Filed Under Architecture

John Sayle Home

At 22300 Fairmount Boulevard there stands an old farmhouse that, according to County records, was built in 1877. As such, it is among the oldest houses in Shaker Heights. While a question exists as to whether it was built by Jacob Strong, Henry Corlett or John Sayle, Cleveland Historical believes, based on county tax and deed records, county maps, and other documents, that it was likely built by John Sayle (1826-1894). Sayle was an immigrant from the Isle of Man who in 1871 purchased the 68.5 acre parcel of land in Lot 27 of Warrensville Township upon which the house was built just six years later.

Sayle was one of thousands of immigrants from the Isle of Man who came to northeastern Ohio in the early nineteenth century. Records are spotty regarding the exact date of John Sayle's arrival in the United States, but, at the time of the 1860 U.S. federal census, he was living on the near east side of Cleveland (in old Ward 6) and employed as a butcher. Residing with him were his wife Mary, an immigrant from Ireland, whom he married in Cleveland in about 1858, and his three children. His oldest child was from a first marriage and had been born on the Isle of Man in 1848. Therefore, John Sayle likely immigrated to the United States sometime between the years 1848 and 1858.

Like many of his fellow Manxmen, Sayle eventually purchased land and became a farmer in what was then the northern section of Warrensville Township and what is today the northeast section of the city of Shaker Heights. The Sayle family farmed their 68.5 acres south of North Woodland Road (today Fairmount Boulevard) for approximately 50 years from the 1870s until the 1920s. In 1927, John Sayle's son John E. sold approximately 67 acres of the family farm to the Van Sweringen Company which developed it into Van Sweringen Subdivision No. 28--located south of Fairmount Boulevard between South Belvoir Boulevard and Green Road. John E. Sayle and his wife continued to live in the old farmhouse at 22300 Fairmount Boulevard on the one and one-half acres of land that they retained until their deaths in 1937.

The house at 22300 Fairmount Boulevard was awarded a century home plaque by the Shaker Historical Society and designated a Shaker Heights landmark in 1976. The house is notable for its random width flooring and beautifully carved door frames and woodwork.


John Sayle Home - 22300 Fairmount Boulevard
John Sayle Home - 22300 Fairmount Boulevard According to Cuyahoga County records, the John Sayle home was built in 1877. In that year, John Sayle, an immigrant from the Isle of Man, was a farmer living off the land upon which he built this house. John's wife Mary was an immigrant from Ireland. In this small farm house, John and Mary raised their eight children. Image courtesy of City of Shaker Heights
Tax Appraisal Sketch of Home
Tax Appraisal Sketch of Home This sketch of the floor plan of the John Sayle home was originally drawn by a county appraiser in 1954. In 1970, the sketch was altered by another appraiser to show a 1966 wing that was added to the east side of the house. This sketch reveals the cramped living arrangement which John and Mary Sayle and their eight children endured in their house in the late nineteenth century while operating their spacious 68.5 acre farm. Image courtesy of the Cuyahoga County Archives
Fairmount Road - 19th century
Fairmount Road - 19th century In the 1870s, the road that ran past John Sayle's farm was called North Woodland Road. Later it became Fairmount Road and then Fairmount Boulevard. This photograph shows how rural the road was in the late nineteenth century. The road running from left to right in the photo is Fairmount. It is shown here at its intersection with Lee Road. Image courtesy of the Shaker Historical Society
The John Sayle Farm
The John Sayle Farm This 1874 map of Warrensville Township reveals the location (shown by the red outline) of John Sayle's nineteenth century farm in the township. Note that the map's author identified the owner's name and the number of acres of land for each parcel shown on the map. The small black square dot within the red outlined area of the Sayle Farm is the approximate location of the John Sayle Home on what was then North Woodland Road. Sayle's 68.5 acre farm comprised almost half of original Warrensville Township Lot 27. Image courtesy of Shaker Historical Society
An Immigrant from the Isle of Man
An Immigrant from the Isle of Man This section of a page from the 1880 federal census reveals important data about John Sayle and the members of his family. He and his wife are both shown as immigrants, and John's occupation is farmer. It is also notable that all of the couple's children under the age of 17 were attending school in 1880. This is consistent with historians' understanding of the value that nineteenth century working class Ohioans placed upon a public education for their children. Image courtesy of United States Census Bureau.
The Manx capital of North America
The Manx capital of North America In the nineteenth century, northeastern Ohio was often referred to as the Manx capital of North America. Thousands of immigrants from the Isle of Man came to the area during that time to farm Ohio's rich soils. This photograph shows a large group of Manx immigrants and Manx-Americans enjoying a picnic at Cottage Grove Lake in Summit County on August 18, 1886. The annual picnic at Cottage Grove Lake had been a popular event for northeast Ohio's Manx population since at least as early as1850. Image courtesy of Shaker Historical Society


22300 Fairmount Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44118


Jim Dubelko, “John Sayle Home,” Cleveland Historical, accessed July 23, 2024,