East End Neighborhood House

Description

In 1907, Hedwig Kosbab, a Hungarian immigrant's daughter, began teaching English to children on her porch. Four years later her organization was incorporated and became the East End Neighborhood House. The organization served the Buckeye, Woodland, and Woodhill areas and was led by influential board members such as Samuel Mather, Rollin White (founder of White Consolidated Industries, co-founder of American Ball Bearing Company, and founder of Baker Motor Vehicle Company), and O.P. Van Sweringen. In addition to ongoing English classes for children, the East End Neighborhood House began other clubs, summer programs, and craft classes. Two classes for adults entitled "Understanding Your Child" and "Home Nursing" were created in 1959. A new "Taking Off Pounds Sensibly" program began in 1961 that had group therapy discussions every week. The East End Neighborhood House also collaborated with other organizations and groups to put on events such as Circus Day and the Soap Box Derby. The organization increasingly became a self-help group. It also gained an African American focus because of racial transitions in the Buckeye neighborhood beginning in the 1940s. Prior to this, the area had held many Hungarian, Slovak, and Italian community members.

East End Neighborhood House moved into its building at 2749 Woodhill Road in 1916. The organization is one of the few settlement houses in Cleveland that remained fairly constant in its location. A $100,000 addition was built in 1950. The sum was raised over a two year period. Philip L. Small was the architect. The president of the East End Neighborhood House at the time was Frank L. McFarlane. The addition contained a large room with a stage, lounges with a kitchen, sewing rooms, woodworking and ceramic rooms, craft rooms, and a photographic dark room. The East End Neighborhood House served more than 4,000 people at that time and had a daycare for children and older individuals, programs for children, transportation, a gardening center, music and art programs, and vocational training for high school dropouts.

Today, the East End Neighborhood House remains in its 2749 Woodhill Road location and is thriving. It still offers daycare and after-school programs for children and services to the elderly. The organization now offers home visits for children at risk and hosts Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

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East End Neighborhood House

The 2749 Woodhill Road location has been the headquarters for the East End Neighborhood House since 1916 and continues to be a site that enriches the lives of the community. The impressive building is the former Van Sweringen estate. A substantial addition was constructed in 1950 with the help of architect Philip L. Small.

Image courtesy of Jessica Poiner.

Archery Practice

Many clubs and activities were available for children at the East End Neighborhood House. Archery was taught by Mrs. Mildred Fahy to (L to R) John Cubar, Joseph Seab, Dennis Centivany, Adrian Patterson, and John Pekarcik.

Image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Cleveland Memory Project.

Athletic Programs

Athletic programs such as football were offered at the East End Neighborhood House. The coach was Bill Barnick, who is pictured here with (from Left to Right) William Brewer, John Timko, Anthony Marotta, and Jackson Brewer. Individuals in the community offered their talents to the organization in order to offer programs that taught children and bound the community together.

Image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Cleveland Memory Project.

Healthcare for Neighborhood House Children

Healthcare for the children was a focus at the East End Neighborhood House. Dr. Macy is shown giving vaccinations to twin girls, Helen and Olga Czapsky. The organization played a very important role in giving children services that would otherwise not have been attainable.

Image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Cleveland Memory Project.

A Family Reunion

Children enjoyed holiday parties and other fun celebrations. The children enjoyed time with their friends and were offered a stable environment that they might not have received anywhere else. Children and community members who attended or were connected with the Neighborhood House became a part of a big family. When the East End Neighborhood House celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1982, the feeling was that of a family reunion.

Image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Cleveland Memory Project.

Teaching Customs

Teenagers were offered clubs and activities at the East End Neighborhood House. In one group, young people met to discuss social customs and dating. Immigrant families were offered a way in which their children could learn about their environment in a way that sometimes went beyond the parents' capabilities.

Image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Cleveland Memory Project.

The Fellow Ship Bus

By 1977, the East End Neighborhood House acquired their own bus to help with transportation for their programs, entitled the Fellow Ship. Court Morey won the contest that was promoted by the East End Neighborhood House for the naming of the bus. She was congratulated by a councilman, David Strand, and the board president, Ray Sawyer. A bottle of champagne was broken to celebrate the event that would allow the group to reach a greater number of individuals in the community. The acquisition of a bus was an important event that demonstrated a growing need for Cleveland settlement houses. The West Side Community House acquired their school bus in 1961 to help with their daycare services, and Hiram House gained their bus by 1946 to help with their camps and many programs for children.

Image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Cleveland Memory Project.

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Cite this Page

Jessica Poiner, “East End Neighborhood House,” Cleveland Historical, accessed September 20, 2014, http:/​/​clevelandhistorical.​org/​items/​show/​372.​
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