Historical

Before The University Of Akron, The Ohio State University Was Lakewood's College

The University of Akron’s recently opened satellite branch in Lakewood is a welcome addition to the Lakewood community. However, many may not know that prior to the arrival of U of A’s satellite, The Ohio State University had a satellite branch in Lakewood.

As the baby boom’s teenagers matured, college enrollments began to soar in the mid-to-late 1960's. According to Ohio State’s historical enrollment figures, the main Columbus campus had 23,813 students in 1960. By 1970 that number had nearly doubled, to 46,074. As a result of these overflowing enrollment numbers, Ohio’s universities took steps to accommodate this influx of students by undertaking massive campus construction projects and by establishing satellite branches.

 

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:48 PM, 03.07.2012

AM Radio Ruled The Airwaves

Radio has informed, entertained and inspired area residents since its inception.

AM was king for the first fifty years of radio. Early local AM radio included stations WHK which began broadcasting in 1922 and WTAM which quickly followed and began on the air in 1923. Their formats included news and regular network entertainment shows including “the Shadow” and the “Green Hornet” which usually originated in New York City. By 1930 WTAM was broadcasting Indians baseball games live from League Park. FM, invented in 1933, was available but scantly listened because most radio receivers did not include an FM dial.

 

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:45 PM, 02.07.2012

Lakewood In The Civil War Letters Home To Rockport, Part 2

The Lakewood Historical Society continues to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a series of articles focused on Rockport Township (now Lakewood) during that time. Corporal Nathan Hawkins wrote a series of letters home during the Civil War. The letters provide a fascinating look into the life of a Rockport soldier during the Civil War.

The letters of Corporal Nathan Hawkins provide wonderful details about life in the 103rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry for him and his friends from Rockport Township, whom he called his “family.” At home in Rockport these men were neighbors, schoolmates, members of the same church and sometimes related by marriage.

The men most likely attended the same Rockport recruitment meetings and enlisted at about the same time. During the war they were tentmates, kept careful track of each other when separated, visited each other when ill, and wrote home with news of each other. Nathan and his friends even wrote a short poem about their Civil War lives: “My seat ismy knapsack, my desk is my knee & a nice happy family are we.”


 


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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:45 PM, 02.07.2012

Want To See Your Dream House?

The year 2012 is not only leap year, it's a house tour year. The Lakewood Historical Society's biennial "Come Home to Lakewood" house tour occurs on September 9, the first Sunday after Labor Day. While that seems far in the future, the planning process is already well underway, but we need your help! We need to know the houses you want to see, those you drive by and wish you could get inside. Give us the address, and we'll do the rest. We'll contact the owners to let them know they've been nominated, and ask if they'd be willing to showcase their home. If so, we'll visit, and choose from the nominees those that would make up the most unique and fascinating tour. We'll be rounding up our possibilities over the next three weeks, so don't delay, make your nominations today! You may nominate by:

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 8:09 PM, 01.24.2012

Yesterday's Lakewood: Stormy Weather-Henry Howe's Account Of Early Lakewood

In today’s busy world, many of us forget that only two hundred years ago, Lakewood was a primitive wilderness. Bears, wolves, mountain lions, badgers, wolverines and other dangerous animals inhabited the area’s thick forests. Few humans lived in the area. On occasion a Native American hunting expedition or trapper would pass through, but no permanent human settlements were located in the area until the early 1800s.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 8:41 PM, 01.10.2012

Lakewood In The Civil War Letters Home To Rockport, Part 1

The Lakewood Historical Society continues to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a series of articles focused on Rockport Township (now Lakewood) during that time. Corporal Nathan Hawkins wrote a series of letters home during the Civil War. The letters provide a fascinating look into the life of a Rockport soldier during the Civil War. 

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 8:41 PM, 01.10.2012

America's "First" Christmas Tree

Pastor  Heinrich (Henry) Christian Schwan made history when he celebrated his first Christmas in Cleveland by placing a candlelit tree in his church’s sanctuary, a custom that was popular in Germany, his native country, and helped spread the tradition across America.

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Volume 7, Issue 25, Posted 11:52 PM, 12.13.2011

Lakewood In The Civil War: Anti-Slavery Activities

The Lakewood Historical Society continues to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a series of articles focused on Rockport Township (now Lakewood) during that time.

At the time of the Civil War, Rockport Township (which covered what is now Lakewood, Rocky River and parts of Fairview Park and Cleveland), had a population of just 1,794. Rockport’s population included African-American families and a growing number of people who were tacitly or actively involved in anti-slavery activities.

