39:1 LAKEWOOD TO RAZE LANDMARK FOR PARK
CLEVELAND PRESS April 18, 1946
The Walter H. Holtkamp family is enjoying the last days of the lavish splendor of the old Hall mansion at 16913 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood.
The home, built after the Civil War by John C. Hall, son of a Lakewood pioneer, soon will be torn down to make way for a playground. The residence and three-acre site recently were purchased by the city of Lakewood for $20,000.
Its elaborate windows and doorways, its imported furniture, its intricate wainscoting and its array of relics of pioneer days have stirred historically minded Lakewood citizens to start a movement to preserve the building as a museum. E. George Lindstrom, vice president of the Lakewood Historical Society, has been especially active in this movement.
The Holtkamps, who have lived in the house seven years, have decorated the interior themselves in a style that tends to be Victorian. They are using their own furniture as well as some of the Hall collection.
When they move, they will take along all the household goods, having purchased them from Arthur Hall and Mrs. Laura Matthews, children of John C. Hall. Mrs. Holtkamp, the former Margaret McClure, is a second cousin of the descendants.
Some of the pieces of furniture were picked up by Arthur Hall in his travels. Mr. Hall left some of his collection of Indian relics around the Hall estate. While the furniture will go to the Holtkamps, it is reported the relics and miscellaneous fixtures were bought for $50 by a collector.
In his 80's, Arthur Hall, formerly a contractor, is living in Illinois. His sister, Mrs. Matthews, lives in Florida.
The Holtkamps pay Lakewood a monthly rent of $35 for use of the first floor. The upstairs was recently rented to another family. When Lakewood acquired the property, the house was offered to the Holtkamps for $10,000 if they would move it. They turned down the offer. They have been told the city will demolish the house next year. The Holtkamps live with their son, David recently released from service.
The land itself was part of a 100-acre tract developed as a fruit orchard by John Hall. When he later turned to banking, he sold most of the land. With the few acres he kept he made a hobby of farming and flower growing. This spring, the last of the fruit trees were cut down by city park employees.
The land was originally acquired by John Hall's parents, Sara and Joseph Hall, who came from England in 1837. They owned approximately 640 acres in this territory, which was later divided among their six children. Hall avenue in Lakewood was named for the family.
39:2 KIRTLAND MANSION IN LAKEWOOD MAY BE RAZED
CLEVELAND PRESS September 7, 1950
A reminder of early Western Reserve history will fall before the tide of modern building if the Kirtland home, built in Lakewood in 1837, is razed to make room for a $1,000,000 shopping center.
Mrs. H.E. Willard, present owner and occupant of the old landmark, has petitioned Lakewood Council to change the zoning on sections of the Kirtland property at 14013 Detroit Ave.
If rezoning is granted, a company headed by Norman Lloyd of Allied Mortgages will buy the land and build a modern store block at the southwest corner of Detroit and Bunts Rd.
Dr. Jared Potter Kirtland, whose father was made an agent for the Connecticut Land Co. in 1798, moved to Rockport (Lakewood) in 1837. That year he purchased a land tract on the Detroit road and built a home of native sandstone.
From his Rockport home, with its gardens filled with flowers and trees from throughout the world, Dr. Kirtland's fame as a physician, anatomist, naturalist, botanist and horticulturist spread.
His home became a mecca for scientists and naturalists. The story is told (as it has been told of many famous men) of a visit from Sir Charles Lyle, the English geologist, and Louis Agassiz, the Swiss naturalist.
Drawing their carriage up in front of the Kirtland home, they tossed the reins of their horses to a shabbily dressed "gardener" who was working in a flower bed that bordered the lawn.
Lyle and Agassiz inquired of a servant at the front door if the distinguished Dr. Kirtland was home. The servant nodded and informed them that the distinguished doctor was holding their horses.
In 1843, two wings were added to the Kirtland home. Dr. Kirtland died in his Rockport home in 1877. He was 84. His family remodeled the home in 1882, adding extra rooms on the second floor and bay windows and an ornate veranda downstairs. The sandstone was covered with concrete.
The story that there is an underground tunnel from the Kirtland home to the lake, through which slaves were dispatched to Canada before the Civil War is regarded as fiction by most Lakewood citizens for no one has ever found such a passage.
