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.

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