Derrell Max Ellis (later known simply as Max Ellis) was born on March 10, 1914, in Wellington, Kansas. The youngest of four children, Max grew up in Iowa and studied theater at the University of Iowa, performing in plays in the 1930s written by…

In 1811 Jacob Russell moved his family from their home in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, into the wilderness of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Upon his arrival, Russell purchased 475 acres in Warrensville Township, founded by the Daniel Warren family…

The settlement of the Heights on Cleveland's east side was dependent upon electric streetcars with sufficient power to ascend the Portage Escarpment at Cedar Glen in the 1890s. From there, streetcars opened heights land for development progressively…

In 1956, an explosion disturbed the usually quiet suburban neighborhood of Ludlow. Someone had planted a bomb in the garage of John G. Pegg, an African American lawyer who was building a new house on Corby Road. The racial attack sparked a biracial…

The famed Van Sweringen brothers, known for developing Shaker Heights, envisioned an architect-designed neighborhood rubbing shoulders with three grand estates in the countryside of Cleveland Heights. The resulting neighborhood, now the Inglewood…

While most Clevelanders have never heard of the architect Philip Small, it is very likely that they have seen his work around town. In the 1920s, Small and his associate Charles Rowley became favorites of the Van Sweringen brothers, who commissioned…

The construction of the Scottsdale Boulevard Master Model Homes was part of a nationwide effort to improve the quality of homes in the nation during the 1920s. The Better Homes Movement, launched in 1922 by a women's household magazine, viewed home…

In the late 1920s, Winslow Road was referred to as "the street of the brides" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as it "attracts more newly married couples of social prominence than any other street in Greater Cleveland." A 1929 article about life on…

Shaker Square is neither located in Shaker Heights nor shaped like a square, but ask for directions to the coffee shop at "Cleveland Octagon" and you'll most likely receive only confused looks in return. Shaker Square has always been shaped like an…

On a July night in 1921, a group of "Cleveland hoodlums" fought with members of the Shaker Heights Police Department after being ordered out of Lower Shaker Lake. The young men were not happy about being told that they could not swim in the lake at…

In 1852, the North Union Shakers dammed Doan Brook for the second time, generating power for a new woolen mill and creating what would later become known as Horseshoe Lake. The new dam symbolized the continued growth of the North Union community,…

Located at 2701 Park Drive, the Salmon Halle Mansion is one of the most elegantly designed houses in Shaker Heights. Its design reflects the same elegance and sense of style which Salmon P. Halle, co-founder of the Halle Brothers department store,…

On the north side of South Park Boulevard, just east of Lee Road, there is a solitary grave which is the final resting place of an American Revolutionary War soldier--Jacob Russell. Next to the grave is a large stone with a bronze plaque…

Many residents of Shaker Heights know that the Van Sweringen brothers built the Shaker Rapid Transit in the early twentieth century to provide Shaker residents with quick and efficient public transportation service between their suburb and downtown…

In January 1925, the Van Sweringen Company conveyed 113 acres of land to the University Realty Company. The land conveyed was located in in the villages of Shaker Heights and Idlewood--in the vicinity of the intersection of Fairmount Boulevard and…

Accompanied by a photograph of the recently constructed home at what is now 17400 South Park Boulevard, a 1910 Cleveland Plain Dealer article muses: "Shakers Would Be Surprised Were They To Return and See The Van Sweringen Home". The image centers…

The path followed by the Van Sweringen brothers in developing a rapid transit system led to the creation of a vast railroad empire. While their foray into the railroad business may have begun half-hazard, it was a natural extension of their interests…

In the March 1963 edition of Cosmopolitan, a feature article entitled "The Good Life in Shaker Heights" declared the spotlighted residential community to be the closest thing to a utopian society as could be found anywhere in the U.S. Using the most…

Opened on April 11, 1920, the Lynnfield passenger station was constructed as the final stop along the South Moreland (now Van Aken) line of the Cleveland Interurban Railroad in Shaker Village. Besides a few homes located in the vicinity along Kinsman…

Operated by brothers Maxwell and Roman Gruber between 1947 and 1959, Gruber's Restaurant was one of the most popular establishment for fine dining in Northeast Ohio and acted as a social center for the affluent residential community of Shaker…

When Fred Alwood Pease, the founder of F.A. Pease Engineering Company, died in 1955, his obituary noted that his engineering firm had designed the roads and streets of approximately 30 square miles of Cleveland's eastern suburbs. Among those suburbs…

In the late 1950s, the Shaker Historical Society undertook the daunting task of creating a memorial marker to tell the story of a small unmarked burial ground commonly referred to as the "Lee Road Cemetery" or the "Old Manx Cemetery." This graveyard,…

Constructed in 1913, the Georgian Revival residence at 2931 Sedgewick Road was built as the home of the often-forgotten Van Sweringen brother, Herbert. Born in 1869, Herbert was the eldest son of James and Jennie Sweringen. James, an oil field…

The 1920s witnessed a time of explosive growth and expansion in Shaker Heights. With the opening of the rapid transit system between Cleveland and the suburb at the beginning of the decade, the population grew from less than 2,000 to over 15,000 by…

The Lee-Scottsdale Building at 3756 Lee Road is one of the oldest buildings in the Lee Road commercial district of Shaker Heights. Over the years, visitors to this four-story Romanesque and Renaissance motiffed building located near Shaker Heights'…

The house at 18829 Fairmount Boulevard is not only one of the oldest in Shaker Heights. It is also a house which has been associated over the years with a number of Shaker Heights most famous families. The Jacob Strong home is believed to have…

Added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on May 31, 1984, the Shaker Village Historic District was created to recognize Shaker Heights' significance as a planned suburban community. The designation of Shaker Heights as a historic…