Bay Village Historical Society

Bay Village Historical Society The Bay Village Historical Society, one of the city’s largest civic organizations, works to preserve area history, present educational programs, maintain the Rose Hill Museum and the Osborn Learning Center, and the Cahoon memorial cabin.

The gazebo in Cahoon Memorial Park, Bay Village, Ohio, on a beautiful fall day.

The gazebo in Cahoon Memorial Park, Bay Village, Ohio, on a beautiful fall day.

Snippets Of Bay Village History - Kay LaughlinHenry Winsor’s Smithfield, Rhode Island DeskOur Winsor family lived in S...

Snippets Of Bay Village History - Kay Laughlin
Henry Winsor’s Smithfield, Rhode Island Desk

Our Winsor family lived in Smithfield, Rhode Island. They were Rhode Island Baptists. ( As were Lydia and Joseph Cahoon). We aren’t sure how many siblings there were in the family, but we do know four sisters by name; Sally, Julia, Elizabeth and Mary and two brothers, Henry and Andrew.

Henry Winsor, a son, traveled to Dover Township by way of Cooperstown, New York, arriving around 1813 ( a son, Henry, Jr was born in Ohio in 1813.) The Winsor name is associated with Lot # 91 on the west side of Bradley Road. The family is in possession of a letter from Andrew Winsor to Henry in Dover Township in 1817. Henry was a farmer. In 1818, his sisters advise him they would like to come care for his son, Henry, Jr. Perhaps his wife has died. In 1837 the Winsor family divided the family estate between the children. Henry’s name is not on it. We assume he died.

Elizabeth Winsor married Aaron Aldrich and had one son, Aaron IV when they came to Dover Township in 1816. Aaron, a tall, angular man worked in cotton mills. He never farmed. They were coming to a land of forest and trees. They purchased Lot #41 on Bradley Road across from where the Lakewood Country Club is today. With Henry’s help they felled the trees, built a log cabin and cleared the land. Aaron not used to this heavy work soon found his back aching and became disabled. Not being able to continue his chores made life in the little log cabin difficult. An offer to take charge of a cotton factory in Otsego County, New York found the family returning east. They returned in 1829 and built a house on Lots 98 and 92 in 1830.

In 1813, Mary Winsor Brown arrived in Dover Township and farmed on Lot #90. The Brown boys grew big and tall, it was said it could only be accounted for by their location on the banks of Lake Erie. Their farmhouse was still standing when the Lawrence family purchased the lands in the area. It was used by the Lawrence family for housing family and friends.

In Henry’s wagon was his walnut desk with its’ cubby holes, pull down writing table and dresser drawers. Over the years, Henry’s desk moved into the Aldrich house on Lake Road. This double house had a two story west wing and a single story east wing. Lucy Peal lived in the two story wing and Mary Anne Stephens and her husband, Henry Aldrich lived in the east wing. George Drake, Mary Anne’s grandson spent many hours there with his grandmother and eventually purchased the house from the relatives and moved in. In a small long, narrow room off the living room in the east end, sat the Rhode Island desk.

My sister, Gay and I were collecting information for the first ever written history of Bay Village when we decided we needed to talk with George. George had been our neighbor when we grew up and we knew he would be interested in our project. The first time we visited him he showed us the desk. Covered in dust, cobwebs, scratches and all, what we found inside was the history of our village and its’ every day life. (George and his family never threw away one scrap of paper.) We told George we would catalog everything in the desk if we could have a look. He said ok. It took us a week of very carefully removing each piece of history and reading the contents and sorting. Gay handled the contents and I wrote it all down in my binder. The information we found could never have been duplicated. Every day life in the township came alive. It became part of each ‘Way Of Life’ Gay wrote to separate the years in the book. We told George when the time comes, we have to have that desk for Rose Hill Museum.

After George had passed and Marguerite, his wife, decided to sell some of her contents, we came for the desk. It wasn’t free, but we didn’t care. Today, it sits in the front parlor of the1818 room at Rose Hill Museum. Karen Livingston was called in to refurbish the desk. She was looking over the desk and noticed scribbling on three sides of one of the small drawers. She mentioned how sad it was we didn’t know what it said. Gay and I said we know what it says. (We had noticed it while cleaning it out and were thrilled.) She looked at us and we said, it says Henry Winsor Smithfield, Rhode Island 1785.

Snippets of Bay Village History - Kay LaughlinDover Bay Country Club  Celebrates 50th BirthdayAnother golfing season is ...