When George Peake (age 87) and his family arrived in Rockport in 1809, they became the first African-American family to settle permanently in the county. While the frontier claimed the lives of men half his age, Peake not only survived to the age of 105, he also made significant contributions to his new community.


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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:27 AM, 09.21.2011

Celebrate The History Of Lakewood Park

Any current resident of Lakewood, Ohio is familiar with the spacious park on Lake Erie which is the site of so many family and community events each year. Fewer, however, are aware of the various roles this piece of land has played in the history and development of the city. Lakewood Park has a rich history. First owned by a noteworthy early settler family, the parcel later became the home for a member of a renowned Cleveland family who hosted celebrated guests on this grand estate. Then it entered an extended period of civic use as a hospital annex, the center of Lakewood’s government, an educational asset and a public park. The evolution of the property reflects the changing settlement and development patterns found throughout Lakewood (formerly Rockport Township). 

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 10:48 AM, 09.07.2011

Western Reserve Cup Held At Lakewood Park On July 10, 2011

Anyone who has called northeast Ohio home for long can attest to the devotion and passion of local baseball fans. Despite the dearth of World Series titles, Indians fans remain steadfast and loyal, through winning and, more often, it seems, losing seasons. Despite the fabulous run of the late 90’s, baseball fans are tested on a seemingly annual basis; the ebb and flow of attendance at Progressive Field reflecting the hopes and realities of our fan conscience. But there is more to Cleveland baseball than the major league Indians.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 8:02 AM, 06.29.2011

Lakewood Event Comes From Long Legacy Of Chautauqua Movement

What is Chautauqua? Chautauqua has a number of meanings. Many in northeast Ohio and western New York state know Chautauqua as the Chautauqua Assembly, located on the idyllic shore of Lake Chautauqua in western New York. Those who have visited there know it as a restful place, with interesting lectures, concerts and other programs. It is an educational summer camp, with programming for all ages.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:37 PM, 05.17.2011

Living History Birthday Party for Lakewood

Lakewood will come alive with history for five days in June when it hosts Ohio Chautauqua 2011 under a big tent in Lakewood Park. Thanks to the efforts of the Lakewood Historical Society, the city of Lakewood, the Beck Center for the Arts, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and Lakewood City Schools, free programs will let adults and children learn more about the Civil War from June 22nd to the 26th. 

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 6:48 PM, 02.22.2011

Vintage Varieties--An Eclectic Sale

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 23rd, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., because you won't want to miss Vintage Varieties, an new adventure for the Lakewood Historical Society. This petite, eclectic sale will be held at the Skate House, behind the Oldest Stone House Museum at Lakewood Park, 14710 Lake Avenue.

We have received many donations of framed art work and mirrors, lamps, light fixtures and rugs, so this sale will emphasize home decor items and small pieces of furniture.

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Volume 6, Issue 21, Posted 8:25 AM, 10.21.2010

Salvage History!

The Lakewood Historical Society will hold an architectural salvage sale on July 31 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Skate House, the building behind the Oldest Stone House (14710 Lake Avenue). Here you'll have a chance to find that one-of-a-kind item that's just what you need to complete your old house restoration project.  Thanks to the City, Historical Society volunteers have been able to salvage architectural items/building materials from city-owned properties and offer them for sale, with all proceeds benefitting the properties and programs of the Lakewood Historical Society.

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Volume 6, Issue 15, Posted 8:42 AM, 07.27.2010

Vintage Base Ball Comes to Rockport

The Cleveland Blues Base Ball Club will host the Mansfield Independent Base Ball Club at the Old Stone House Field Base Ball Grounds in Lakewood Park on Saturday, June 20, 2009, from 2:00- 3:30 p.m.  Both clubs are vintage base ball teams that play by the rules of 1867 and use period uniforms and equipment.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 7:00 PM, 06.03.2009

Museum guides needed!

Bring history to life by giving tours of the Oldest Stone House museum.  Recently designated Lakewood's first Landmark, the Oldest Stone House museum accurately interprets the everyday life in Rockport Township (now Lakewood) during the 19th century. The museum is operated by the Lakewood Historical Society.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 7:00 PM, 06.03.2009

Lakewood Wins Preservation Award

The Cleveland Restoration Society and the American Institute of Architects, Cleveland recently honored the City of Lakewood, the Lakewood Historical Society and Downtown Lakewood (part of LakewoodAlive) with a 2009 Preservation Award.  The Preservation Awards recognize projects that have contributed significantly to improving the quality of life in Greater Cleveland through the preservation of our historic architectural resources.  These three groups have worked together to increase awareness of Lakewood’s heritage and promote the preservation of our community’s history. 

