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Cleveland Historical

All Tours: 29

Tremont: East European Immigration

Tremont was first farmed and developed in the early nineteenth century by New Englanders primarily from Connecticut. In the mid-nineteenth century, it also became home to hundreds of German and Irish immigrants. In the early twentieth century, Tremont experienced an influx of hundreds of…

Schools, Colleges & Universities

From neighborhood K-12 schools to community colleges and world-class research universities, Cleveland is home to many educational institutions of historic interest. The city's first publicly-funded high school, Central High, was established in 1845, becoming the first of its kind west of…

Music History & Venues

Cleveland has long been recognized as a center of musical excellence. From the establishment of the Cleveland Opera Co. and Cleveland Orchestra in the early 20th century, to Alan Freed and the Moon Dog Coronation Ball in 1952, the polka craze of the early 1960s, the star-making glory days of WMMS…

Transportation History

The decision by the Ohio Legislature in 1825 to make Cleveland the northern end of the Ohio & Erie Canal opened the village to the economy of the outside world. The canal made Cleveland a transportation hub, and can be credited with bringing people, commerce, and industry to the area. The…

Irish Immigration

The development and growth of Cleveland can be attributed to the collective efforts of the many immigrant groups that lived, worked, socialized, played, and worshiped within the city. The Irish were one of the first ethnic communities to settle in Cleveland; their influence on Cleveland’s…

Sacred Landmarks

As migrants and immigrants built communities, they developed the economic and cultural infrastructure of the city, which includes houses of worship. Each wave of immigrants and migrants developed churches that reflected their religious traditions. Successive waves of people remade that religious…

Environmentalism

Cleveland's natural environment has been closely tied to its growth and development as a city. Indeed, Clevelanders have interacted with and altered the landscape around them in different ways throughout the city's history. It was the selection of the city (or, more accurately, the…

Conflict

The social history of urban development is defined by conflict. Individuals and groups with competing interests commonly vied with each other to create a world that best reflected their beliefs and desires. These competing interests, often a reflection of the inequalities between disparate groups,…

Sports

Professional sports have played an important role in Cleveland's recent history, signifying its status as a "major league town," and uniting a diverse population that could sometimes not find much else in common with one another, aside from a passionate devotion to their city's…

Cultural Gardens

Perhaps the world's first peace garden, the Gardens embody the history of twentieth-century America. They reveal the history of immigration to, and migration within, the United States. They comment on how we have built communities and constructed our identities as individuals and collectives.…

Detroit-Shoreway

In recent years, the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood on Cleveland's West Side has become both a local and national model for responsible urban redevelopment. Efforts to revitalize the commercial district and residential neighborhoods have been balanced with the preservation of the area's…

Cleveland Food Traditions

Throughout modern history, Ohio has been home to hundreds of food and beverage companies, with local, regional and national name recognition. Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, too, have had their share of food industries, many of which began simply with individuals pursuing the "American…

Tremont: Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is the center of Tremont, one of Cleveland's oldest historic neighborhoods. This tour which proceeds around the perimeter of Lincoln Park features many of the churches and other institutions that were built by and for successive waves of migrants and immigrants to Tremont from the…

Ohio City: Franklin Circle to the Market

This tour presents glimpses of the eclectic residential and commercial corridor of a onetime separate rival city across the Cuyahoga River from Cleveland. Ohio City was founded on the west bank of the Cuyahoga in 1818. Located just across the river was the city of Cleveland, founded just two…

Civil War

Experience Cleveland's Civil War history with this virtual tour through downtown Cleveland. Each stop visually depicts the city’s contributions to the Civil War. Cleveland harbors many fascinating and colorful stories from this crucial period in our country's history.

Cuyahoga Valley

Visitors to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park may not always realize the rich history that surrounds them. Stories of hardship, gain, family, and industry unfolded in the valley as early nineteenth-century settlers began risky farming ventures, establishing farms and businesses in a dense…

Shaker Lakes Freeway Fight

In the 1960s, a proposal that would have led to the construction of freeways through the Shaker Lakes drew a wide variety of ultimately successful protests from local residents. In this tour, visit some of the historic sites that were saved by these protests and learn more about the fight to stop…

North Union Shakers

The North Union Shaker colony existed from 1822 to 1889. At its peak in 1850 it contained over 300 members spread across three settlements. Perhaps the most noticeable remnant of the Shakers are the two Shaker Lakes, created when the Shakers dammed the Doan Brook to power their mills, though other…

The Van Sweringen Brothers

Oris Paxton and Mantis James Van Sweringen were the real estate developers and railroad tycoons behind both Shaker Heights and Cleveland's Terminal Tower. Their vision shaped Shaker Heights and ensured its incredible success, though the brothers eventually lost nearly all of their fortune. …

Gordon Square Arts District

"From Outlaw Enclave to Arts District The Gordon Square Arts District comprises an area of the west side of Cleveland which was once most famously known as the home grounds of the McCart Street gang, one of Cleveland's most infamous street gangs. During the gang's late nineteenth…

Campus District: Millionaires' Row

From 1870 until 1920, Euclid Avenue was the grandest residential avenue in America. Some said it was the grandest avenue in the world. The stretch of mansions which lined Euclid Avenue from East 9th Street to East 55th Street was appropriately named "Millionaires' Row." While…

Coventry Village

Taking advantage of electric streetcar traffic, Coventry Village emerged along Coventry Road in 1919 after the original Euclid Heights allotment collapsed and filled with more and more large apartment buildings. With the migration of Jews between the 1920s and 1950s, Coventry became a largely Jewish…

Downtown: Public Square and the Mall

This tour features 13 historic sites in or near Downtown Cleveland's Public Square and Mall. Many of the sites in this tour explore Cleveland's two-century struggle to find a city center that speaks most meaningfully to its identity. Public Square, surveyed and laid out by New…

University Circle: A Cultural Necklace

This tour explores a number of world-famous cultural institutions that surround Wade Park in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood. University Circle, which originated as a trolley turnaround, had its start as Cleveland's cultural center in the 1880s when Western Reserve University…

Dugway Brook

Dugway Brook, among the bluestone brooks that flow into Lake Erie, is all but invisible today. Generations ago its serpentine branches plunged into culverts buried beneath streets, parking lots, and parks. Though mostly unseen, Dugway traces a path through the heart of Cleveland Heights. Along its…

Cedar Fairmount

Cedar Fairmount has long served as a gateway to Cleveland Heights. This village center developed in response to the meteoric rise in population as thousands of Clevelanders followed the lead of wealthy families who left Millionaires’ Row mansions for the crisp, clear air on the Heights. …

Slovak Immigration

Like America, Cleveland developed and grew as wave after wave of different immigrant groups arrived in the city at key times in the city's history. The Slovaks were one of those immigrant groups whose arrival in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had an important impact on the…

African Americans in Cleveland

This tour offers a sampling of stories that collectively tell a broader story about African American life in Cleveland in the twentieth century. Following the Great Migration in the 1910s and 1920s, Cleveland's black population soared. Hardening racism, bolstered by discriminatory practices by…

In Search of the Underground Railroad

Sharing its southern border with two slave states, Ohio was a key player in the operations of the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War. Many different routes runaway slaves followed crisscrossed the state with several ultimately passing through Cleveland, or “Station…

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