Snippets of Bay Village History - Kay Laughlin
Dover Bay Country Club Celebrates 50th Birthday

Another golfing season is coming to an end. In Bay Village back in the 50’s, the once thriving 9 hole course at the corner of Clague and Lake Roads would still be going in use on a beautiful sun shiny fall day.

We can revisit the history of the club by enjoying a newspaper article (paper unknown) announcing the celebration of the club’s 50th Birthday written by Cornalia Curtis:

“Dover Bay Country Club, second oldest in the district, is about to celebrate its golden anniversary.

With the coming of the early spring, members of the club, which is on the lakeshore west of town, are anticipating a long season of golf and other attractions which the club offers.

The Dover Bay Club has a long history which is interwoven with the development of Cleveland from a small city to a great metropolis. It was back in 1887 that W. H. Lawrence organized the Dover Bay Park Association, the roster of which included names of many of Cleveland’s old and substantial citizens such as the Herricks, the Hickox family, the Cobbs, the Roots, the Dodges, Zerbes and Ranneys.

At that time most of these families lived around Pearl Street (now W 25th St. and Franklin Ave and Franklin Circle was a beauty spot with its fine homes. Under leadership of Mr. Lawrence the present Dover Bay Clubhouse was built in 1888. At the time it was expected the city of Cleveland would develop westward. Member and their families went to Dover Bay for the summers, driving in their carriages and over the bridle paths. Between 1891 and 1894 eight summer homes were built in a semi circle near the clubhouse. These were generally without kitchens as the owners and their families had meals at the club. Six of the houses still stand four being owned by the Fuller, Jaster, McDonough ad Hughes families. (Today, there are two houses still standing.)

It was in 1893-94 that after a fashion, golf was first played at Dover Bay. Three or four makeshift holes (they were called links in those days) were laid out in 1895, a year later the Cleveland Country Club nine hole course in Bratenahl was built. Dover thus remains the second oldest club in the district.

As the years went by, changes and modern additions were made on the greens and the paving of lake road necessitated variations in the layout of the greens.

Came 1904, and the old Dover Bay Park Association reached its end. The Century Club of that day then tried out the experiment of using the property as the country part of a town and country club scheme. Town headquarters were in the present Guardian Building in downtown Cleveland. After the Century Club went of existence the grounds were taken over for the beginning of what grew into the Westwood Club, now located father west. Then in 1915 the Dover Bay Country Club as it exists today was organized and ever since has been a thriving institution. Clevelanders flocked to Dover Bay to the cottages and to the clubhouse which took summer guests and it became a gay social center. A large dance pavilion on the bank of the lake was the central point around which club life revolved. It had a large fireplace and was entirely enclosed by windows. The masquerade parties held there were famous. A few years ago the pavilion was torn down because of erosion of the bank near which it stood. Some of the past presidents of Dover Bay have been William Webster, Willard Fuller, Al Hawley, Harry Dill, D. D. Hughes, and Ralph Stewart.

Present officers are: D Ibsen, Ralph Stewart, W. B. Jeuergen, C. L. Bethel, S. S. Hughes, A. L. Bailey, Jack Hodges, J. S. McKeighan, Ross Betts, Nick Sheehan and Kenneth Rossborough.

The club will be formally opened for the season in May and through the summer anniversary celebrations will be planned.”

In the mid 1950s, the course was sold to a developer who developed ranch style houses called suburban contemporaries. They are still standing.

Snippets of Bay Village History - Kay LaughlinFirst Girl Scout Day Camp Held 1945The following tidbit was part of the we...

Snippets of Bay Village History - Kay Laughlin
First Girl Scout Day Camp Held 1945

The following tidbit was part of the weekly news in Katherine Messenger’s column - Westlake 603 in the summer of 1945.

Girl Scout News - 1945

“This week brought to a close the first Girl Scout Day Camp to be conducted in Bay Village. The project consisting of outdoor craft, handcraft, singing, and games was met with enthusiastic response from the Brownies and Girl Scouts. A program demonstrating a few of the activities will take place July 4th at 1:30 pm in the valley of Cahoon Park. Everyone is invited to attend. “

Many Girl Scout events were held in the valley behind Rose Hill Museum. The pond was used for “crossing over the bridge” from Brownies to Girl Scouts. There was a small park with a merry-go-round, teeter-totter and swings close by. I remember making pads out of red-and -white-checked linoleum squares by sewing them together with leather striplings for seat pads.

