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.