More than 1000 varieties of trees, plants and shrubs were grown by Dr. Kirtland on his Rockport property. Some of them, a huge cypress tree, an osage orange more than 115 feet high, a white oak, black beech and Scotch larch, still grow on the property.
Cleveland and the rest of the world will not forget Dr. Kirtland when the home he built is destroyed. The township and village of Kirtland Hills were named after him. Yale University named Kirtland Hall after him. He was one of the three doctors who founded what is now the medical school of Western Reserve University.
But he will be best remembered as a naturalist. Today, 73 years after his death, we still have the Kirtland cherry tree, Kirtland pear, Kirtland strawberry, Kirtland raspberry, Kirtland water snake and the Kirtland warbler.
39:3 DOOMED MANSION YIELDS SOUVENIRS
CLEVELAND PRESS February 5, 1953
Though Lakewood’s most famous dwelling, the Kirtland home, will be demolished next month, the suburb's Historical Society will keep alive the memory of the famous doctor-scientist.
This week members of the society toured the sprawling mansion at 14013 Detroit Ave., chose books, personal possessions and even portions of the house to be preserved in the memory of the celebrated Dr. Jared Potter Kirtland.
These items will be displayed in the “Kirtland Corner” of the Lakewood Museum, the former Honam house recently moved to Lakewood Park.
Dr. Kirtland built his sandstone home in 1837, soon after he settled in Rockport (Lakewood). In 1843 two wings were added.
Dr. Kirtland died in 1877, and soon after, his family remodeled the entire building, adding extra rooms, new bay windows and a sweeping veranda across the front and side.
“We are saving the ornate marble fireplace from Dr. Kirtland’s library,” Mrs. Margaret Butler, Historical Society president said. “We also hope to save an original staircase.”
Find Family Bible
Through the help of Mrs. H. E. Willard, last tenant of the house, the society unearthed many books belonging to the naturalist. Their biggest find was the Kirtland family Bible, where the doctor recorded the birth dates of his children. The Bible is illustrated with elaborate drawings.
Extensive remodeling of the house has made it difficult to determine what features of the building are original, Mrs. Butler pointed out. “After razing begins, I'm sure we'll find all sorts of things from the 1837 house.”
Replacing the Kirtland landmark will be $500,000 Kroger supermarket. “We want to give Lakewood every opportunity to salvage important objects from the house before it is torn down,” declared Arthur W. Metzger, branch manager for northern Ohio.
39:4 NEW AUDITORIUM BUILT ON FORMER ESTATE OF FAMED CITY PIONEER DR. KIRTLAND
LAKEWOOD POST April 21, 1955
Lakewood’s new $1,200,000 Civic auditorium, the last work in modern amphitheaters, has replaced a natural theater of a century ago when the site belonged to Dr. Jared Potter Kirtland (1793-1877) whose famous estate extended from Madison avenue to the Lake and included all of the present High School property. Then the birds and bees, amid a setting of exotic trees, shrubs and plants performed their musical scores to Dr. Kirtland’s neighbors or friends from far off places.
In our eagerness to erect newer and better buildings, we often lose sight of the heritage bequeathed to us by such men as Dr. Kirtland, renowned over the years as the ‘Sage of Rockport’ or as ‘Our Own Dr. Schweitzer.’ He is Lakewood’s most illustrious citizen of a past generation. His life story reads like an exciting novel, its hero an eager boy thirsting for knowledge, then rapidly growing into a young man filled with the spirit of adventure, and finally developing into an adult of great stature.
This is an appropriate time to turn back the calendar to glimpse again this virgin bit of land where Dr. Kirtland spent the greatest part of his life. It is good to review some of the things that made him a great man and to realize that our reputation as a community of homes with neat lawns and flower gardens may well have had its impetus a hundred years ago when Dr. Kirtland thought little of walking a mile or two to give a neighbor a new rose bush he had perfected or a new type of mulch to make the grass greener. It was he who analyzed the soil as especially suitable for growing grapes, cherries, plums and peaches, thus making prosperous fruit farmers of all in the vicinity who profited from his advice so freely given. One of his most lovable qualities was sharing his joy of discovery with other people.
