment on the second floor, Bill and Mary raised their family of four girls and one boy; Marie, Marguerite, Jo Ann, Millie and Bill. While in high school, Marie was a star basketball player on Bay’s championship team in 1926.

After graduation from Parkview School, Marie was asked to play for a semi-pro girl’s basketball team but opted to attend beauty school instead. She opened a beauty parlor in the wooden building north of the alley, in what had been her dad’s meat market.

In 1917, work began on a new bridge over Cahoon Creek on Lake Road. Many workmen came into the village. There being no bank in town, the safe in Bill’s grocery was the place to go to secure their money. This way the workmen had access to their money when the store was open. For an emergency, he would open day or night. This was not your average financial arrangement, however, as true to his nature there would be no charge for the service. This was always done as a courtesy.

When the depression hit in 1929, Bill had a thriving business. Friends and neighbors Bill had lived alongside for years were now losing their jobs or had their wages cut so drastically they didn’t have enough money to feed their families. Bill began carrying a tab for anyone down on his luck. Some tabs were carried for years and some tabs never paid back. This generosity became a hardship on his grocery business, and Bill found himself going into debt. Soon he was not able to keep up with his own bills, and the store closed in 1940 when many customers defaulted on their tabs.

Some tabs were so large that he received the offer of a 40-acre farm near Warren, Ohio, and an apartment building on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio, in exchange for the tab. Bill closed the store and put his property up for sale. Mrs. Sylvester purchased the property. Marie rented and operated her beauty parlor in the wooden building.

After the grocery store closed, the brick building housed the Bay Village Post Office, a TV Repair Shop, and Neil O’Conner’s Florist on the first floor. In 1963, Marie moved the beauty parlor into the brick building. Mrs. Sylvester, who married Mr. Hanushak, stayed true to her word with Marie. The Peterson family would have the first opportunity to buy back the buildings should her family decide to sell.

In 1985, the buildings were purchased by the Peterson family. The wooden building became ‘Potpourri,’ a popular card and gift store and then a dental lab. The Blaha’s grocery store was a family enterprise. As both the stores and the garage needed workers, grandpas, sisters, brothers, cousins, and brothers and sisters-in-law, became part of the family business.

Joe Januska met his future wife on a delivery run to the Kreb’s farm in Avon Lake. Despite everything that happened with the business, Bill always said, “I wouldn’t have done it any other way.” Bill’s generous heart stayed with him to the end.

Bay Village’s Back-yard Playground

Location, location, location. The following two stories began with a lake at the back door.

Golf!!! It all began with Washington Lawrence, president of the National Carbon Company, purchasing three farms along the lake at the eastern border of Dover Township. Washington had seven daughters and six of them married men who enjoyed the new game called golf. He indulged his sons-in-law and developed the oldest golf course in Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Golf Played at Dover Bay Prior to 1895: Although not the first incorporated club in Cleveland, it is probable that the first golf was played where Dover Bay now stands.”

Golf Retold reported, “August 22, 1896: To anyone who has had the good fortune to be a guest at Dover Bay Park, it must seem astonishing that there are not more such places around Cleveland. Each family has a house of its own. The clubhouse makes a rallying place… It is certainly a community of clever people.”

In 1899, Chisholm Beach was the golf champion having won over Mr.’s Chase, Dodge, James, Matthews and Bourne.

Opening day, 1903, saw a reorganization, and a new name, Dover Bay Country Club. Public members were welcome. The golf pro was Alex Miller and the manager, Jack Quinlan. Members rented rooms in the club house for the summer season. For awhile, Mickey McBride, of the Cleveland Indians, owned the property. He sold it in 1956 for residential development. Union Carbide was interested in building their research laboratory on the property, but the city voted to keep Bay Village a city of homes.

In Bay Village, Lake Erie is our backyard playground. Hobo, Loafer, Restless and Bum – such names don’t usually find their way into a sailing story – but add to them Vagabond, Wanderer, Tramp and Roamer and attach them to eight home-made sailing dinghies, and you have the nucleus of the Bay Village Yacht Club, the youngest yachting organization in the area in 1940.

The Biloxi dinghies were owned by Bay High School boys with the names of Smith, Hruby, Sims, Asher, Sutliff, Miller, Nyerges and Brueggemann. The boys ranged in age from 13 to 18 years old.

All the boats were home-made either by the boys and their parents or Henry Wischmeyer. Henry was the caretaker of the old Wischmeyer Hotel on Lake Road. At times he needed workers to pick peaches and strong backs to cut down and haul away trees and brush. He would hire high school boys who lived on the streets near the hotel to do chores around his property, and they became friends.

