Since 2013 Cleveland’s lakefront parks have been run by the Cleveland Metroparks. Before the Metroparks assumed administration of the parks, the state of Ohio operated them as units of the Cleveland Lakefront State Park, and before that the city…

Many think of Geauga Lake as a popular amusement park for much of the 20th century, but it has a little-known environmental history. The lake has existed for millennia and human activity has impacted it for a very small portion of its existence. The…

On August 13, 1970, the Cleveland Plain Dealer provided a chilling exposé on Cleveland's deteriorating air quality. The article ruthlessly reported, "To the casual observer – the stranger to the neighborhood – it was alarming; the odor stuck in…

Like so many parts of the city and the nation, Clark Field was once a farm—a swampy but arable plot stretching from Auburn Avenue to the Cuyahoga River. In the late 1940s, the city of Cleveland bought 67 acres of the farm to use as a recreation…

On the southern rim of the industrial Flats along the Cuyahoga River, Martin Luther Ruetenik, son of a German immigrant pastor, built his first greenhouse on Schaaf Road in the village of Brooklyn Heights in 1885. Over time his greenhouses and truck…

Highland View Hospital was a Warrensville Township gem. Originally known as the Cuyahoga County Hospital, the name was changed to make the hospital sound private. Opening in 1953 as part of the Cuyahoga County Hospital System, with the goal of…

For a long time, it was part of the most prominent geographical feature of the west side of Cleveland. A pleasant little winding brook, the Walworth Run had its headwaters near what is today the intersection of Clark Avenue and West 65th Street. …

Denison Park, which anchors the northeastern edge of Cleveland Heights just west of Euclid Creek, straddled one of the old Euclid bluestone quarries that dotted the landscape to the east of Cleveland. Nearby, a town called Bluestone appeared in…

Until the late 1800s, looking down from atop Cedar Hill you would have seen little more than a countryside landscape divided by an unkempt dirt road. The hillside known as Cedar Glen hosted few travellers aside from farm wagons and, later, visitors…

Dugway Brook, one of several bluestone streams that flow into Lake Erie, is largely invisible today. Generations ago, Dugway's serpentine branches were covered up by streets, parking lots, and parks. Almost 50 percent of the watershed flows through…

By 1907 the Wade Park Zoo on Cleveland's East Side had outgrown its limited space, so the city council decided to move the zoo to Brookside Park. Monkey Island, Sea Lion Pools, bear exhibits, and elephants joined the roster of animals Clevelanders…

Samuel H. Halle, who founded the Halle Bros. Co. department store with his brother, established his summer home far from the city in Kirtland, Ohio. Besides a summer house, the Halles added other extravagant amenities including a suspension bridge, a…

With regard to Cleveland's west side, the addition of the Avon Lake Power Plant on Lake Road in 1926 is arguably the most significant project taken on by Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI). Situated 23 miles west of CEI's Public Square…

Cleveland's Memorial Shoreway (I-90) bisects Gordon Park near the mouth of Doan Brook. To the north of the Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Reservation field office on Lakeshore Boulevard lies Dike 14, now known as the Cleveland Lakefront Nature…

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,…

The Trailside Interpretation Center was built in 1971, and is currently known as the Rocky River Nature Center. Located in the Rocky River South Reservation, it is the paragon of naturalist interpretation and education within the Cleveland…

Jeptha Wade, whose fortune was largely derived from his establishment of the Western Union Telegraph, was a philanthropist whose generosity led to the creation of many cultural institutions in the Cleveland area. The Cleveland Museum of Art and the…

The address 14013 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio, was the site of much debate in the early 1950s. A group of activists, including C.H. Webster from the Museum of History, Dr. Bruno Gebhard, the Director of the Cleveland Health Museum, and Margaret…

Both historic and modern farmers in the Cuyahoga Valley faced significant daily choices about what to grow or raise on their properties each year. Early nineteenth-century farmers had few livestock, and mostly for personal and family consumption.…

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park contains over 1500 wetlands, which remain important sanctuaries of biodiversity and habitats for endangered species. Also important for the local environment, these wetlands store nutrients and reduce erosion and…

Industry in the Cuyahoga Valley developed around natural features in addition to the man-made Ohio & Erie Canal. At sixty feet, Brandywine Falls stands taller than any other waterfall in the national park. Brandywine Falls provided early settlers of…

In the southwestern Cuyahoga Valley sits a tall red brick house on over 140 acres of the Hale Farm and Village. Now a tourist destination and educational trip for school groups, the Hale Farm provides a window into 19th century valley farm life.…

The Cuyahoga Valley's early settlers from New England arrived to find their purchased properties hidden beneath a wilderness of dense forest. By the early 19th century, small hamlets and townships developed where farm families cooperated and…

The Donald Gray Gardens were situated on 3.5 acres of lakefront just to the north of Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The gardens and the Horticulture Building (1000 feet to the west of the gardens) were built in 1936 as part of the Great Lakes…

What's in a name? The city of Kent has identified with various names and nicknames throughout its establishment in 1805. Originally known as Franklin Mills, the city was once a thriving industrial town. The mills located on the banks of the Cuyahoga…

Water, something we all take for granted today, was often the key resource needed to make a new settlement thrive. This was certainly the case for Kent, located in northern Portage County, about 40 miles southeast of Cleveland. The area around…

For thousands of years, the land that encompasses Virginia Kendall Park has been a place of nature, recreation, and history -- from its prehistoric formation to its housing of some of the area's first inhabitants. Once the site of a public works…

Is Amherst really the "Sandstone Center of the World?" In fact, it is, but it should share its title with South Amherst. Both Amherst and South Amherst have a vast amount of sandstone quarries. Not surprisingly, Amherst sandstone feels rough and…

Present day Amherst is located within what was once the Western Reserve in the Northwest Territory. This land belonged to the Connecticut Land Company who surveyed the land between 1796 and 1806 and divided Amherst, which was five square miles, into…