Bay Village Historical Society's cover photo

Bay Village Historical Society's cover photo

Snippets of Bay Village History - Kay LaughlinThe Cahoon and Andrews ConnectionI have looked through many Cahoon family ...

Snippets of Bay Village History - Kay Laughlin
The Cahoon and Andrews Connection

I have looked through many Cahoon family reunion pictures and noticed the Andrews family of Rockport Township (Lakewood), included as part of the family.

Louise Andrews Saunders was a good friend of my mother, Alberta, and Jack her husband an old buddy of my Dad, J. Ross Rothaermel, Louise knew Gay and I were interested in the Cahoon family and Bay history. When she was visiting one day in 1974 she mentioned a picture of a Cahoon family reunion that she was in. We knew the picture she meant and she told us she was the baby on her grandmother’s lap. Then she told us the story which I will try to relate.

Mary was the oldest daughter of Lydia and Joseph Cahoon. She traveled with the family on October 10,1810 to Dover Township as a new bride with child. She married George Sexton and had eight children. They lived in Ridgeville, (North Ridgeville) on Center Ridge Road. They had a daughter referred to as beautiful Mary in the Cahoon papers. Beautiful Mary Sexton married William Harron. The family of William Harron’s brother lived in the area. (I do not know their names.) They had a daughter, Jennie V. Harron. The brother and his wife died from a sickness leaving Jenny homeless.

Price French came to Rockport Township in 1828. He worked in construction. His son, Collins French, married into the Harron family. When Jenny Harron, their niece, became homeless, the couple adopted her and she took the name Jenny French. Collins did not have any children. Jenny was the same age as Joel Cahoon’s children; Ida, Lydia, Martha and Laura. Jenny met Edwin Ruthern Andrews after the Civil War and married in Rockport Township. Andrews became the partner of Collins French in the raising of fruits and fancy grapes. Jenny and Edwin had 4 children: Jay, Frank, George and Edwin Jr.

The Andrews and French families owned a fruit farm and orchard on the west side of Rockport Township on Detroit Road that ran north to Lake Erie. They were successful farmers. The white clapboard house with its dark green shutters faced Detroit Road. It was built by Collins for his bride in 1853. Louise, their granddaughter is seen sitting on Grandma Jenny French Andrew‘s lap in the reunion picture. Edwin sits to the left of her. Jenny and Louise moved and appear blurred. Behind them are the four brothers and Louise’s mother.

Louise Andrews Saunders said she remembered many family reunions growing up. Louise said the kids were not allowed in the house. Only if they were chaperoned could they enter and see the White House desk in the parlor. (Wonder where that is today.) She said the girls were nice, very reserved. She inherited Cahoon glassware and silver. Rose Hill displays these items today.

When the land sold in 1938 to the Madison Improvement Co. to build a strip shopping center, the Masonic Temple and new streets, the house was to be dismantled. My Dad paid a visit. He said there were 5 fireplace mantels, three marble. All beautiful which he could have purchased but he didn’t know what he would do with one. He did take the dark green wooden shutters which next appeared on our house at 31011 Lake Road for thirty years. He also took the desk Edwin used to pay his bills and sort the mail (he was an area post office). It was so big we wondered where he was going to put it. He found a place and in the end it ended up in my house. He also took the workbench. This wooden workbench became known as Grandpa’s workbench with all its dogs, holes, and wooden vice on the side. My son, Christopher, now owns it in Vermillion Ohio. Hopefully it will be passed on through the family for many years.

Check the family reunion picture. The French’s and Andrew’s are on the right, Louise on Granny Jenny’s lap. I love this picture. It looks like the girls found a bolt of dark material they all liked and had matching dresses made.

Lakewood (Old Rockport Township) named two streets for the families, Andrews and French.


Cleveland Hiking Club set to walk through history

Learn more about local history and Dover Township’s earliest residents by joining the Cleveland Hiking Club in Bay Village this fall.
Hikers and history buffs will meet at the Huntington water tower at Huntington Beach on Thur., Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. to embark on a six-mile hike. The group will hike Lake Road and walk the land where the town fathers worked, practiced their faith and raised their families. The earliest residents of Dover Township chose to purchase lots near the lakeshore between Dover Center Road and the Avon Township line.
The next fall history hike will leave from the Cahoon Memorial Park gazebo in Bay Village on Thur., Oct. 10, at 9 a.m. As the group hikes through the center of Bay Village, a tour guide will trace the city’s history from the arrival of the Cahoon family on Oct. 10, 1810, through the incorporation of Bay Village as a town in the early twentieth century. The Cleveland Hiking Club will hike at a moderate pace, stopping briefly to note the area’s rich history.
The history hikes are free of charge. Reservations are not required. Contact [email protected] for additional information.

