Curtis Hall House

Joseph Hall (1793-1855) and his wife Sarah (1799-1877) were some of the earliest settlers in Rockport Township (as Lakewood was then known) when they and their five children arrived there from England in 1837. Joseph quickly set about building a stone house for the family at the southwest corner of Detroit and Marlowe Avenues. The building was very similar to settler John Honam's Oldest Stone House, which was built in 1834 and is now home to the Lakewood Historical Society. The Hall Family's risky move quickly paid off as Joseph became a prosperous farmer, steadily increasing his land holdings in Rockport. Each of Joseph's four sons received 80-acre estates in Rockport from their father when they married.

Joseph's son Curtis Hall (1827-1927) built his house in 1864 at 16102 Detroit Avenue, on the northwest corner of Detroit and Cranford Avenues. It is one of the few Hall Family houses that remains standing in Lakewood, though it is now largely obscured by other buildings. Curtis farmed the land behind his house, which stretched north from Detroit Avenue to Lake Erie. While the oldest son, Joseph Jr., continued to live on his father's estate, the other sons Matthew and John followed in Curtis' footsteps and built houses on the 16000 block of Detroit Avenue. John was the most successful of Joseph's children, establishing a successful fruit farm on his estate. Matthew farmed as well, and also served as the supervisor of the Plank Road which ran through the city.

By the turn of the 20th-century, many of Lakewood's farms were being turned into residential developments as Cleveland and its surroundings areas grew rapidly. Streetcars replaced the wooden Plank Road, making the commute from Cleveland more manageable. The increasingly crowded and polluted big city led those who could afford it to seek greener pastures in the suburbs. Real estate development soon became more profitable than farming in Lakewood. John Hall partnered with his son-in-law Herbert Matthews to develop his farmland south of Detroit Avenue, advertising lots for sale in "Beautiful, Smokeless Lakewood" and assuring potential buyers that "We put in curbing, sidewalks, trees, and proper grading. Water and sewer will be put in shortly." John Hall also spent three years developing Arthur Avenue on his former farmland. Meanwhile, in 1907, Joseph Hall sold most of his family's original land holding to the Genck Realty Company, which soon thereafter developed Lincoln and Marlowe Avenues. Joseph Hall's stone house became the development's sales office. The rest of the Hall Family's farmland eventually became redeveloped for other purposes, and, one by one, most of their original houses were demolished.

Images

Curtis Hall House

Curtis Hall House

Curtis Hall built this house at the northwest corner of Detroit and Cranford Avenues in 1864. It still stands today, but is largely hidden by the other buildings that surround it. Image courtesy of the Lakewood Historical Society View File Details Page

Curtis Hall

Curtis Hall

Curtis Hall (1827-1927) was the second son of Joseph Hall and built the Curtis Hall House at 16102 Detroit Avenue. Image courtesy of the Lakewood Historical Society View File Details Page

Matthew Hall House

Matthew Hall House

Matthew Hall built this house at 16906 Detroit Avenue, just west of Edwards Avenue, during the 1860s. He moved into a larger house at 16718 Detroit Avenue in 1879. In the 1970s, his first house was the site of Hixson's Flower Shop and later became an antique store. Despite the best efforts of the Lakewood Historical Society and a number of other community members to raise the funds needed to have the house moved, the owner had it demolished in 2007. Image courtesy of the Lakewood Historical Society View File Details Page

Second Matthew Hall House

Second Matthew Hall House

Matthew Hall built this house at 16718 Detroit Avenue in 1879. The Lakewood YMCA purchased and moved into the house in 1939, adding a large wrap-around porch to it. In the 1950s, the YMCA sold the property to the city of Lakewood, which demolished it to build Edwards Park. Matthew Hall's stables still stand at the north end of the park. Edward Hall, Matthew's son, is the man standing next to the bicycle. Image courtesy of the Lakewood Historical Society View File Details Page

Hall Farm Berry Pickers

Hall Farm Berry Pickers

Young berry pickers on John Hall's fruit farm pose in this photograph. By the early 1900s, John Hall had turned much of his farmland into residential developments. Image courtesy of the Lakewood Historical Society View File Details Page

John Hall House

John Hall House

John Hall built this home at 16913 Detroit Avenue in 1875. He lived in there with his family until his death in 1921, at which point his daughter and son-in-law moved into the house. The city of Lakewood purchased the house in 1946, building a playground on the property. The Lakewood YMCA acquired the land in 1956, at which point the house was torn down to make way for a new YMCA building, which itself has since been demolished. Image courtesy of the Lakewood Historical Society View File Details Page

Stone House, Circa 1907

Stone House, Circa 1907

Joseph Hall built this stone house for his family on the southwest corner of Detroit and Marlowe Avenues upon arriving in Rockport in 1837. In 1907, the house became the sales office for Genck Realty, which had purchased much of Joseph Hall's original farmland from Joseph Jr. with plans of turning it into a residential development. After Genck moved out, the house became the West End Art School. In 1916, the house was torn down to make way for the expansion of Lakewood Hospital. An article describing the demolition commented that "The oldest landmark in Lakewood must make way for progress... It is being razed because the land surrounding it is valuable and the day of the old homestead has vanished." Image courtesy of the Lakewood Historical Society View File Details Page

McClure House, 1902

McClure House, 1902

Albert Edward McClure, a doctor from Canada, married Matthew Hall's daughter Ethel in 1896. They built and moved into this house at 16702 Detroit Avenue in 1902. The house remains standing today. Image courtesy of the Lakewood Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

“Curtis Hall House,” Cleveland Historical, accessed March 27, 2017, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/225.

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