Henry’s boat house, no longer in use, was offered to the boys as a yacht club to store their boats and equipment. Almost every day during the summer months, the boy’s boats could be seen catching the warm summer breezes off the Cahoon and Wischmeyer beaches.

World War II began the breakup of the sailing fleet as seven members joined the Navy, four on the same day. When the war ended, and the boys came home, they found they had different interests and the club disbanded.

The one thing that stayed constant was the lake which still pleasures us today.

National Register of Historic Places

Bay Village has five structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although changes have been made to some of these structures over the years, these changes have not affected their status with the register.

In 1994, Rose Hill Museum and the Cahoon Barn (Community House) located in Cahoon Memorial Park qualified for this distinction. The application says, “Rose Hill Museum and the Community House are significant under Criterion A because of their association with the innovative philanthropy of Ida Maria Cahoon. Miss Cahoon was the last surviving child of Joel and Margaret Cahoon and was granddaughter of the township’s first settler.”

The 1917 Cahoon Will gifted intact the 128-acre family farmstead to the citizens of Bay Village.

Rose Hill Museum built by Joseph and Joel Cahoon in 1818 sits on a foundation of sandstone (Chagrin shale), on a hill overlooking Cahoon Creek. They used mortise and tenon joinery, horse hair plaster, milk based paint and white oak beams with poplar floors. The architecture is vernacular with a little Gothic Revival and Colonial Revival influence in the two 1842 and 1910 additions.

When it was a library, there were bay windows in the eastern addition. These windows and a north door on the south wing were removed during the 1973 renovation. The stairs had been relocated to the south wall of the northeast room when the building became a library. For traffic flow as a museum, some walls were added on the first floor.

The Cahoon Barn retains its basic form, proportions and structural features of the 1882 Gothic barn. It sits on a foundation of sandstone. The wood post and beam system remains from the old barn with steel columns and trusses added for reinforcement.

The exterior of colonial revival clapboard siding and windows were installed during the 1936 renovation by the Works Progress Administration. The inside was turned into a meeting room with knotty pine paneling, popular at the time. Kitchen and bathroom facilities were added.

The application for the National Register states, “Neither Rose Hill nor the Community House are major architectural landmarks. Instead they are representative examples of the architecture of their times, Community House being a well-preserved example of the 1930’s Depression-era architecture and Rose Hill retaining its form from its historic period of usage as a community resource.”

With the makeover by the Work Progress Administration, the farm became known as Cahoon Memorial Park and the barn as The Community House.

The Washington Lawrence Mansion is at 23200 Lake Road. The 1900 house was built in the Romanesque Style popular from 1870-1890. There have been many changes over the years. In 1948, it became Bay View Hospital, and its beautiful rooms were covered with wall board to make them more suitable for hospital offices and beds. When the building became Cashalmara, a swimming pool was added and the upstairs rooms became apartment suites. With the removal of the wall board, the original walls were revealed.

John Huntington Pumping Tower is located in Huntington Reservation. The tower built around 1870-1880 was used to store water brought up from the lake to irrigate the fields. All the implements are still inside the cedar tower; however, the siding on the outside has been changed.

Aaron Aldrich III House, built in 1830 at 30663 Lake Road, is the only building that hasn’t had major changes or additions. At the time the house was placed on the register, Aaron could have walked into his frame home and found it practically as it was when it was built – Greek Revival on the outside, and the rooms, floors, fireplaces and basement cooking area as they were 145 years earlier.

The tulip newel post, family wall paper from the late 1880’s, rugs and furniture were preserved with great care by Aaron’s great grandson, George Drake. Every item, whether a massive chest of drawers or Betsy’s library card, was saved.

With George’s historical treasure and unselfish desire to share, the historical society was able to put much of the “Bay Village: A Way of Life” sections together in their book. This was a “double house.” On the east side lived the Fred Drake family with grandmother, Mary Anne Stevens, and grandfather, Henry Aldrich. On the west was Henry’s sister, Lucy Aldrich Peel and her family.

George worked very hard and never gave up until his house was chosen to be on the register.

The History of Martin’s Deli

On the north end of Bassett Road is Lake Road and the old Sadler (Saddler) property (Lot #92). Sometime after the Lake Shore Electric Interurban track was laid through their property in 1897, the Sadler family sold a strip of land south of the track on the west side of Bassett Road and a two story building was constructed. The building fronted on Bassett Road with two large windows on either side of the front door. On the first floor was a store with parking in front. Upstairs were living quarters.

Across the street was the Thompson grocery store. It was housed in the old wooden Methodist Church building moved in 1909 from the corner of Lake and Bassett Roads to the interurban tracks. When this building burned down around 1911, the Thompsons moved their store across the street into the empty building.

