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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 2018:

January 24, 2018, 7:00 PM         LCHS; Women Spies, Revol. War to World Wars.
March 28, 2018, 7:00 PM            Taverns of Lake County by Vince Wilson, LCHS.

May 23, 2018, 7:00 PM               Our Not-for-Profit Incorporation prohibits
                                                     involvement in political activities.
                                                     Due to the Political Climate that the Community
                                                     Building has been operating under,
                                                     our Trustee’s have decided to CANCEL our
                                                     May 23, 2018 Historical Society meeting.

 September 26, 2018, 7:00 PM   Dr. Taddeo; FOR THE GLORY OF GOD - IN GLASS.
                                                     Tracing this historic medium through its
                                                     various periods.
  The story of leaded & faceted
                                                     glass windows.  
Over 100 images will be shown.

DID YOU KNOW?  (posted 4-11-2018)

A Brief History of James A. Garfield School.

      It began in 1926 when a contingent of residents from Waite Hill, Maple Grove and Schram school districts attended a school board meeting.  They asked the board to consider consolidating their schools after the seventh and eighth grades had been moved to Schram School.  The board favored the idea and began looking for a site.  A proposed site in the southern part of the township was discussed with a committee from the “Citizens League”.  The favored site was the corner of the Harrison Otis property.  The property was formerly an Indian camp site.  When purchased by the Crobaugh family it was called “Crobaugh Corners”.  It was later purchased by the Woodford family and was then known as “Woodford Corners”.  The Woodfords built a winery there.  Later the Otis family purchased the property.  In September of 1926, the school board made a declaration of intent to purchase 7 acres from Harrison G. Otis for $1,500 per acre.  His property, at the corner of Euclid-Chardon Rd. and Chagrin Falls-Willoughby Road (River Rd.), was for sale for $25,000.  In January of 1927, the School Board appropriated the property and that April, purchased the property for $21,000.  The school was to be named “James A. Garfield School”.  As constructed, the building began with the current front entrance and extended south to the Gym.  In 1941, an addition was added to the north.  Later additions were added in 1951, 1962 and 1978 to the rear.  The school finally closed in 1984.

The Garfield Station Library.

      When Garfield School closed, School Superintendent Roger Lulow, (a Willoughby Hills Resident) began looking for tenants in order to keep the building open and in use.  He began negotiating with the Willoughby-Eastlake library Director Dolly Gundersen.  A citizens committee was formed consisting of Margot Baldwin, Waite Hill; Mary Cihula, Joyce Grady and Jean Zur, Willoughby Hills; Dolly Gundersen and Arlene Fenton, Library Board; Lois Schuler and Judy Vinecourt for the School Board.  They were charged with the responsibility of preparing a plan for using Garfield as a library station.  The library opened on June 21, 1985.  The first librarian was Mary Parsons.   When the last librarian, Annette Gentile became ill and could not work, the library closed after about five years of operation.

The above information was taken from Willoughby Hills Historical Society files and the following sources:

“Willoughby Township Schools the First One Hundred Years.  1829-1929.  By Eleanor G. Rolph”.  Copyright 1978. 

“Presented February 17 (1976) Garfield School by Mary Ann Smyntek”

“Existing Conditions and Renovation Analysis for: Garfield Elementary School Rte. 174 & Rte. 6 Willoughby Hills, Ohio” by ThenDesign Architecture, 4135 Erie St.  Willoughby Ohio 2-4-2000.

Willoughby Hills Historical Society, all rights reserved.