The Lakewood Historical Society

We Welcome Our New Director, Robert Shimp

The Board of Trustees of the Lakewood Historical Society is excited to announce that Robert Shimp, Ph.D., has been hired as the next Director of the Lakewood Historical Society.  Dr. Shimp will be joining us starting Monday, August 7, 2023 and we are very enthusiastic about the opportunities his engagement will bring.

Dr. Shimp most recently served as Research and Adult Program Director for the Paul Revere Memorial Association, the nonprofit that manages the Paul Revere House in the historic north end of Boston.  He has a life-long love of local history, and especially nineteenth century history of Midwest American communities.  He has family roots in the Northeast Ohio area so he is very eager to be able to dig into his new role.  He has been charged with growing and enriching the engagement between the Society and the public regarding the compelling history of the Lakewood, Ohio community.

He has extensive experience in developing all types of programming related to historic content, fundraising, site management, content production, and interpretation of historic events.  He is adept at tailoring materials to diverse audiences and is passionate about making history relevant and meaningful for multiple audiences.     

Dr. Shimp received his undergraduate degree at Marquette University, and his MA and Ph.D. in History from Boston University.  

The Board feels genuinely lucky to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Shimp, and we are excited to tap into his experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm for our mission.  We are looking forward to an exciting future with Dr. Shimp as Director.  Please join the board in welcoming Robert Shimp and his family as valued members of the Lakewood community!  

Please plan to join us for a weekend Meet & Greet at the Nicholson House, later in the month.  Look for details shortly.


                                                                                 Mark Stockman

                                                                                 President, Lakewood Historical Society

One of Our Best Ohio Heritage Summer Camps Ever

We had such a wonderful Ohio Heritage week last summer that we expanded it to two fully booked weeks, this year.  We had great weather (at least for the most part!) and we had the most wonderful kids.

We were delighted to have Emily Bundy as our teacher, for her second year, and hope that she'll be with us for years to come.  All the important subjects,  from making candles to making corn griddle cakes with butter in the batter and then doing the washing, making your own ink and your own quills and writing with them, making pierced metal lanterns and learning to weave and sew will remain in the syllabus! And would you believe... two years in a row the campers have had an in person visit from Betsy Nicholson (as in the lady of the house in the Nicholson house more than 150 years ago)!


There were lots of games, all week, many 19th C crafts, and much enjoyed visits to the Oldest Stone House Museum for a thorough immersion in 1830’s life in Lakewood.  Special thanks to both our adult volunteers and our student volunteers from H20 who did an amazing job of making learning about life in Lakewood 200 years ago incredibly fun.

We're looking forward to 2024 already.  Think about volunteering for a morning or two.  It's a complete pleasure - a wonderful program with great kids and awesome fellow volunteers.  Plan on having a very good time - and mastering butter making, cinnamon apples, weaving and washing soap in a big copper kettle filled with water from wooden buckets!

Our fully furnished 1838 house accurately interprets the everyday lives of the people living in Lakewood from 1838 to 1879.  There is no charge for guided tours of the house and its collection.

Summertime hours are Sundays, 2:00-5:00 and Wednesday afternoons, 1:00-4:00. Group visits are by appointment.  Please call the office (216) 221-7343 to arrange.  


Invite friends who've never seen the house, and come along with them!

The Sale on the Grounds Moved to June 

And it was wonderfully received by all!

Many, many thanks to Paula Reed and all her talented and tireless volunteers for another tremendous sale, this year.

Lakewood Continues to Contemplate the Future of a City Landmark, The Curtis Block Building

Call your Councilperson!

Be in touch with your Councilperson.  Community input is pivotal in this.  Call and speak directly to your Councilperson, if possible, or email them.

A few words questioning the plan to maintain the structure sufficiently well to avoid razing much of the Curtis Block are what every Councilperson needs to hear.  It is absolutely an option to preserve the building as long as it receives normal ongoing maintenance - a sound roof and reasonable care of the overall structure.

As always, thank you for your support.  It makes all the difference.

71st Annual Meeting Held at the New Cove Community Center

The 2023-24 Board of Trustees elected at the Annual Meeting are Mark Stockman, President, Norine Prim, First Vice President, Jim Robinson, Second Vice President, Ann Schleckman, Secretary, Kris Adams, Treasurer, and Linda Barbero, Randy Bishop, Tish Marshall, Matt McIntire, Carol Rossen, Julie Warren as Trustees, John Pyke as Honorary Trustee, and Kathy Haber as President of the Women's Board.