Bill Sadler and a book about the Lake Shore Electric Interurban tells us the building was built by Mr. Pencik, and he leased it to the West Shore Supply Company in 1919. The West Shore Supply Company was opened to satisfy the needs of the farmers in western Bay and Avon Lake. The store sold grain, grape growing supplies, rope, feed, shovels, etc. It was similar to the Cahoon Store on Dover Center Road near the railroad tracks.

With few good roads, the interurban tracks were the way to transport goods and people. The supply business didn’t last very long, as George Serb tells us the property was purchased by Mr. Grosse. He leased the building to the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, otherwise known as the A&P grocery chain. Behind the building, Fred Sadler ran a hand laundry during World War II. The interurban stopped running in May, 1938, and the A&P store closed soon after.

George Schmidt was in charge of the meat counter in the A&P. When the store closed, George and his wife, who lived across the street, reopened the store as a mom and pop shop in the Volunteer Stores Cooperative Chain. Billy and Julie Blaha lived up stairs. (I grew up west of Bradley and, as a little girl in the 1940‘s, remember my Mom walking to the store and pulling my sister and me in a wagon.) Four generations of the Schmidt family stayed in the village.

George and Bob Serb moved into a one story addition on the south side of the building and opened the Bay Sweet Shop featuring cones, sundaes and shakes. My sister, Barbara Walker, still remembers the gigantic Baby Ruth candy bars for 10 cents. There was a soda fountain counter with stools and booths on the south side.

A Sohio gas pump was in front of the store. The brothers delivered ice, sometimes by motorcycle, from Pop Serb’s Ice Store at Hahn’s Grove. When World War II came along, George and Bob Serb sold their ice cream business to Ma (Katherine) Liebtag who moved the business into the store.

Don Carpenter was on the Bay High basketball team in 1944 and remembers Ma inviting the team to lunch in the sweet shop. He remembers the counter was in the front of the store and boxes of cereal and canned goods lined the walls. My sister remembers sitting with Sally Price at the u-shaped counter, with Ma standing in the middle, in the 1940’s, having a hot fudge sundae.

When they saved enough money, 25 cents, they would get off the school bus at Ma’s Sweet Shop, have their treat and walk home to Bradley and Lake Roads. The Beck family lived upstairs, and Don, Lois, and Marjory graduated from Bay High School. Lois was Miss Cleveland in a beauty pageant. Mr. Wertz, the shop teacher at the high school, who lived on Bassett, also operated the ice cream parlor for awhile.

In the 1950’s, the store was renamed The Bay Superette and a barber shop was in the south addition. Armond and Ferris Karim ran the ‘Supe’ with Ferris behind the meat counter. Their meats were highly respected. Margaret Hook who lived in the William Aldrich II farmhouse walked down to the store almost every day to shop and buy meat.

Ferris and his family lived on the second floor and then Tom Phillips, Director of the Osborn Learning Center, took his turn upstairs. Goomba Nick’s Pizza took over the barber shop on the south side. Goomba’s was very popular. Their pizza was the best, and the high school students were huge noontime customers in the 1970’s and 80’s. Goomba’s later moved to Detroit Road at Dover Center.

Today this building is known as Martin’s Deli and one of Bay’s historic buildings. Earl Martin, once the mayor of Rocky River, owns the deli. The front door was moved to the north side and the front windows removed. The small building on the south side became a dining room.

Today, Martin’s is a thriving business selling great food and wine in the store. Be sure to pay them a visit.

Bay Village Landmark Houses

The first priority of the newly formed Bay Village Historical Society, in 1960, was to plaque as Landmark Houses those houses documented as being 100 years old. Nine houses from seven families received plaques.

Joseph and Lydia Kenyon Cahoon, of Vergennes, Vermont, was the first family. They arrived the morning of October 10, 1810. Joseph purchased Lot #95 and in 1818 built a frame house on Lake Road. This house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The second family into the township on the afternoon of October 10, 1810, was Asahal and Rebecca Johnson Porter accompanied by Leverett Johnson and Reuben Osborn of Woodbridge, Connecticut. Asahal purchased Lot #94, and his brothers-in-law, Reuben Osborn, Lot #93 and Leverett Johnson, Lot #58. Reuben helped Asahal build a log cabin and returned to Camden, New York, for his wife, Sarah, and children. They returned May 17, 1811.

On April 6, 1814, returning from a shopping trip to Cleveland, in an open boat, Rebecca Porter, her son, Dennis, George Smith, and Noah Crocker capsized at the mouth of the Rocky River. All drowned but Noah Crocker. Sarah buried her sister on land she gave for Lakeside Cemetery.

