Incorporated in 1912, the City Club of Cleveland is the oldest continuous free speech forum in the country, renowned for its tradition of debate and discussion. As part of its mission to "to inform, connect, and motivate citizens to take action on issues relevant to our region and beyond," the City Club has held a weekly forum series where speakers are invited to discuss major issues that affect American life.
Hundreds of distinguished personalities have presented at the City Club over the years including politicians, labor and business leaders, scientists, educators, clergy and entertainers.
The City Club Forum Audio Collection, located in Special Collections at the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University, contains over 2,200 audiotaped recordings of these speeches, including the question and answer sessions that followed, in various formats. Thanks to a grant from the City Club of Cleveland, the Michael Schwartz Library has digitized and preserved these recordings for generations to come. Over 100 of them have been made available in streaming format.is the oldest continuous free speech forum in the country, renowned for its tradition of debate and discussion. As part of its mission to "to inform, connect, and motivate citizens to take action on issues relevant to our region and beyond," the City Club has held a weekly forum series where speakers are invited to discuss major issues that affect American life.
MaryAnne DiAlesandro, Boyd Addlesperger, and Shannin Bailey
Located some 70 miles southwest of Cleveland, the area now known as Richland County was, 200 years ago, the western edge of the Ohio frontier. The first settlers named their settlement after Jared Mansfield, a government surveyor of the Northwest Territories. Eventually, the Delaware Indians that inhabited the area were pushed westward with the vacuum filled by farms and villages.
In 1846, a railroad line connecting Mansfield with the lake shore at Sandusky began operation. With the railroad, came industry. With the industry, came wave after wave of immigrants. Germans, followed by Irish, eastern Europeans, Italians and, from the American south, African-Americans, all looking for their own piece of the American dream.
Mansfield became a center for the manufacture of steel, agricultural implements, stoves and later for washers, dryers, toasters and all manner of electrical appliances. As industries grew, the town grew. In the 1950’s General Motors opened a stamping plant in nearby Ontario. It was the crown jewel in the area’s industrial development.
But as time passed, older factories like Westinghouse, Ohio Brass and Tappan were replaced by newer facilities in the American south or overseas. General Motors finally shut down in 2010, one of the last of the factories that had transformed Mansfield into an industrial powerhouse. But Mansfield is not without energy or hope. It is a city both proud of its past and confident of its future.
"The Greater Cleveland Print Collection" features images of Cleveland in non-photographic format. They are often of the 19th century era, before photography was widespread, but also include more artistic renderings in the early 20th century.
The "Rust Belt", an area stretching from the Midwestern to the Northeastern United States, was once known as the "foundry of the nation" and was the embodiment of American industrial prosperity. Today the "Rust Belt" is characterised by struggling cities attempting to retool and redefine themselves in the wake of global economic change and shrinking populations. Two such cities are Youngstown and Warren, Ohio. Both historically big steel towns, their locations along the Mahoning River made them ideal for the transportation of steel.
Incorporated as a village in 1917 and later into a city in 1941, South Euclid is a community that is situated in the Northeast corner of Cuyahoga County, Ohio (see Google map). The area was originally part of Euclid Township, which, in 1796, stretched from Lake Erie south to current Cedar Road, and from current E. 140th St. east to the Mayfield Township line. South Euclid was recognized as a population center by 1828, when it became one of Euclid Township's nine school districts.
South Euclid's economy began with agriculture and, in the 1860s, expanded to include the quarrying of the area's sandstone beds. Circa 1860s-1910s, the northern portion of the town grew around quarrying and was called, Bluestone, after one of the two major beds. South Euclid's bluestone became a favorite material for use in the sidewalks in Cleveland and beyond. However, the invention of cement decimated sandstone quarrying and Bluestone village was absorbed into the rest of South Euclid when it became a village in 1917.