Hearty thanks and congratulations to all!

President's Award

A new President's Award was introduced and presented to Greg Sent and Karen Walsh for their truly extraordinary contributions in mounting our Anniversary Exhibit with many marvelous items from the collection that most of us would never otherwise see!  The extensive research and the masterful assembly and presentation of the exhibit was both and immensely pleasure to view, and also something for us to be remarkably proud of as a small historical society.  

Exhibits of this kind are at the very core of our charter as an organization.  This was a marvelous tribute to the wonderful founding women who put that charter together, and it's an assuring sign that the organization they founded will continue in their spirit for a long time to come.

Last Fall's 70th Anniversary Exhibit was Amazing!

"We go to museums all over the country, including historic homes managed by the National Park Service and these displays are better than what they have!"

A Peek into the Past


Lakewood Historical Society has just celebrated the 70 years since its founding in 1952 with an exhibition of rarely seen items from its Permanent Collection. “A Peek into the Past” is an anniversary showcase brimming with treasures curated, catalogued and carefully stored by the Historical Society over the last 70 years.

Visitors had an amazing opportunity to “peek into” wonderful things dating from the 1800s to the 1960s! Included are Victorian dresses, children’s clothing of the late 1800s, flapper dresses dating from the 1920s, woolen swimsuits from the early 1900s, men’s vests made by a Cleveland tailor, and a selection of hats, umbrellas, walking sticks, jewelry and purses. The best of both both women’s and men’s clothing items over 160 years!

A Victorian parlor furniture set, owned by a prominent Lakewood family made its debut appearance. And a marvelous array of antique toys, kitchen gadgets, and quilts created by community members over a century ago completed the exhibit.


“A Peek into the Past” was held on Saturdays and Sundays, September 24 and 25, October 1 and 2, and October 8 and 9at the Nicholson House, 13335 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.

Proceeds from this exhibition went towards the preservation and storage of the items in the Permanent Collection.

Call for current opening schedules of our buildings. 

Our buildings have officially reopened.  Feel free to call the office at (216) 221-7343 as we continue to update schedules over the coming weeks.  The office is staffed Monday -Friday.

The Haber Family Center for History

Since the Haber Family Center for History opened as the Society's headquarters only a few years ago we have been able to serve researchers, students, family historians, and curious community passers by. Our collection is settling in to its new space with more complete and accessible cataloging and storage.  We're continually grateful for the help of volunteers.

New National Historic Districts in Lakewood!

Clifton Park South National Historic District 

Lakewood Downtown National Historic District 

Thank you to the Ohio CARES Act from the Ohio Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts for your support.

Thank you to the Ohio History Fund COVID-19 Emergency Grant from the Ohio History Connection. 

Thank you to the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Ohio CARES Act Grant for your support.

Read More About the Curtis Block Discussions - Click to Expand

On November 24, 2020 Lakewood City Council began a discussion about the current status and future of the Curtis Block building located at the corner of Detroit and Marlowe Avenues. In 2015 the City designated the Curtis Block as historic under City of Lakewood Ordinance Chapter 1134 ,you can read the designation HERE. When the City took possession of the former Lakewood Hospital site in 2016 the Curtis Block was included in that transfer. At that time an assessment was done of the property. In the subsequent four years there has been dramatic deterioration due to unaddressed roof and foundation issues that were exacerbated by the demolition of the hospital. 

While the assessment presented to Council was a drudgery of images and descriptions of deterioration and failures with large dollar amounts tied to them, this is only one assessment of a very complicated issue. One that had a large range when discussing potential costs. When the City took possession of the property there was an opportunity to mitigate some of these issues but with the project tied to the hospital site development many of those manageable issues have spun into larger crises. Hope is not lost. Intervention now can revitalize this Lakewood treasure and sustainably reuse the property. 

On Monday, December 7, 2020 Council will again discuss the condition of the Curtis Block and what they will be doing as the owners of this neglected property. We encourage all concerned residents to contact their council person to voice their wish for the City to stabilize and revitalize this Lakewood Landmark. Those that would like to express themselves in person at the meeting should contact council to be added to the meeting credentials. Contact City Council through their site HERE

Nice to be at home? We think so too. 

Check out our "History at Home" page. We have activities and tidbits for all of our history lovers that are "staying home," particularly our students as well as he whole family.  

Featured Pages

Lakewood Historical Society recognizes all homes 100 years and older housing stock with this wonderful celebration program! 

Start planning for Ohio Heritage Summer Camp again next summer! 

Visit our online marketplace!