Filed Under Museums

Rose Hill Museum

As you approach the Rose Hill Museum, formerly the homestead of Joseph and Lydia Cahoon, reach out and rub the exterior walls. Feel the texture of the wood and try to mentally strip the layers upon layers of paint that have been added since its construction in 1818. Where did this wood originate? The 21st century consumer often loses sight of their connection to the natural world. Their wood comes from building supply stores. This was not the case for Joseph and Lydia Cahoon when they entered the township of Dover (present-day Bay Village and Westlake) in the fall of 1810. All the wood for this home came from the dense forests that existed in the surrounding area. It is commonly accepted that much of the lumber used for the construction of Rose Hill was milled on location and the trees used were from the same property, the present day Cahoon Memorial Park.

On the morning of October 10, 1810, the Joseph and Lydia Cahoon family wagon stopped at the mouth of a creek on the southern shore of Lake Erie in Ohio country. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the family thanked the Lord for their safe journey. After six seeks of wilderness travel from Verennes, Vermont, they had reached their new home, Lot #95 in Dover Township #7, Range #15 in the State of Connecticut's Western Reserve. They immediately began building a cabin and within the next eight years constructed the first gristmill west of the Cuyahoga River, a sawmill, and a house on the west hill. This would become the family home for the next 117 years.

The original cabin was located behind Rose Hill on the east bank of the creek that would take the Cahoon name. There is a replica cabin which has been constructed and can be visited by interested parties. The gristmill, for grinding grains, and the sawmill were located on the west bank of the Cahoon Creek. The careful viewer will notice the edges of the once present mill pond that serviced both mills.

In addition to the farming and mill work, the Cahoon's supplemented their income with a fishery located at the mouth of Cahoon Creek on Lake Erie. Currently, Bay Boat Club resides at the site of the Cahoon Fish House.


Rose Hill, 2011
Rose Hill, 2011 Rose Hill Museum, constructed in 1818, was the permanent home for the Cahoon family for 117 years. From 1919-1960 it also served as a library for the area. In 1974 it reopened in its current state as Rose Hill Museum.
Cahoon House and Barn, Ca. 1900
Cahoon House and Barn, Ca. 1900 The Rose Hill house (now home to the Rose Hill Museum) and the Cahoon barn (in background) are shown, circa 1900. Image courtesy of the Bay Village Historical Society
Grist Mill Wheel
Grist Mill Wheel This stone wheel, found to the north of Rose Hill, was originally used in the grist mill located behind the house on Cahoon Creek. A similar stone lies to south of the home, near the steps leading to the creek. These two stones would grind grain when placed on top of each other and rotated. The grooves in the stone allowed the milled grain (flour) to move off the wheel and onto the floor where it was generally bagged for use.
Mill Pond, 2011
Mill Pond, 2011 This image is taken from the middle of Cahoon Creek looking to the west bank (behind the house). It shows the outline of the mill pond that once was here. Looking at the small hill marked "A," the viewer can imagine a mill, either lumber or grist, located there. The creek would have been dammed causing a flooding of the area marked "B." Water was then diverted to the west side of the mill back to the creek. The gravitational flow allowed for the water power needed to operate the mill. Behind the small hill ("A") is another mound that was for the second mill the Cahoons operated.
Cahoon Replica Cabin
Cahoon Replica Cabin This replica, constructed in the second half of the 20th century, is similar to that of the Cahoon family's dwelling in 1810. The original cabin was located across the creek at the current site of the Lake Road bridge. The Cahoons moved out of their cabin in 1818 with the construction of Rose Hill.


27715 Lake Rd, Bay Village, OH 44140


Rob Grossman, “Rose Hill Museum,” Cleveland Historical, accessed June 15, 2024,