The village experienced great growth after its incorporation in the early twentieth century. However, the Great Depression of the 1930s caused the town great economic damage. In 1941, South Euclid officially became a city. This new found city united together and worked as a community to support the war effort. Directly after WWII, the city experienced a tremendous amount of growth and prosperity. This rapid development continued until the mid-1970s when the city reached almost full development. Since that time, South Euclid has undergone major geographical and demographic changes, resulting in a city that contains a unique mixture of the historical and the modern, the old and the new, and allows residents to enjoy all aspects of mainstream American culture.
With a current population of close to 23,000 residents, South Euclid is a unique city that is a microcosm of the entire Cleveland area. South Euclid, along with its sister city, Lyndhurst, are cities of beauty and contrast.
Oberlin, Ohio showcases a wealth of history, embodied in notable sites and famed edifices, as recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, the National Historical Landmarks program and even the National Historic Chemical Landmark program.
Founded in 1833, concurrently with Oberlin College, the city played an important role in the prohibition and abolitionist movements, and was a part of the Underground Railroad. This rich history is graciously remembered and proudly celebrated in the present.
The Oberlin, Ohio Project was started in January of 2011. The project incorporated many of the photographs within the Cleveland Press Photograph Collection of the Special Collections Department in the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University. This work was completed by Kent State University School of Library and Information School graduate student and Oberlin Heritage Center member Jonathan D. Herr as part of a culminating practicum experience.
A brief overview of the city, its attractions, and history can be viewed through the pictures and narrative represented on this site by following the links provided. Further, utilizing the above search box or simply browsing the collection will offer more surprises.
Angela Presutto and Ron Davidson
Sandusky, Ohio was founded as Portland Township in 1816, renamed Sandusky City in 1817, and incorporated in 1824. The city of Sandusky is in the Firelands region of the Western Reserve, situated where Sandusky Bay flows into Lake Erie (about halfway between Toledo and Cleveland). The city's early economic and demographic growth was greatly influenced by the natural environment and resources of the region.Transportation innovations, such as steamboats and railroads, brought migrants from the east into the city and beyond, and moved raw materials through the city for delivery throughout the Midwest. The moderating effects of Lake Erie on the region's climate influenced the development of agriculture – most notably in establishing Ohio as an early center for the wine industry in the United States.
Other natural resources, including limestone, nearby forests, and the abundant waters of Lake Erie, inspired a variety of industries, including ice harvesting. At various points in its history, the Sandusky region has been a major lumber port, a site of multiple stone quarries, one of the nation's leading lakes fisheries, early aeronautics and the home of innovative manufacturing companies.
Best known today as the home of Cedar Point amusement park, Sandusky's history includes much in recreation and entertainment. Bands and singing societies, frequently inspired by the German culture of many of the city's immigrants, played an important role in the city's culture. The city parks system has been a source of pride for more than a century.
This collection attempts to showcase not only the historically unique aspects of Sandusky but give a general overview of important businesses, locations, people and events that influenced the city. The collection contains images from Sandusky Library and the Cleveland Press Collection.
The area 7 miles southwest of Cleveland now known as Parma, Ohio, was first settled in 1816 by Benajah Fay, his wife Ruth, and their children, who came from New York state. Parma was once part of Parma Township along with Parma Heights, but Parma Heights separated from the township in 1911. Parma was then incorporated as a village in 1924 and later as a city in 1931.
Parma is the home of Cuyahoga Community College West campus, Parma Community General Hospital, German Central Farm, and Parmatown Mall. It was once the home of a Nike missile site and Crile General Hospital, which was a hospital for soldiers and military veterans from 1943-1964. Parma's school district is shared with Parma Heights, and Seven Hills. The area's rich ethnic heritage is derived from the largest segments of its population, the Germans, Poles, Italians, Slovaks, and Irish, who have chosen to make Parma their home over the years.
The majority of photos included in the Parma, Ohio Collection come from the Cleveland Press Collection in the Michael Schwartz Library's Special Collections at Cleveland State University. They depict landmarks and events in the city and a few photos offer glimpses of neighboring towns, Parma Heights and Seven Hills. Landmarks include such prominent buildings as the Crile General Hospital, Cuyahoga Community College West campus, and Parmatown Mall.