Snippets of Bay Village History - Kay Laughlin4th of July Revisited About ten years ago I mailed flyers to Bay High alum...

Snippets of Bay Village History - Kay Laughlin
4th of July Revisited

About ten years ago I mailed flyers to Bay High alums asking them to return the flyer completed and become part of Bay’s history. I called it the Neighborhood Project and separated the information I received into east end and west end neighborhoods. I received some wonderful stories about life and neighbors living in Bay Village in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. I wish I had 100 more.

Interestingly, the most often mentioned favorite memory was the 4th of July. While sorting through a pile of my Dad’s papers in the attic, I found a roster of the events of the day and the people responsible for them for the July 4th celebration in 1944 which happened to be on a Tuesday that year. We only celebrated for one day back then. Enjoy the following memories.

Tuesday, July 4, 1944, in Bay Village, Ohio

It was hard to fall asleep the night before the 4th of July just thinking about all the goodies that were going to be piled high under the big tree across from the Community House the next day. Checking it out was one of the wonderful parts of the day. Up on top were the two bicycles, one boys and one girls, for the winning raffle tickets. Underneath were all the rest of the goodies: basketballs, baseballs, footballs, bats, baseball mitts, roller skates, tennis rackets and balls, badminton sets, croquet sets, decorated wooden boxes, books and more. For Mom and Dad, there were clocks, radios, mixers, toasters, hand- crocheted towels, pillow cases, hot pads, aprons, dishes and glass sets. It was a smorgasbord of goodies to see, and it was all donated by area merchants and villagers.

In the morning, in our best shorts and blouses, we headed for the park. The activities for the day were organized and run by our parents. Here are some of the names on the 1944 roster of people who helped: Austin, Baldwin, Bellish, Benbow, Botts, Burt, Chamberlain, DuProw, Harter, Hoagland, Hockett, Holliday, Hook, Houk, Hudak, Jacobs, Knoll, Koelliker, Laverty, Leavens, Linsenmeyer, Mosely, Peterson, Potter, Pyle, Redinger, Rothaermel, Smith, Solt, Wendt, Wingard, and Wischmeyer.

At 9:55 am, it all started with an aerial salute and the raising of the flag by the Bay Village Scout Troops. At 10:05, a ball game featuring the Canterbury Tigers and the Bay Village All Stars began. At 11:00, the decorated Bicycle and Tricycle Parade started at Rose Hill, and at 11:30, there were bicycle races on Cahoon Road. At 1:00 pm, there was an assortment of choices. Down at the mouth of Cahoon Creek, motor and sailboat races commenced. In the park there were bowling, golf, horse shoe or beach ball contests. At 1:30, the girl scouts and brownies had a sing at the community house. At 2:00, the games and races began for the children. There was the three-legged race, the wheelbarrow race, the sprint, tossing the baseball the farthest, toss and catch and badminton fly. The top three winners got something from under that marvelous tree next to the community house. For Mom and Dad, there were the three-legged race, egg throw and who could wrap and unwrap dad with toilet paper the fastest. At 4:00, the firemen had a water fight with their fire hoses, and at 4:30, Bingo started in the Community House. The dinner hour was at 6:00pm and featured ham and potato salad or wieners and beans. Coffee was served by the Girl Scout mothers, and soft drinks were sold by the Boy Scout fathers. At 7:00pm, the flag was lowered and the band concert by the Parkview High School Band started. At 9:00pm, dancing in the Community House began, and a movie was shown in the valley. Special events were the war stamp treasure hunt, time guessing contest and largest fish caught. Prizes were awarded to all, and we watched the goodies disappear under the tree. Every hour there was a raffle drawing, and near the end of the day the bicycles were awarded to the lucky boy and girl with the winning raffle tickets.

We arrived for the evening events in our best dresses and summer sandals. My parents were often in charge of the dance. No matter the age, anyone could dance in the Community House to the 78 rpm records, with owner’s names on them, loaned by the high school students. The fans were running overhead and with the windows open, the sounds of “Opus One” and “Stardust” drifted out over the park. I can still hear them. There were no fireworks in the year 1944.

Those were the days. Although it was a sad time in Bay with our boys fighting in WWII, this was a day to remember. As a kid we wondered how it could get any better!


27715 Lake Rd
Bay Village, OH

Opening Hours

Sunday 14:00 - 16:30


(440) 871-7338


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