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 7:00 PM, 06.03.2009

"Come Home to Lakewood" House Tour, Sunday, September 7

The Lakewood HistoricalSociety and the many community volunteers putting this tour on want you to bethe first to hear about the upcoming ninth biennial Lakewood House Tour. Andwhat better way is there than bringing it to you through Lakewood’s very owncommunity newspaper.

With the recentrecognition by This Old House Magazine that Lakewood is one of the “Best Placesto Buy an Old House”, neighboring Clevelanders have been reminded of, or maybejust now enlightened as to, the beauty that Lakewood holds. They might findthemselves drawn to see what all the fuss is about!..

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Volume 4, Issue 15, Posted 10:42 PM, 07.11.2008

Lakewood Historical Society Wins National Award

The Lakewood Historical Society is proud to announce that the Lakewood History Project, their collaborative educational program with the Discovery Class of Grant Elementary School, received an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Award. The AASLH Leadership in History Award is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history...
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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 1:13 PM, 07.04.2008

Calling All Oenophiles!

The Lakewood Historical Society is putting the “fun” back in fundraiser with its Instant Wine Cellar. Society Trustee Heather Rudge brought the idea for this unique raffle to the Society’s Board, where it was enthusiastically received...

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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 10:06 PM, 06.27.2008

Vintage Baseball in Lakewood

Enjoy a fabulous summer afternoon in Lakewood Park by watching vintage base ball! Vintage Base Ball is base ball (yes, it was two words originally) played by the rules and customs of an earlier period. Ballists don period uniforms and recreate the game ‘as it was meant to be played.’ The Lakewood Historical Society is excited to host a vintage base ball double-header between the Akron Blackstockings and the Forest City Base Ball Club on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 1 p.m. at the Oldest Stone House field in Lakewood Park...
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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 3:02 PM, 06.30.2008

Cowan Pottery in Lakewood

The year was 1912. The sidewalks were crowded with ladies wearing skirts and dresses and gentlemen wearing button-down shirts and dress pants. Back then, women and men would often wear fancy clothes. You would rarely ever see an automobile and if you did, it would most likely be a Model T. Amongst the crowded streets and sidewalks there was one young gentleman with a potential career in art and he decided that he would create a pottery company...
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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 11:04 AM, 04.17.2008

Front Porches, Sycamore Trees, and Rosary Beads

Lakewood is wonderfully old and full of ghosts. So when I moved back after decades away, it was an easy decision to write a nostalgic piece about being young there, long ago. But it was hard to choose from so many ghosts and harder still to know what to do when an unexpected one appeared. Most difficult of all was figuring out the meaning of these memories - and what they might bring...
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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 12:53 AM, 04.02.2008

Buy a Piece of History

Mark March 1 from 10:00-2:00 on your calendar so you won't miss the joint St. Luke/Lakewood Historical Society Architectural Salvage Sale! The groups are setting up shop in the St. Luke school building. Entry will be on the east side of the building through the gym doors, and the sale will be held in rooms 108 and 109...
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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 8:42 AM, 02.06.2008

Lakewood Landmark is Preserved by Many Owners and City

If someone mentioned “the house inside the wrought iron fence at the corner of Lake and Nicholson,” it would be a rare Lakewoodite who couldn’t immediately picture the house—a one-of-a-kind Lakewood landmark.
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Volume 3, Issue 19, Posted 11:44 PM, 09.01.2007

On The Street Where You Live

It is not necessarily a phenomenon in Lakewood to have people stay close to home. Folks choose to be near family or stay within the familiar neighborhood where they themselves once played. Two years ago, we relocated within Lakewood and ended up being significantly closer to where my mother grew up on Ethel Avenue. My mother’s family left Lakewood when she was only fifteen years old so that her father could fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a “gentleman farmer out in the country”–Westlake. To me, that’s where my roots were. Mom and Dad raised five kids, four boys and a girl, held down jobs, and participated in PTA, music boosters, and their local church.
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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 5:38 PM, 04.24.2007

Lakewood, Ohio, 1930s

A big boy named Jack lived in the house next door. In our house, I was a littler boy and my brother, Sid, was the even littler one who liked to tag along with me. Although the houses stood side by side in Lakewood, Ohio, only a driveway between them, Jack never played with us. Occasionally when we passed on the sidewalk, Sid and I dawdling our way home from Taft Elementary and Jack from the parochial school a few blocks away, he would shout, "Chrith Killerth!" with a spray of saliva flying from his mouth.
I asked Mother what he was saying.
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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 12:12 AM, 01.27.07