Gabriel Venditti and Kathy Franzinger
Avon Lake, Ohio is a city of 23,000 in the northeast corner of Lorain County, Ohio. It is 18 miles from downtown Cleveland and follows the shore of Lake Erie for five miles. An agricultural area that became a vacation destination, an industrial powerhouse and a commuter's haven, our history goes back over 200 years, and we have photos in this collection as far back as the 1890s.
Featuring historic photos of homes, farms, businesses, schools, churches, community events and organizations, the Avon Lake Collection includes images from the Cleveland Press Collection, as well as many donated and loaned to us by organizations, businesses, and individuals who live here or have family ties here.
The Avon Lake Public Library and the Avon Lake Historical Society worked together to collect these photos over the past three years, resulting in Images of America: Avon Lake (Arcadia Publishing, 2011). Many photos are here that did not appear in the book, and we continue to receive further donations and loans. If you have something "Avon Lake" you would like to share with the world, or if you want to help us upload and describe photos, contact us if you are interested. We provide training, follow-up and feedback.
In addition, we are proud to present the entirety of Milburn Walker's 1965 book, The Avon Lake Story with the kind permission of the publisher, the Kiwanis Club of Avon Lake.
Kevin A. Caslow
Akron, Ohio, currently the 5th largest city in Ohio, is located 39 miles south of Ohio's 2nd largest city to date, Cleveland. Its thriving rubber and tire industry has earned Akron the nickname of "The Rubber Capital of the World." Akron is also the host for the All-American Soap Box Derby held annually every July at Derby Downs. Starting in the early 1920s, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron was a major manufacturer of zeppelins and later, blimps. Today, Suffield Township near Akron, is home to one of the Goodyear blimps, the Spirit of Goodyear.
The earliest connection between the Akron and Cleveland was the Ohio and Erie Canal, which officially opened on July 4, 1827. Akron's various industries and Cleveland's shipping industry along Lake Erie benefited mutally from this early commercial connection.
In 1895, the 39 mile distance between Cleveland and Akron was further bridged when the Akron, Bedford, and Cleveland Railroad began service between the two cities. Among the first electric commuter railroads in the nation and, at the time, the longest railroad of its kind in the world, the "AB&C" could take commuters from Akron to Cleveland's Public Square in just 2 1/2 hours for only 50¢.
Today, the highway system, urban sprawl and business opportunites have brought the two cities even closer together. Now, along with other northeast Ohio cities, they are often considered collectively as "Greater Cleveland" or more recently "Cleveland Plus." Clevelanders and Akronites regularly travel the 39 miles between them to share each other's offerings in the arts and culture, business and manufacturing, professional and recreational sports, health care, education, technology and the outdoors.
The photos featured here illustrate the intertwining history of Akron and Cleveland from a Cleveland perspective via images gathered from the Cleveland Press and the Bruce Young Collections at Cleveland State University's Michael Schwartz Library.
Thomas Kubat, Calvin Rydbom, Holly Manning-Lynn, Jim Wohlken, Gayle Wohlken, Jeanette Grosvenor, and Jacqueline Samuel
Burton, Ohio is home to the Century Village Museum of the Geauga County Historical Society, a collection of buildings, artifacts, and documents which preserve county history. The Great Geauga County Fair has exhibited the products of farm, home and industry each year since 1823. The Park and streets that surround it form the Burton Village Historic District which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974.
In 2010 the Burton Public Library and the Burton Historic District Association joined in the Burton Memory Project to continue to save and collect photographs, documents, oral reminiscences, scrapbooks, minutes, and letters that chronicle the people and events that comprise Burton's history. The project is an ongoing venture to which everyone can contribute.
You can search for not only those images we think of as historical, such as photos taken of the Burton Hotel, the Burton Electric Light Plant, the Maple Camp Log Cabin right after it was built in 1931, or photos from the County Fair in the first part of the twentieth century, but also glimpses into actual lives of the townspeople such as class photos from the 1920s and images of the Congregational Church through the years.
