Euclid Golf Allotment

2675 Fairmount was the site of the Barton R. Deming Company's Euclid Golf Allotment sales office. John D. Rockefeller owned the 141-acre former timber farm in 1901 when neighboring property owner, Patrick Calhoun, asked if he could lease the property. Calhoun had built the Euclid Club, a first-class country club, to attract elite families to his Euclid Heights development. He wanted to create Cleveland's first professionally designed golf course at the club, but didn't have enough land for a full 18-hole course. He planned to use Rockefeller's land for the upper nine holes. A golf enthusiast, Rockefeller agreed to lease the property, rent free, with the stipulation that the upper nine not be used on the Sabbath.

The golf era was short-lived. In 1906, Rockefeller permitted the Cleveland Street Railroad Company to run a line through his property to connect the Cedar Road line to Coventry Road. With the increasing availability of transportation, many housing developments sprang up in the Heights and soon surrounded the Euclid Club, which disbanded in 1912. Rockefeller entertained several proposals for development, but ultimately chose the plan of Barton R. Deming for the Euclid Golf Allotment.

Deming planned to develop a high-quality residential neighborhood. He specified large lots, along Fairmount Boulevard, and smaller lots, on the side streets, for the middle class. Clarence C. Terrill, manager of Rockefeller's Abeyton Realty, believed Deming's design -- and its deed restrictions -- would both ensure the profitability of the venture and the neighborhood's design quality.

Images

2675 Fairmount Ad 2675 Fairmount Boulevard, in the Euclid Golf Allotment, was constructed on speculation by builder William Cunningham in 1924 and advertised nationally. The Cleveland Heights Dispatch described the house as "the most advertised residence in the country" and likened its construction to that of a skyscraper, with its steel beams and concrete floors covered in wood. The inclusion of an elevator, intercoms and sumptuous woodwork pushed the asking price to $200,000. The house was designed by architect Reynold H. Hinsdale. Town Topics. Image courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society
Euclid Club, Ca. 1910 The Euclid Golf Club preceded the Deming's allotment in the opening years of the 20th century. Located on land purchased from John D. Rockefeller, the club lasted only a decade. The clubhouse, shown in this early postcard, was located on the eastern end of what is now called the Cedar-Fairmount district and shares its Tudor Revival architecture. Image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Special Collections.
Euclid Golf Allotment Map This original plat of the Euclid Golf Allotment shows the considerable variation in lot sizes, which range from the very large lots along Fairmount Boulevard to smaller ones on side streets. Note the mention of deed restrictions, which the company carefully describes as striking the perfect balance between protecting "the character of the neighborhood" and enabling one to profit from land value increases. Restrictive covenants were on their way to being ubiquitous features of suburban land subdivision in the 20th century. Image courtesy of Hugh and Deanna Fisher
Demington Drive, 1913 Barton Deming laid out his namesake, Demington Drive, running from the north to the south entrance of the development, with substantial lots on either side. The site was heavily wooded. Looking north from the streetcar tracks in this winter view, one can see three large estates on Cedar Road. The building in the right foreground was likely a small shelter in which riders, possibly having walked down a path from Cedar, could wait for the trolley. Image courtesy of Hugh and Deanna Fisher
Barton R. Deming Barton Roy Deming, developer of Euclid Golf, formed the B.R. Deming Company in 1912 to develop John D. Rockefeller's Euclid Golf property. Facing stiff competition from property sales in neighboring allotments, Deming was forced to renegotiate the terms of his agreement with Rockefeller. In 1915 Deming secured an agreement to continue as the sole agent for the development and sale of lots in Euclid Golf until July 31, 1920. He paid $89,747 up front, and Rockefeller's Abeyton Realty agreed to invest up to $320,000 in physical improvements such as gas, sewers, water, electricity, paving, guttering, and curbing. Abeyton set a minimum price on lots, thus guaranteeing a minimum payment from Deming. On October 3, 1919, Deming fulfilled all aspects of the contract and received the mortgage deed for the property for $463,158.40.
Digging Demington Road, 1913 In May 1913, construction on Demington Drive began by hand digging the trench for the drain tile. As each man in the crew dug a bit deeper, the workers at the end of the line were standing up to their shoulders in the trench. Note the surveyor to the right. As one looks north towards Cedar Road, one can see the rear of a wooden shanty and outhouse that faced Cedar -- not quite the image either Deming or Rockefeller wanted to create for Euclid Golf. Image courtesy of Hugh and Deanna Fisher
Demington Drive, South of Fairmount, 1914 Street construction at the time of Euclid Golf's development involved a combination of man power, horse power and steam power. Deming built the southern portion of Demington Drive, from Fairmount Boulevard to West St. James Parkway, in June 1914. The house to the left is 2357 Demington Drive, the first house constructed by the B. R. Deming Company. It was built in early 1914, before the road was put in. Designed by Howell & Thomas, original drawings show the house to be rare for Euclid Golf in several respects. First, it had a full length front porch and, second, it has since lost this lovely feature. Few Euclid Golf houses have front porches and most retain all of their original design elements. Image courtesy of Hugh and Deanna Fisher
Sales Office, 1914 The first sales office for the Euclid Golf Allotment was located at the intersection of Coventry Road and Fairmount Boulevard. By January 1914, Deming had constructed a more substantial office at the northeast corner of Fairmount and Demington Drive. This new building dispensed with the garish advertising graphics of the first. Instead, it featured quaint window boxes and trellis work. Image courtesy of Hugh and Deanna Fisher
Model T's at Sales Office, 1914 By October 1914, the allotment sales office at Demington and Fairmount was complete. Prospective homebuyers could motor by, stop in, select house designs by Howell & Thomas, and choose a lot. Or, they could bring their own architect and builder. The automobiles pictured include two Ford Model T's. The car to the right appears to be a Cleveland-made Baker Electric. The make of the large touring car is unknown. Deming sold the 300-foot parcel on which the office stood in 1924 to builder William Cunningham. Image courtesy of Hugh and Deanna Fisher
Streetcar on Fairmount Blvd., 1940 A trolley line continued to run down Fairmount Boulevard into the 1940s. Once the Van Sweringen brothers acquired the right of way for a more direct line to Cleveland's public square, the Fairmount line was no longer essential. Some of the steel poles that once held the power lines for the trolley are still in place. Today, they hold the street lights. Image courtesy of City of Cleveland Heights

Location

Metadata

Deanna Bremer Fisher, “Euclid Golf Allotment,” Cleveland Historical, accessed January 23, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/533.