When young Jared was only twelve years of age, he helped his grandfather raise silk worms. Feeding them mulberry leaves was part of his job. He spent many fascinating hours studying their habits and before long made a remarkable discovery which scientists were loath to accept until fifty years later. It was the parthenogenesis of the silk worm (the development of an egg without fertilization). Here was an early indication of a brilliant mind.
Imagine how thrilled he was to make a trip to the Western Reserve on horseback at the age of seventeen. The roads, crowded with migratory families, afforded contact with human problems amusing or serious. Jared often wandered from the main road to follow a bird, to collect insects, rare plants or to pause at a stream or lake to examine fish and mollusks. The fund of knowledge he accumulated on this trip stood him in good stead the rest of his life.
When he reached adulthood, he was hailed by the medical profession as one of the leading doctors of his time. He served as professor in several medical colleges, including Western Reserve, and was later honored with the presidency of the Ohio State Medical Society. In 1851 he gave a report to this society of his conviction that typhoid fever was carried in drinking water. He immediately organized a committee to secure a purer supply of water for Cleveland.
He was the first president of the Cleveland Horticultural Society and he headed the Cleveland Academy of Natural Science for 25 years. He served three terms in the Ohio Legislature at which time he was the champion for a new penal reform system whereby the inmates did much of the necessary work in the institution instead of sitting idly about.
His home, built of native sandstone at the corner of Bunts and Detroit, was the haven he returned to for relaxation. A whole new world opened at this doorstep. He studied bees and their habits, he grafted very special cherries and peaches. He originated a new species of strawberry. And it was here he captured the rare Kirtland warbler. As he perfected new fruits, or discovered new birds, fish or mollusks, he sent specimens to Smithsonian Institution for identification. Soon a long list of things was named for Dr. Kirtland.
He corresponded with naturalists and scientists in the far corners of the earth exchanging samples with them. Trees never before grown in this part of the country thrived under his watchful care. He took pleasure in pointing to a Chinese Gingko, a cut-leaf beech from Siberia, two willows from Napoleon's grave or a Japanese paulawnia. He was proud of a huge cypress, thriving better than it had in its native environment.
A supermarket stands on the site of Dr. Kirtland's home. Where once horse-drawn carriages drew rein, now automobiles rush in and out. Only last month the final acre, where rare plants, flowers and trees grew in lush abundance, was laid bare. New homes are already in the process of erection.
Time and progress have all but wiped out the story of our most distinguished naturalist and his garden of long ago. However, our alert Lakewood Historical Society has managed to preserve some of his mementos and has dedicated one room in the Stone House in Lakewood Park as a Kirtland room.
On view are his pictures, books, desk, Bible, trunk, etc. Latest acquisition is a bust made from a mold of his head and chest when he was about sixty years of age. It was found only a few weeks ago under the eaves of the old barn before it was completely demolished. It is a real treasure, showing as no photograph can, the deep set eyes, the wide forehead, his huge proportions and the kindly expression so familiar to all who valued his friendship.
39:5 MILLIONAIRE'S ROW FALLS TO MORE MODERN ERA
CLEVELAND PRESS January 19, 1961
Lakewood’s millionaires' row is giving ground, grudgingly but steadily to another age.
A half-dozen baronial mansions have already fallen before the stately march of tall luxury apartments westward from W. 117th St.
Rezoning of the area from Cove to Nicholson Aves. last summer left the remaining houses on borrowed time.
And this week, at the other end of the row, the Theodor Kundtz home, perhaps the proudest of them all, is coming down to make room for 16 ranch houses.
Built between 1899 and 1903 by Kundtz, an immigrant cabinet-maker who became a millionaire, the house at 13826 Edgewater Dr. boasted the finest woodwork and paneling in Greater Cleveland.
Part of Boom
Kundtz's was one of the westernmost of the mansions on what, at the turn of the century, was the far West Side. Their owners' names were a "Who's Who in Business and Industry" during Cleveland's business boom.
Gone are the homes of J.A. Paisley, steamship magnate; G.E. Conkey, president of the construction company, and John Meckes, West Side merchant. The house of A.E.R. Schneider, officer of several ore-carrying companies, still stands. To the west so do "Elmhurst" and "Roseneath," though both are rooming houses.