This site can also be utilized to research historical moments of village history such as the first telephone call in Ohio, transmitted from Burton Station to Burton Village, and other events listed in the Timeline of Burton History.
This web site, a collaborative effort of the Burton Historic District Association and the Burton Public Library, was funded in part by the Dalton Pfouts Memorial Fund.
Medina, Ohio was founded in 1816 and incorporated as a village in 1835. The city is well known for the Victorian architecture on its picturesque square that has been restored to make its residents feel as if they’re stepping back in time. The city has a population of approximately 26,380 people and is the county seat of Medina County. In the summer, the city enjoys band concerts, festivals and art shows, and in the winter, an ice carving festival.
In July of 2009, Money Magazine recognized Medina as one of the "Best Places to Live" in their list of best small towns. In spite of the city growing at a rapid rate over the last 20 years, it has managed to maintain much of its historical character and small town charm through strong community effort and commitment to keeping the city beautiful.
This collection is made up of mostly photographic images and a small number of manuscripts that bring together the small town feel of Medina and illustrate its simplistic appeal. The collection documents, at present range in date from the 1840s to the 1960s. The materials originate from Special Collections at the Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University, from the Medina County District Library repository, and from the Medina County Historical Society repository. In attempts to chronicle the history of Medina, Ohio, the site will be a work in progress, always evolving and growing as a work.
Peter Jennings and Jennifer Pflaum
In 1921, the State Legislature of Ohio passed a law which enabled the establishment of a county district library for any area not served by a free public library, subject to a vote of the people. A referendum was placed on the November 7, 1922, general election ballot authorizing a county library district. The issue passed by more than two to one, making Cuyahoga County Public Library the first county library in Ohio to be organized under the new law.
The original petition called for the inclusion of all of Cuyahoga County not then served by an existing public library. In 1922, only eight communities had tax-supported library service and only a few other communities had libraries supported by private funds.
Kara Hamley O'Donnell
Cleveland Heights & University Heights are first ring suburbs located on the “heights” east of Cleveland, Ohio. While each is incorporated as a separate city, they share a school district and library system. Cleveland Heights was first incorporated as a hamlet in 1901, a village in 1903 and in 1921, a city. University Heights was incorporated as Idlewood Village in 1908 and adopted its present name in 1925 when John Carroll University made its home there. It later became a city in 1940.
The majority of photos included in this collection come from the collection of The Cleveland Heights Historical Center at Superior Schoolhouse, owned and operated by the City of Cleveland Heights. Most photos depict Cleveland Heights’ many commercial districts, public parks and educational institutions. Other photos are from the collection of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.
Meghan Hays and Kristen Poole
Founded in 1912, Shaker Heights is situated on the eastern side of Cleveland, Ohio. Famous for its planned garden-city design, neo- traditional architecture,and green spaces, the city of Shaker Heights preserves many of the traditional ideals of its primary builders, the brothers Oris Paxton and Mantis James Van Sweringen.
In the 1950s, Shaker Heights neighborhood associations resisted white flight and fought to preserve its racially integrated communities, a commitment that continues to this day. Such values echo those espoused by the North Union Shakers, who from 1822 to 1889 occupied the land on which the village of Shaker Heights was later constructed and for whom it was named.
Now a city of just under 30,000 residents, Shaker Heights remains a community dedicated to its schools, its natural spaces, its people, and its history.
This collection is a small portion of the materials available for patron use in the Local History Collection at the Shaker Heights Public Library and the Elizabeth Nord Library Collection at the Shaker Historical Society. 415 of the photos in this collection were donated to the Shaker Public Library by Pulitzer Prize winning Cleveland Press reporter David Dietz,who acquired them when the paper stopped its presses for good in 1982.
