Eclipses in Bay Village

The following article was written by Bay Village Historical Society members Jim and Barbara Comienski. Barbara has been a tremendous help to us as both a museum docent and collections volunteer. She is responsible for cataloging our doll collection and has assisted in the dating of our clothing collection, amongst other activities. In the past, Barbara and Jim served as BVHS secretary and vice president, respectively. Jim is a retired planetarium director and astronomy and geology teacher for Lakewood City Schools. He is a 48-year member of both the Great Lakes Planetarium Association and the Cleveland Regional Association of Planetariums. He is also a 48-year member of the Cleveland Astronomical Society and currently serves on its board. Jim is active in the Bay Village Kiwanis Club, which will be involved in activities in anticipation of the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse. The Comienskis have recorded some interesting history for us about past eclipses in Bay that we are sharing here with you.

Eclipses in Bay Village

by Jim and Barbara Comienski

Much of the Cleveland area is in preparation for the total eclipse of the sun next year on April 8, 2024.

The last one in our area that extensive – a full eclipse – was on June 16,1806, predating settlers but seen by Native populations as was an annular eclipse on April 3, 1791.

The area was then inhabited by Wyandot and, to the west, Shawnee tribes. Although treaties were established with Native Americans in 1795, the land only opened to settlers in 1805. The Prophet Tenskwatawa, who was the brother of the famous chief Tecumseh, had predicted the 1806 eclipse.

There were two annular eclipses in the area after 1806 that would have been experienced by early settlers. An annular eclipse is not total; a ring of sunlight is visible. The Cahoons would have seen the one on September 17, 1811. Another occurred as the area was becoming more settled on September 18, 1838. Northeast Ohio then experienced its next annular eclipse on May 10, 1994.

There have been lots of partial eclipses where only part of sun is covered, the most recent in 2017, when our area parks were filled with viewers. All eclipses require safe viewing procedures. The Northeast Ohio area will experience a partial eclipse again this fall on October 14. This will undoubtedly generate excitement for the total eclipse in April.

Destination Cleveland projects an influx of viewers of hundreds of thousands to the Cleveland area, including Bay Village. Both LENSC and Kiwanis are developing plans with the city for possible events.


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

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.

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