Has Large Lawn
"Elmhurst" was the home of C.L.F. Wieber, electric car manufacturer whose company grew into Baker industrial Truck. Alexander Winton, the automotive king of his day, lived in "Roseneath."
Charles T. Reed used his millions from the millinery business to build "Waterside" in 1901. And in 1908 stock broker Roland T. Meacham had Hamilton Meade design a home separated from Lake Ave. by a thousand feet of rolling lawn. John McMyler, owner of McMyler Interstate Foundry, was next.
West of Nicholson Ave., the houses, more scattered, included those of Wilford C. Sly, who figured in one of Cleveland's most sensational crimes when he and George K. Fanner were murdered; J.S. Crider, National Carbon executive and civic leader, and Kundtz.
A man who remembers them all is H.S. Huxtable, who started selling real estate in 1911, the year Lakewood became a city. He has sold many of the properties, some three or four times.
"They really knew how to build houses then," he said.
39:6 THE MASON FARM
The Mason farm consists of 59 and a fraction acres situated at the elbow of Hog Back Rd., now Riverside, south of Hilliard bridge. Part of the farm was in the valley to the river and some across the river. A large barn for sheep and cattle was near the bottom of now Metropolitan Park, built on the side of the hill. The house is now Rainbow Garden or Riverside Gardens.
39:7 LAST LOOK AND THEN 'CASTLE' WILL CRUMBLE
PLAIN DEALER December 18, 1960
About 300 guests showed up for an open house in a Lakewood mansion yesterday - a sort of farewell party.
There was no orchestra in the vast ballroom, no pins in the private bowling alley. There wasn't even a host or hostess.
But a fine time was had by all.
One Last Look
The Eggleston Development Co., which plans to wreck the old mansion, opened the house yesterday and will do so again from 1 to 4 p.m. today to give friends and neighbors a chance for one last look.
The company will tear down the "Morrow Castle" at 13826 Edgewater Drive and turn the 5-acre estate into a development of 16 homes costing from $50,000 to $100,000 each.
That is, it plans to if troubles with Lakewood council get solved. Council President F. Wilson (Bud) Chockley voted for the proposal subdivision and he says he will invest in it.
Charges of conflict of interest, threats of a taxpayer's suit and considerable discussion followed, but Phillip W. Eggleston said at the open house, "We own the property. Every is legal."
The mansion was built in 1902 by Theodor Kundtz and sold to Robert R. Morrow in 1945 for a reported $60,000. Eggleston paid $110,000 for the property.
The architect or the original owner had a weakness for hand painting.
Elaborate designs of leaves and flowers decorate walls and ceilings in the formal rooms downstairs and in some of the bedrooms on the second floor. In the second-floor hall, the entire ceiling is a hand-painted scene of an angel and cherubs.
There are several fireplaces, each of them large and beautiful, and around the tops of the windows of the music room are a dozen panes of stained glass.
As to how many rooms there are, even the family doesn't exactly know. Several cedar closets, each big enough to be a living room in the average home, complicate the count.
15 Rough Estimate
A rough estimate would be 15 rooms.
Many of the visitors at the open house inquired about obtaining portions of the graceful stair rail, other carvings, the stained glass and fireplaces.
Eggleston will contract with a wrecking company to tear down the mansion and the wrecking company probably sell as many of the fittings as it can.
Most of the mansion is on three floors, but a few little boys--those not busy in the basement sliding on the bowling alley--climbed up into a tower that reaches to a fifth-floor view of Lake Erie.
Visitors included some neighbors, a few historians, antique collectors, several persons who said they had known the Kundtz family and several who wanted to talk with Eggleston about plans for the new houses.
Kundtz was a penniless immigrant from Hungary when he arrived in Cleveland in 1873 at the age of 21. Within a few years he had his own company, making sewing machine cabinets. He died in the mansion as a millionaire. Morrow is a wealthy retired businessman.
39:8 TAKES 35 YEARS TO MAKE THIS MANSION HOME
CLEVELAND PRESS February 4, 1955
Lakewood’s Finance Director Henry Reese probably is the only man around who deals with debits and credits while sitting in a bathroom eight hours a day.
Although most of the fixtures are gone, the bathroom atmosphere is still there.
