Cleveland June 28, 2020
These 10 Historical Societies Will Show You Greater Cleveland’s Hidden Past
The history of Cleveland is largely common knowledge to locals.
Moses Cleaveland arrived here in 1796, naming the community he founded for himself… but he would never return to his namesake city. Does the rest of Greater Cleveland have unique founding stories like this one? What was life like in yesteryear in the suburbs? Through the local historical societies near Cleveland, we are able to find these answers… and many operate museums that the public can visit! The following 10 local landmarks belong on your bucket list:
1. Shaker Historical Society
Shaker Historical Society
is located in an old mansion that dates back to 1910, but the history contained within predates that. Learn about Shaker Heights' past as a
, and see how this community and surrounding areas have changed over the past few centuries.
2. Medina County Historical Society
Medina County Historical Society
is based in the John Smart House, a charming 1886 home located just barely northwest of Medina Square. This community historical society is known for its fascinating display of the
3. Strongsville Historical Society
Strongsville Historical Society
operates an enchanting little village near Pearl Road and Route 82, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of town. However, once you set foot in this village, you travel back in time. Homes from 1823 through circa 1917 have been moved from their original sites to this little town, and a partial log cabin from circa 1816 to 1825 has also been rebuilt on the site.
4. Brunswick Area Historical Society
Brunswick, Ohio is a busy little suburb today, but area residents are aware that this area was once very rural. Evidence of this lasts in long-standing landscapes like that of
, a picture-perfect setting where the Tillotson family first settled in 1817. The Brunswick Area Historical Society operates
Heritage Farm Museum & Park
, a restored farm on Laurel Road dating back to the 1860s. Their Farmer's Market is an annual reminder that summer has finally arrived.
5. Lakewood Historical Society
Visitors to Lakewood Park are often surprised to spot The Oldest Stone House Museum amidst all the greenery. This pretty museum, operated by the
Lakewood Historical Society
, is situated in a cozy 1834 stone house that used to sit at the corner of Detroit and St. Charles Avenues. Today, it offers visitors a glimpse back in time into life in Lakewood circa 1830 to 1870.
6. Bay Village Historical Society
Bay Village Historical Society
operates a pretty little plot of land in Cahoon Memorial Park under the name of Rose Hill Museum. In addition to the museum, the Osborn Learning Center and the Cahoon family log cabin replica are periodically open April to December. During your visit to the charming little museum and the park's additional buildings, you'll find yourself immersed in local history.
7. Olmsted Historical Society
is a really fascinating landmark over in the Rocky River Reservation. Maintained and operated by the Olmsted Historical Society, this living history museum contains seven historic buildings and two new edifices. In addition to collections showcasing life in the area over the years, this site also boasts the summertime Frostville Farmers' Market.
8. Brecksville Historical Association
Brecksville Historical Association
operates the Squire Rich House Museum, another lovely museum in the Cleveland Metroparks. This one is located in Brecksville Reservation, and it tracks the history of the Brecksville area from the time of its founding through the present. Explore the landscape of the old Western Reserve through their artifacts and displays.
9. Bedford Historical Society
The Bedford Historical Society has a cool little cluster of buildings in its care, and all of them are on the National Register of Historic Places. The oldest building is the Hezekiah Dunham House from 1832, lovingly restored to reflect periods critical to the area's history. One of their more unique attractions is the Passenger Station, which is on view in the Wheeling & Lake Erie train depot.
10. Chagrin Falls Historical Society
Over in the charming community of Chagrin Falls, the local
Chagrin Falls Historical Society
preserves life from yesteryear. What is really fascinating about the modest museum is that it has
that you can peruse, bringing the ins and outs of life in early Chagrin to the palm of your hand. Their costume collection is particularly fascinating, showcasing a century of wedding dress fashion.
These incredible museums are operated by historical societies near Cleveland, and they all tell the story of life in this area. Which of these local landmarks is your favorite to visit? Tell us in the comments!
Love local history? Immerse yourself in it at the
Cleveland History Center. Address: 16740 S Park Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44120, USA Address: P. O. Box 306, 206 N Elmwood Ave, Medina, OH 44256, USA Address: 13305 Pearl Rd, Cleveland, OH 44136, USA Address: 4613 Laurel Rd, Brunswick, OH 44212, USA Address: 13314 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA Address: 27715 Lake Rd, Bay Village, OH 44140, USA Address: 24101 Cedar Point Rd, North Olmsted, OH 44070, USA Address: 4410 Oakes Rd, Cleveland, OH 44141, USA Address: 30 S Park St RD, Bedford, OH 44146, USA Address: 87 E Washington St, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022, USA