Lakewood Historical Society Has Great Volunteers

Governed by a board of volunteer trustees, The Lakewood Historical Society is a private, non-profit organization with a small annual budget. We are charged with collecting, preserving and sharing the history of our community. We preserve a wide variety of artifacts in the Oldest Stone House museum, including an extensive photo-file collection, archives, research library, Lakewood memorabilia and decorative arts. The Society shares the history of Lakewood with the community through guided tours, school programs, special events, slide shows, newsletter articles and lectures.
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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 8:08 PM, 12.12.06

Local Historian George Condon Presents West of the Cuyahoga

Cleveland began as a tale of two cities, as Lakewood author George Condon explains in his new book, West of the Cuyahoga. When Moses Cleaveland founded the city in 1796 for the Connecticut Land Company, it only included the area east of the Cuyahoga River. The territory west of the river involved Native American “title claims” until 1805, when a treaty enabled settlers to establish Brooklyn Township (later called the City of Ohio, or Ohio City) right next to Cleveland. The two did not become one until 1854, and there has been much water under the bridges ever since.
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Volume 2, Issue 25, Posted 9:09 PM, 11.27.06

Lakewood Historical Society Wreaths and Calendars for Last Minute Christmas Gifts

If you have not ordered your wreath or calendar, it is not too late! You can still pick up a wreath for yourself or a friend. If you would like to mail one to a relative, we have boxes. Pick them up on November 30th and December 1st at the Skate House behind the Oldest Stone House. We will be there from 2 to 7 on Thursday and 11 to 5 on Friday. The wreath and calendar sale is one of the largest and most important fundraisers for the Lakewood Historical Society. Wreaths are $30 each, calendars are $6.
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Volume 2, Issue 24, Posted 9:09 AM, 11.17.06

Lakewood Historical Society's Christmas Sale on the Grounds

The Lakewood Historical Society's Sale on the Grounds, held the first Saturday in May at the Nicholson House, has long been an eagerly-awaited Lakewood event. In 2005, donations to the Sale produced an abundance of Christmas items. Although much of the inventory was beautiful and new or barely used, very little of it sold at the Sale. This led to the conclusion that people just don't buy holiday merchandise in May. Sale chairman Paula Reed proposed a separate sale in December, which turned out to be a huge success. Many happy shoppers left with everything from gifts for the antique collector in the family to decorations for your home. You'll also find gift wrap, greeting cards, ribbons and more, all at bargain prices!
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Volume 2, Issue 24, Posted 11:11 PM, 11.16.06

Music and Faith Unite

Bob and Gary Rice have demonstrated to Lakewood their belief in freedom by donating a plaque marking a station of the Underground Railroad in Lakewood.
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Volume 2, Issue 23, Posted 8:08 AM, 11.06.06

Lakewood Historical Society Holiday Wreaths

Celebrate the holiday season and show your support of our outstanding Lakewood Historical Society by displaying a beautiful wreath. Trimmed with red and white poinsettias, pine cones, berries and a red bow, each wreath is handcrafted by members of the Society.
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Volume 2, Issue 23, Posted 12:12 PM, 10.31.06

Lakewood of My Youth

I believe I will go to my grave without seeing any significant change to my old neighborhood in Lakewood. I don't live in Lakewood anymore. I don't even live in Ohio. But I remember Lakewood so fondly and I visit as often as I can.
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Volume 2, Issue 23, Posted 7:07 AM, 10.11.06

House's History Reveals Both Written & Musical Notes

It was the turn of the 19th century when Herman J. Lensner, a young foreign language teacher from rural Saxonburg, Pennsylvania ventured to Cleveland. Born in 1872, the first-generation German/American was in his late twenties at the time, and had recently returned from Europe where he studied at the University of Berlin.
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Volume 2, Issue 19, Posted 7:07 PM, 06.23.06

Successful Historical Society House Tour

Over 1500 people toured the nine sites offered at the bi-annual Historical Society House Tour on Sunday, September 10. The homes included a brick house on Halstead, a Victorian estate on Clarence, a brick townhouse at Rockport Square, a charming frame home on Lewis, a lake front home on Lake Road, a brick home on Lake Road, and a Clarence Mack home on Lake Avenue. Refreshments were served at the Nicholson House, the oldest frame home in Lakewood, owned by the Historical Society. The business site this year was the Masonic Temple where a lodge room designed in 1916 was open. Pam Ehren and a committee of 13 women planned the successful event.
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Volume 2, Issue 19, Posted 10:10 PM, 09.12.06