Located in the eastern part of Ohio as well as right at the Pennsylvania and West Virginia border, East Liverpool is the largest city in Columbiana County, with a population of about 12,600. The city’s location along the Ohio River and the abundance of yellow clay both attributed to how East Liverpool earned its nickname, “Crockery City”.
Between 1840 and 1940 East Liverpool and the surrounding areas were home to over 100 potteries. Two potteries depicted in this collection are the Knowles, Taylor & Knowles Pottery – the largest pottery manufacturing facility in the 1880’s and the Homer Laughlin China Company – the largest pottery in the world in the twentieth century. Even in the 21st century pottery remains an important part of the East Liverpool industry.
East Liverpool is also known for the “Point of Beginning” historical marker located on the Ohio-Pennsylvania state line. Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785, which defined the size of a township. Near this monument was the first surveyor's marker from which all surveys west of this point, except Texas, radiate.
What would an East Liverpool Collection be without the inclusion of gangster, Pretty Boy Floyd and Rock Springs Park, once located in nearby Chester, West Virginia. Enjoy the familiar scenes and homes from the late 19th and earlier 20th century. Many scenes like the Diamond historic district have changed or disappeared with the times.
Located nine miles west of Cleveland at the mouth of the Rocky River, the city of Rocky River was formed as a hamlet in 1891, incorporated as a village in 1903, and became a city in 1930. When the first settlers arrived in the early 1800's they envisioned a bustling port on the Great Lakes, but instead the area remained largely rural while supporting the growth of family businesses. Clevelanders found Rocky River to be a great place for recreation and the arrival of the streetcar in the late 19th century made it an ideal location to live for those traveling to work in the city. Growing from a population of 5,632 in 1930 to just over 20,000 today, Rocky River continues to be a suburban community of beautiful homes and recreational opportunities supported by a variety of small businesses.
Pam Coghlan and Donna Stewart
More than 10,000 years ago glaciers carved the Great Lakes and the surrounding lands that through the passage of time and pioneering efforts of many people became the lakeside cities of Cleveland and Lorain. Linked geographically, these two cities share parallels in their development as industrial ports and centers of commerce.
During the 1880s, when industry began to impact many U.S. cities, Lorain began a growth spurt that would define it for many years to come. The Nickel Plate Railroad, Hayden Brass Works, and the Lorain Thew Shovel Company began the evolution of a small town into an industrial center known worldwide.
The 1890s ushered in even more industry when the Johnson Steel Rail Company and the American Stove Works began building in Lorain. Several years later the American Ship Building Company made the significant commitment of building a yard that launched hundreds of ships during peace time and war. Lorain continued to grow and prosper, reflecting the trends of its eastern neighbor and the nation, and while industry declined in later years, Lorain remains today a congenial friend to Cleveland.
Lying less than an hour to the east of the city, the Mentor shoreline has long beckoned Clevelanders to it with promises of nature, recreation, and expanding industrial opportunities. Through photographs, maps, blueprints, video clips and documents this site highlights the development of the Lake Erie shoreline along Mentor for both public and private uses. The material on this site resides in CSU Special Collections, The Lake County Historical Society and the Mentor Harbor Yachting Club archives.
This is a small photo album that Special Collections acquired from a dealer. We know nothing about it, except what it discloses about itself: namely that it covers territory south of Cleveland, Ohio — in the Kent/Akron area along the Cuyhoga River, Ohio & Erie Canal and nearby towns — and that the photos were shot around 1897. Where something had been penciled in next to any of the photos, we have added it here in italics.
If you know this area well, you might be able to help pinpoint the locations of the photos better and perhaps even solve the mystery of who the family is, shown in these photos. Any documented information will be added to the site.
William G. Becker
This illustrated history consists of over 3,000 photographic images from the Lakewood Historical Society and Cleveland State University Special Collections. The site gives viewers an opportunity to see the development of the City of Lakewood, Ohio through photographs of residences, buildings, and street scenes dating from the early 20th century through the early 1990s.
Whenever possible we have included supplemental information about the image and its location to help viewers to understand the life and times of those who lived and worked in Lakewood.