The marble walls and floor, the clay tile and the big broad mirror all reflect considerable original luxury.
Sometime this month, no one knows the exact date, the multi-roomed mansion completes 35 busy years as Lakewood City Hall.
For the first 38 years after Robert Russell Rhodes built it in 1880, the estate sheltered him and gave him an excellent view of the lake carriers he owned.
Now the broad sprawling porch with its wicker furniture and monk's cloth covering is the office of the Permit, Parks and Building departments. The view is the same but the activity is more hurried.
Next to the porch were the reception hall and the music room. Today the only music comes from jangling telephones in the Street Department. The huge fancy chandelier was replaced a few years ago by fluorescent glitter.
The living room once full of overstuffed furniture and with rose brocaded walls has been changed into a useful hallway with white walls.
The Health Department is in the former kitchen, and Health Officer Chester Solomon sits in the pantry. (The maid has long since gone.)
At the head of the wide stairway is Mayor Amos I. Kauffman's office. The former dressing room is filled with the desk and files of his secretary, Miss Coletta Black.
Abutting this was the master bedroom the entire length of the home. The bed was at the south end and the bath, now Reese's office, at the north.
Another bath connects the large room with what used to be a sitting room and bedroom. This now accommodates the drawing boards and plat record of the Engineering Department.
One of the second floor baths still serves its original purpose. Some employees claim it has the original fixtures.
The third floor has been turned into storage space.
The fourth floor has been abandoned ever since it was discovered a janitor kept a cot and number of bottles up there.
Little of the mansion's graciousness is left. A couple of fires did
their bit, and besides it wasn't built to house 47 employees and their equipment.
In 1918, Lakewood bought the home and 23 surrounding acres for $214,500. Two years later officials moved into "temporary" quarters. And 35 years later, they are still there.
39:9 HISTORIC LAKEWOOD HOUSE MOVED
PLAIN DEALER November 9, 1952
Laden With Memories of 114 Years Ago
For 114 years John Honam's house, solidly built of 17-inch sandstone and mortar walls has been the silent witness of great changes along the shores of Lake Erie.
It was constructed near what since has become the intersection of Detroit and St. Charles Avenues in Lakewood, just a few year after completion of the Ohio Canal.
But the biggest change of all for the old dwelling now is under way.
Yesterday morning pneumatic hammers and big chisels and sledges started knocking holes in the old foundation. I-beams, weighing a ton each were inserted under the still-solid 12-by-12-inch oaken floor beams.
Wednesday afternoon workers expect to have the Honam house on wheels for the half-mile journey to its new site in the southwest corner of Lakewood Park. Its future has been insured because of its past.
If House Could Remember...
If a house could have memories, and there are some who say they do, the old building would remember when traffic-packed Detroit Avenue was but two wheel ruts called the Detroit
Wednesday afternoon workers expect to have the Honam house on wheels for the half-mile journey to its new site in the southwest corner of Lakewood Park. Its future has been insured because of its past.
If House Could Remember...
If a house could have memories, and there are some who say they do, the old building would remember when traffic-packed Detroit Avenue was but two wheel ruts called the Detroit Post Road.
It also would remember the time when big trees, of sufficient girth to yield the 24-inch boards that much of the house is floored with, were the rule rather the exception in northern Ohio.
It would remember the frontier life and the growing din to the east as Cleveland became a city of more than 5,000 by virtue of its position as the northern terminus of the canal.
And it probably would remember other things such as the increasing frequency of the creak and groan of wagon wheels and, later, the first explosive struggles of early automobiles.
A city gradually grew up around the house and its handful of neighbors. It was crowded into a smaller area as John Honam's spacious land holdings, which stretched from Detroit Avenue to the lake, were whittled away.
But the old house will still be on what originally was Honam land when it is moved to the park. And there it will become an honored bit of the history of Ohio and the frontier.
The Lakewood Historical Society, headed by Mrs. Margaret M. Butler, will convert the old place into a museum.
Society workers will redecorate the Honam house authentically and will place in its three large rooms the antiques and relics of early Ohio days.
Once more it will be a proud building, instead of the "eye sore" that some Lakewood residents have complained of.
