Goodrich House

The Goodrich House was erected in 1897 and was founded by Flora Stone Mather. Mrs. Mather can be described as a pious women who was influenced by the establishment of other settlement houses in Cleveland, most notably the Hiram House. She named the organization out of loyalty to her pastor at Old Stone Church, William H. Goodrich, who was one of most influential religious leaders in the United Sates during the late nineteenth century. The first location of the Goodrich House was in downtown Cleveland on East 6th and St. Clair Avenue. Within two years of its opening it had summer camps and education classes in a variety of subjects. The Goodrich House organized street clubs while also providing classes and workshops for cooking and sewing. One of the Goodrich House's most famous alumni is Newton C. Baker who became the 37th mayor of Cleveland from 1912 to 1915 and the U.S. Secretary of War from 1916 to 1921.

As the reputation of the Goodrich House increased, it used programs to promote unity and break down barriers of mistrust between immigrants from countries such as Italy, Ireland and Poland. For example, in 1918 it hosted an "All Nations Pageant" to ease tensions among immigrant ethnic groups who often wrestled over employment and housing privileges.

The Goodrich House always emphasized its connection with the inhabitants of the community and developed programs to serve its needs. The settlement created a newsletter for soldiers during World War II and offered a day nursery for children who resided in downtown hotels. In fact, it can be stated that Settlement Houses served a vital role in assisting Cleveland's poor during times of malcontent. The Goodrich House formed soup kitchens for those whose families where unable to cook during the flu epidemic of 1918-1919. In a 1950s pamphlet the Goodrich House defined itself as, "A social settlement, helping people in the neighborhood 'realize'" that what is good for one family is good for everyone.

During the 1960s, Goodrich House was renamed Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center, honoring both Reverend Goodrich of the Old Stone Church and Alice Gannett, a long time head worker at the settlement house. The name change of the organization coincided with the relocation of the house to its current location on East 55th Street. Today, the Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center offers after-school programs for children, cooking and photography for young adults and inter-generational activities that forge relationships between the youth and elderly.

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