Dugway Brook

Dugway Brook, among the bluestone brooks that flow into Lake Erie, is all but invisible today. Generations ago its serpentine branches plunged into culverts buried beneath streets, parking lots, and parks. Though mostly unseen, Dugway traces a path through the heart of Cleveland Heights. Along its scenic courses, visionaries chased dreams. John Peter Preyer carved orchards and vineyards from the Dugway valley. Orville A. Dean built a successful dairy business. John D. Rockefeller, Frank Cain, and Eric Mendelsohn created some of the city's most iconic places: Forest Hill, Cain Park, and Park Synagogue. Yet citizens mostly forgot about the brook amid relentless suburban expansion. Cleveland Heights, 60,000 strong by 1960, was a mosaic of suburban neighborhoods and business districts. Heights High teens joined many others in the humming Cedar-Lee business district. A two-mile greenbelt of parks transformed one branch of Dugway into ballfields, playgrounds, and other recreational facilities. By the 1960s and 1970s, devastating floods in University Circle prompted new concerns about Dugway, leading to the construction in Lake View Cemetery of the largest poured-concrete dam east of the Mississippi. Today we are rediscovering Dugway Brook as a fragile yet important resource.

Before it became Cain Park, the ravine between Taylor and Lee roads was merely a wet, overgrown gully visited by only the most adventurous of hikers. In 1914, the Central Improvement Association of Cleveland Heights (then still a village) formed a committee to look into the possibility of turning…
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Dugway Brook, one of several bluestone streams that flow into Lake Erie, is largely invisible today. Generations ago, Dugway's serpentine branches were covered up by streets, parking lots, and parks. Almost 50 percent of the watershed flows through Cleveland Heights, but all that is visible…
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Opened in 1927, Cumberland Pool began its life just as Cleveland Heights was maturing into a city. In 1925, residents approved $75,000 in bonds for the construction of the Cumberland park, pool, and bathhouse. World-renowned landscape architect and Cleveland Heights resident A.D. Taylor (who also…
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The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District has had four different schools at Lee Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. After breaking off from the East Cleveland school system, the district first built Lee Road School, the original Heights High. Eventually the structure would become…
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At 35 years old, Orville A. Dean first started selling milk to friends and acquaintances. In 1886, he built a large farmhouse on Mayfield Road, which served as his family home and the office for the OA Dean Dairy Company for seventy-one years. In the early years, milk was delivered by horse-drawn…
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On November 11, 1903, in a rented house on a brick street now called Radnor Road in the Mayfield Heights allotment of Cleveland Heights, Rev. Albert J. Alexander, pastor of Beckwith Memorial Presbyterian Church (later merged into the Church of the Covenant), led a few dozen people in worship. The…
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Forest Hill was once the sweeping estate of oil baron John D. Rockefeller. Originally from a small town near the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, Rockefeller purchased the land along Euclid Avenue as a commercial venture in 1873, opening (along with other investors) a "water cure resort" centered…
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Supported by a steel superstructure and faced with Euclid bluestone quarried nearby, Forest Hill Park Footbridge traverses Forest Hill Boulevard in East Cleveland on land that was once part of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller's summer estate. Spanning 347 feet across a deep valley in…
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In the summer of 1981, the choirs of St. John's and St. James A.M.E. churches, two historic African American congregations on Cleveland's east side, joined together in the octagonal sanctuary at the inaugural service of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church. Named after the African Methodist…
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Cleveland Heights High School, referred to simply as "Heights," originated in 1901 on the site of the present-day Boulevard Elementary School, near the intersection of Lee Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. Cleveland Heights High School's first graduating class, in 1907, numbered…
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The Cedar-Lee Theatre opened on Christmas Day 1925. The first movie screened there was The King on Main Street, a silent film about a rich European king (played by Adolphe Menjou) who falls in love with a common American girl during a visit to New York's Coney Island. The one-hour film was…
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Well into the 20th century, waves of immigrants swelled Cleveland's ranks. Among them was a Greek native by the name of Chris Mitchell. Rather than contenting himself with a factory job, however, Mitchell tried his hand in business. Unfortunately, it was during the Great Depression and…
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