The house, measuring 27 by 37 feet, probably weighs more than 150 tons. The job of moving it has been given to Mural & Son of Cleveland.
Expects Little Trouble
Stanley A. Kocik, 7915 Dartworth Drive, Parma, is in charge of the project. He anticipates little trouble in moving the house and expects to have it at its new site by Thursday afternoon.
Two main "runners" and nine cross beams will make up the grid on which the house will be moved.
Ten thousand dollars of the total cost of transferring the house to the park will be paid by the Lakewood City Council. Mrs. Butler, who lives at 15123 Edgewater Drive, Lakewood, said the historical society would pay the remainder.
Members of the society have offered to contribute their labor in the moving.
Mrs. Butler, author of "Lakewood Story," published a few years ago, said the house would be used as an example of an early pioneer home.
The house was given to the society by Stephen Babin, proprietor of a fur shop on the Detroit-St. Charles property, who wishes to enlarge his concern.
39:10 THE OLD STONE HOUSE
Part of a graduate student thesis at Western Reserve University July, 1962
At 14710 Lake Avenue stands a quaint historic dwelling built of sandstone quarried in the immediate area and restored by the Lakewood Historical Society as an example of an early typical pioneer home. Here the historic past of Lakewood is combined with an ultra-modern future. Prior to 1838 the homes of the settlers in Lakewood were log cabins.
Lakewood’s oldest house was moved in 1952 to its present location by movers who estimated the weight of the house to be one hundred and fifty tons. This is a treasure filled with memorabilia and relics of the early 1800s.
This house is a "must" on your list of trips. It is an example of early-American architecture of the time. Drive into the parking lot and park your car. As you approach this building, you will see the beautiful herb garden. This garden containing forty listed herbs was restored according to the gardens of early 1830. Herbs were used by the early pioneers for many purposes. Surrounding the garden is an interwoven fence of living willow saplings similar to those found in England 250 years ago.
As you step into the kitchen you step into the peace and quiet of another age. You will actually feel as though you are living in another century. The house contains authentic furnishings. Originally the kitchen was the center of activity. The fireplace in the kitchen provides an interesting setting for the living, eating, working and gatherings of the family. The living room was used for special occasions such as funerals or perhaps for the minister's visit.
A back room on the first floor of the John Honam House has been set aside as a tribute to Dr. Jared B. Kirtland, first doctor of Lakewood, a teacher, judge, a naturalist and a writer. Dr. Kirtland helped in the founding of the Western Reserve Medical School and also the Museum of Natural History. This room contains many possessions of the doctor and is a lasting tribute to such an outstanding individual.
The bedrooms on the second floor reveal the toilet conveniences of the time. The wash stand with its bowl and pitcher of water with a mirror above served as the ladies' powder room.
This sandstone house, which was built by Scottish weaver John Honam in 1838, miraculously survived the razing of the other stone houses in the area. It fortunately was rescued by the Lakewood Historical Society which is responsible for the maintenance of the house.
The house is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. There is no admission fee; however, there is an old-fashioned cookie jar in which you may drop a donation when you depart.
Las year over 5,000 people visited here and approximately 3,500 were school children.43
43Interview with Mrs. Margaret Butler, Curator, June 21, 1962.
39:11 COUNCIL OK'S NEW PROPOSAL FOR HOMESTEAD
Would Have School Board Maintain Property
LAKEWOOD POST April 22, 1949
Lakewood council action on the purchase of the Nicholson homestead as a museum took a surprise turn at the meeting Monday when Council President William Fairgrieve made a motion that the legislative body purchase the home at 13335 Detroit if architects Wallace Teare and Edward Conrad decide it is worth saving, and if the Board of Education will maintain it as a museum.
Mr. Fairgrieve pointed out that "a museum is a cultural and educational asset and belongs in the realm of education and that the City is not equipped to maintain a museum."
The proposal was unanimously approved by the Council.
Consensus at the meeting was that if the City does purchase the house and the Board of Education maintains it, Lakewood will be marked as distinctive inasmuch as most museums have been purchased by wealthy individuals who in turn donate it to the community or give it to an individual group to maintain it.
The legislative body authorized negotiations with the City Ice and Fuel company for lease of the 5-acre parking lot at the firm's skating rink at Warren and Alger for use as a city playground in the summer.
