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Willoughby Hills Historical Society, Inc.

Historical IndianThe Mission of the Willoughby Hills Historical Society is to discover and preserve the historic resources of Willoughby Hills and Willoughby Township, and to encourage a preservation ethic in our community.

The Willoughby Hills Historical Society was founded in March of 1988 and was certified as a Not-For-Profit Corporation on May 23, 1988.

It collects, preserves and displays or otherwise provides for study as far as may be feasible of printed material, photographs, and material objects illustrative of life, conditions, events and activities of the past.

The Society meets on the fourth Wednesday of the odd numbered months (except July) in the lower level of the Community Building in the "Historical Society Room" and our newsletter, REFLECTIONS, listing our program for the meeting, is sent to our members the week before the meeting.

Individual memberships are $5/yr. or $100 for life membership.  Family memberships are $7.50/yr. or $150 for life membership.  Click here for membership application.

For more information or a membership application, contact Frank or Mary Cihula at (440) 946-5557 or e‑mail at whhs-oh@att.net.

Meeting/Program Schedule for 2017:

January 25, 2017, 7:00 PM        Last Stop Willoughby, from the TV program
                                                    Twilight Zone.

March 22, 2017, 7:00 PM           John Lillich will present his program on the
History of Dodd’s Mills, the Dodd family and the
                                                          HACH-OTIS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY.

May 24, 2017, 7:00 PM               Lake County Historical Society's Program
                                                    Director, Tonya Busic, will Present
                                                    "Mansions and Scandals". 
September 27, 2017, 7:00 PM   Willoughby Mayor David Anderson presents
                                                    "Walking Down Memory Lane".  
                                                    His 26 years as Mayor of Willoughby.  

DID YOU KNOW?  (posted 12-7-2017)

The historical significance of the Pleasant Valley Road Bridge and why it deserved an Ohio Historic Marker.  The bridge was used by the travelers on US Route 6 and by farmers in the Kirtland and Chardon area and east to take their produce to the Cleveland area to sell.  This and its age, 126 years in 2006, were not enough to deserve the marker.  It is rather its designer Squire Whipple and the bridge design that gives it its importance as an historic site.

           The Pleasant Valley Road Bridge was constructed in 1881 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton Ohio and is a 163 foot long Whipple Truss (double intersection Pratt through truss).  It is one of the oldest double intersection Pratt trusses remaining in Ohio.  During the late nineteenth century, it became a common truss-type throughout rural Ohio because of its lightness and, thereby, economical use of material.  It is now a relatively rare bridge type.  The structure, one of less than ten remaining in the State of Ohio, and possibly the longest in Lake County, was built to sustain the Euclid-Chardon route U.S. Route 6, also known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, G.A.R., a major thoroughfare at the time and served this purpose until 1952 when a new high level bridge was constructed to the south.  The bridge was intended to be pleasing to the eye and the artwork and name plates atop the portals were designed to enhance the bridge’s appearance.  The wide riffle in the river valley and the cliff face along the eastern bank immediately to the south adds to the picturesque nature of the bridge’s setting.  It is an important element of the county and state’s engineering heritage.

           The Wrought Iron Bridge Company was founded in 1866 and was the first Highway Bridge firm to put in testing machinery for ascertaining the actual strength of iron used in construction.  It was one of Ohio’s and the nation’s most prolific iron bridge builders.  The techniques used to produce the wrought iron in this bridge, puddling and rolling, dated back to the late eighteen century England.

           The Whipple Truss, was named after the patented railroad designer Squire Whipple, who was one of the very first engineers to mathematically document truss designs in an 1847 publication, "A Work on Bridge Building".

          Editors note:  The above information was taken from the application for the marker and for any one wishing documentation of the above information, a fully footnoted copy is available along with the footnotes.  More information on the Wrought Iron Bridge Co. can be obtained on the following web site:  http://bridges.lib.lehigh.edu/books/book2371.html and also via “Google”.

January 2008, Reflections Newsletter.  All rights reserved.