Lakewood Historical Society's House and Garden Tour

Time is running out. Purchase your tickets today for the Come Home to Lakewood House Tour. The tour is on Sunday, September 10 from 1 - 6 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Beck Center for the Arts, Borders at Promenade of Westlake, First Federal of Lakewood, Geiger's Clothing & Sports, Geiger's Store for Women, Local girl Gallery, Oldest Stone House Museum, Rozi's Wine House and V Regalo/The Desk Set. Day-of tickets can be purchased for $20 starting at 12noon at the Nicholson House, 13335 Detroit Avenue.
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Volume 2, Issue 18, Posted 3:03 PM, 08.25.06

A Local Leader Reflects on His Peace Corps Years


"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." These oft quoted words from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address summarize a key theme from the young senator's presidential campaign. Within a few months of taking the oath of office, President Kennedy worked with the Congress to establish a large corps of American volunteers to provide assistance throughout the world. The Peace Corps Act of 1961 established this new initiative and set forth three primary goals: promote world peace and friendship; help countries meet their needs for manpower, particularly in meeting the basic needs of those living in the poorest areas; and promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served and a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 7:07 PM, 03.19.06

Living in Luella's House:
Discovering History in Our Lakewood Home

An older home is filled with stories. I often wonder about the people who lived in our Lakewood house so many years ago. If these walls could talk... They can't, but Luella Platten McNamee can. She's one of the original occupants who moved in when the big oak by our garage was just a twig and the mahogany woodwork inside was fresh and gleaming. I sometimes wish I had a time machine so I could go back and see what our house looked like when it was new and meet the people who lived there. Luella has given us a taste of that. Her memories and stories, and those of her descendants, have made our house feel more special than it already is. More on this special lady just ahead, but first some history.
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Volume 2, Issue 5, Posted 01.04 PM / 08th March 2006.

Nicholson House, Older Than "Oldest"

The Nicholson House, built in 1835, is the oldest house in Lakewood- beating out the Oldest Stone House by three years. Unlike the Oldest Stone House, the Nicholson House is not a museum but an event facility. James and Betsey Nicholson were Lakewood's first permanent settlers and played an important role in the development of the community, including building the first church and first school. The house itself evolved over time, undergoing a "modernizing face-lift" around 1870 and acquiring an addition at the turn of the century. It served four generations of Nicholsons, remaining in the family until 1947.
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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 08.45 AM / 11th January 2006.

From One Century to the Next

We are all influenced by how we perceive our built environment. We are attracted to places we find beautiful, inviting, and safe. What allure do Central Park in New York and the monuments in Washington, DC hold in our minds? Locally, why are University Circle and the Cleveland Art Museum considered special places? The perceived quality of the built environment gives us signals indicating the importance of places within our city, reflecting what we value as a community.
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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 11.09 AM / 23rd August 2005.

Preservation Ordinances Protect Community Character

The recent controversy over the potential loss of significant architectural elements at the Faerber/Morse House, the grand Beaux Arts-style mansion at 13405 Lake Avenue, has members of the Lakewood City Council, as well as many residents, debating the merits of enacting some type of local preservation ordinance in Lakewood. Among Lakewood's irreplaceable assets are its historic properties, which give the city its distinctive sense of place and community character. Maintaining a unique sense of place has proven to be an important part of many communities' economic development plans.
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Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 06.17 AM / 09th August 2005.

Tracing the History of Your Lakewood House

Do you have any architectural curiosities in your Lakewood house or apartment? Perhaps a closet with a window or a stairway too narrow for most adults? If so, it may be time to conduct a "house history." At a recent presentation at Lakewood Public Library, Mary Gagen of the Lakewood Historical Society provided a wealth of information on how to become a historical detective of your own home. She explained that the process usually begins with a thorough examination of the home's physical aspects, followed perhaps by contact with any previous owners or longtime neighbors. Next, it is wise to retrace the "genealogy" of the house. In essence, this consists of a full list of the home's previous owners, complete with the dates of property transfer.
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Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 06.11 AM / 09th August 2005.

Huzzah! Vintage Base Ball Comes to Lakewood

Visitors to Lakewood Park on Sunday, July 10th stepped back in time and enjoyed an exciting game of 1860s base ball. The Lakewood Historical Society sponsored the game between the Lorain County Buckeyes and the Amherst Sandstone Masons. Enthusiastic volunteers donned old-style uniform and recreated the game based on rules and research of the early years of base ball (yes, it was two words originally).
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Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 08.52 AM / 15th November 2005.

Even the Young Enjoy the Oldest Stone House

Have you ever wondered where the expression "sleep tight" originated? The answer lies in a bed not far from your own at the Oldest Stone House Museum in Lakewood Park. On a recent tour of the pioneer home, it was pleasantly surprising to see a group of young girls so interested in life long ago, especially on a warm Sunday afternoon.
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Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 10.29 AM / 2nd June 2005.