Announcement that County commissioners had given the green light to a plan for widening Highland avenue was made by Mayor Amos I. Kauffman. Fifty percent of the cost would be defrayed by the County while Lakewood and Cleveland would pay 25 percent each. The street would be widened eight feet on each side from Edgewater drive to a point north of Madison avenue.
39:12 COUNCIL ACTION STIRS HOPE FOR STONE HOUSE
PLAIN DEALER November 7, 1952
Action of Lakewood council on Monday once again raised hope that the old stone house at 1396 St. Charles might still be preserved for the community as an example for the community of the way many Ohio and Pennsylvania pioneers lived in the early 1800s.
By an arrangement with Mural & Son movers, the Lakewood Historical Society is assuming part of the expense of moving thus enabling Council to accept a bid of $10,000 originally appropriated for the purpose. Council also accepted the Planning commission's suggestion that the site for the stone house be changed to the southwest section of Lakewood Park, near the shelter house where it will be easily accessible and will not obstruct any Lake avenue property owner's view.
Although Stephen Babin's deadline for moving the house was Nov. 1, he gave his contractor Charles Burton an opportunity to extend the deadline to Nov. 12, at which time the house must be moved from his property.
Legal documents are now being prepared by City Law Director Charles F. Ross in cooperation with Wallace Heiser, legal director of the Historical society and Mr. Babin, owner of the house, whereby the edifice will be deeded to the City. As a service to school children and citizens, the Society pledges to restore the interior to show how pioneers lived and put on exhibit at various times relics used by early settlers in this area. Plans are also underway to cover the house with ivy and to prepare an old fashioned flower and herb garden to enhance the exterior.
(Anyone interested in contributing gifts of money or pioneer relics may write to the Society president, Mrs. Clyde H. Butler, 15123 Edgewater. Memberships are still being accepted by Mrs. C. Robert Bachman, 1329 Thoreau.)
39:13 HISTORIC WORTH OF OLD STONE HOUSE IS PROVED IN U.S. LIBRARY DOCUMENT
LAKEWOOD POST January 9, 1953
A document has come from the Congressional Library in Washington this week, which adds new interest to the story of the stone house now being restored in Lakewood Park. It is a set of plans made 18 years ago indicating the historic value of the structure, unknown to most Lakewoodites.
In 1935 under auspices of the U.S. Department of the Interior a nationwide survey of historic American homes and buildings was made, with a view to preserving a record of the architecture and interior plans of homes built in the early 1800s, fast disappearing under an impetus of new building and a lack of appreciation for the old. Among homes chosen in Lakewood for the survey were the Nicholson house and the John Honam stone house, which stood at St. Charles and Detroit, both considered the most authentic examples of that period in this area.
The architect who made the 1935 drawings for those two homes is Lakewood resident, Arnold W. Cigahn, 1279 Summit. Mr. Cigahn, who has made scores of drawings of early homes in various parts of the country, considers this small stone house one of the finest examples of the Greek Revival architecture, so prevalent throughout the northwest from 1812 to the time of the Civil War.
A number of authorities on architecture have agreed that buildings of this type represent the only truly American architecture. Although this style adopted the beauty of the Greek classical lines, it was supplemented with utility, so necessary in the wilderness. Now, a century later, it is being recognized as the only original expression in architecture of the American people.
Mr. Cigahn has been of great help to the Lakewood Historical society and to the contractor, William Mural, by preparing drawings of a suitable entrance at the west side of the house. He is presently making other drawings such as doorways, partitions, fireplaces etc. so the building may be completed as authentically as possible. All this is done by him without charge. Mr. Mural has agreed to cover the roof with "split shakes" at a cost to him of $200 more than ordinary shingles. He says it will be his gift to the Historical society. A short time ago the Society received a gift of $100 and since then about twenty new members have been added to the list.
39:14 CLAYTON L. TYLER
Clayton W. Tyler
Home of Clayton L. Tyler - moved to Lakewood 1881. Property acquired 1867. Stood where Alameda Ave. now is.
House now stands on east side of Alameda Ave. Landed in 1894 or 1895 by Henry W. Elliott who lived on farm west - where Cohassett Ave. now is.