George Serb stated in one of his Bay Village Revisited newspaper memoirs: “All good things must come to an end, an old saying. The CVS Pharmacy plans have been approved for a new store. Many concerned citizens rallied against the project, to no avail. I can’t help it if I seem bitter. I don’t want a special invitation to the groundbreaking.”
And so ended the life of the 1860 Cahoon Store on Dover Center Road built by Joel Cahoon and managed by his sons, Leverett and John Marshall. This grocery store served the Bay community as Edwards Foods, Blahas, Sylvesters, Clausens and then Reehorst Cleaners, for 120 years.
In 1976 for the USA’s Bicentennial, a historic walking tour of Bay Village was designed by the historical society. It consisted of 31 locations. Thirty-four years later, 12 of these locations are gone forever.
Five 1796 Moses Cleveland Trees are gone; one was taken down for I-90. Parkview and Forestview Schools are gone. The Foote and Saddler Landmark Houses are gone. “Castle Garden,” the Baker/Hassler house just west of Huntington Park, is gone. The Zipp Manufacturing building and the Cahoon Store are gone. Some, when torn down, left empty land, while others have large stone and brick houses built in their place. No longer can you walk Lake Road and look at the lake between the houses as these structures are built lot line to lot line.
Bay Village was described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1936 as: “A little New England west of Cleveland.” Bay has a more eclectic feel today. Cape Cod houses, Nantucket Row and Winston, and Tudor and Colonial Revival, Bruce and Douglas, are no longer popular with builders. In the 1950s, the ranch style house with bay windows became popular. Today we see a lot of brick, stone, and arched windows.
There are no building regulations in place for our older homes as there are in Hudson and Olmsted Falls. Our Landmark and Century houses are allowed to be torn down.
Today, a large skateboard park has been built in the small historic district on the west side of the valley in Cahoon Park. The Cahoon sister’s house, Capoba Lodge – built in 1910 for their good friends, Emma Paul Pope and Olive Paul Bailey, our first librarians – is in jeopardy. Thank heavens the city was offered the Dover Station and the Osborn house, or they would be gone.
Should we be more concerned with what is going and gone forever? Is it important to keep our past alive? Is it important to keep the houses, buildings and family names that tell the story of the town’s history?
My sister, Gay Menning, and I documented the early settlers from 1810 on with our book, “Bay Village: A Way of Life.” George Serb did the 1920’s – 1940’s with his memoirs. Sam Milliken wrote stories of growing up in Bay in the 30’s and 40’s. But, there are still stories to tell.
Now we need you to help us document more of the 40’s and add the 50’s. Who will document the 60’s through the 2000’s. Who will help us preserve the buildings and houses left in our town?