Asahal moved to Rockport where he died in 1820. Sarah raised her nieces, Catherine, Emeline, and Angeline Porter. Reuben Osborn built the first frame house between Cleveland and Lorain in 1814. His son, Selden, built a house in 1832, and Selden’s son, Sherman, in 1858, all on Lake Road.

William Saddler I was returning from the War of 1812 when his journey to Clarence Station, New York, brought him through Dover Township. He liked what he saw and returned with his father, Christopher, purchasing Lot #92 in 1814. Christopher constructed a log cabin where Saddler Road is today. In 1835, William and Elizabeth Tryon Saddler replaced the log cabin with a frame house between Ruth and Florence on Lake Road.

David Foote, a Revolutionary War veteran, packed up his wife, Betsy Hamlin, and his family from Lee, Massachusetts, purchased Lot #97 and moved to Dover Township in 1815. He built two log cabins before erecting a frame house in 1828 on Lake Road. David’s son, Ranson, married Catherine Porter, Asahal’s daughter. Ranson and Catherine raised 12 children in the house. Their son, Henry, and daughter, Catherine, lived there until their deaths.

Aaron and Elizabeth Winsor Aldrich came into South Dover township in 1817 from Smithfield, Rhode Island. Due to poor health, Aaron returned east in 1822. He returned, purchased Lots #98 and part of 92 at the corner of Bradley and Lake Roads and, in 1830, built a frame house. Aaron’s house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dexter Tuttle came from Rowe, Massachusetts, in 1823, married Amelia Weidner, and built his house in 1835 on Lots #87 and 88 at Lake and Columbia Roads. The Tuttles raised sheep which they sold to the Silverthorne Hotel. Ezra Tuttle married Victoria Clague and Frederick Tuttle married Mary Jane Bates.

Thomas Powell, born in Olean, New York, married Sophia Saddler in 1832. Tom purchased Lot #81 and in 1850 built a frame house on Bradley Road. Thomas farmed and operated a sawmill at the corner of Bradley and Naigle Roads. Years later, his great grandson, Roger, had a free range turkey farm on the property. The Foote and Saddler houses have been torn down by builders.

The Water Tower at Huntington

Huntington Reservation, on the shores of Lake Erie, was the former country estate of John Huntington (1832-1893), a prominent Cleveland industrialist and philanthropist.

John Huntington was born in Preston, England. His father was a mathematics teacher in the English school system. He made sure John had a good education. In 1852, John emigrated to the United States and Cleveland, Ohio.

He went into the roofing business with his brother, Hugh, and was successful. He soon became a respected Cleveland businessman.

At the turn of the century, many wealthy Clevelanders had homes in the city and beautiful estates in the country.

Huntington was contracted to roof an early oil refinery by John D. Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller offered the brothers payment in cash or stock, and John, daring to adventure a little, accepted part payment in stock. He acquired considerable wealth by this venture and eventually a partnership in the Standard Oil Company.

John Huntington was a creative individual with a lively interest in improving ways of doing things efficiently. In 1863, he took up the business of refining oil and invented many new methods. So great were the advantages from his inventions that the company outstripped all competitors. He patented several improvements in oil refining methods.

He had many commercial, civic, and cultural interests. He was involved in the oil business, a fleet of lake vessels, mining, and quarrying in the Cleveland Stone Co. John was elected to Cleveland City Council where he served for 12 years.

He also helped to initiate the construction of swing bridges on the Cuyahoga River, construct sewer systems throughout the city and build the Superior Street Viaduct. One of Huntington’s biggest contributions to the city was the Art and Polytechnic Trust which he created in 1889 to fund the establishment of the Cleveland Museum of Art. His other major trust, the Huntington Benevolent Trust, supported 19 charitable institutions in the Cleveland area.

The Huntington country house burned down in the 1920s and the Huntington barns in 1970. The tall tower on the bluff of Huntington Reservation is one of the few remaining features of the Huntington’s country estate. Although the structure looks like a lighthouse, it is actually a water tower built between 1880 and 1890. It was used to store the water once needed to irrigate the fields of the estate. Most country estates had fancy vineyards, orchards, and gardens with unusual European botanical specimens. The Huntington estate was no exception.

The tower is made of cypress wood, but today, the outside has been covered with siding. The original water pipes, stairway, and water tub enclosure still exist inside the tower.

John liked to sit on top of the tower and watch the sun set. If you look down the beach below the tower you can see another original Huntington structure, the brick pump house, which contained the steam engine used to pump water from the lake to the tower. The “H” for Huntington is still on the outside of this brick building. Also in the park is the Huntington stepping stone used when stepping in and out of a carriage.

Cleveland Metroparks purchased the 98.76 acres of Huntington Property from the Union Trust Co. in 1925 for $500,000. Today, it is Huntington Reservation.