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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 10-6-17

          The Valley Club began in about 1911.  Its earliest recorded minutes are dated December 19, 1929.  Its organizational boundaries were Chardon Rd, Route 6 on the south, S.O.M. Center Rd., Route 91 on the west, Ridge Rd., Route 84 on the north and the Chagrin River Valley on the east.  It was formed by a group of homemakers along the banks of the Chagrin River.

          While its members were very sociable, it was not intended to be a social organization.  “They preferred to keep busy - needles flying and thimbles clicking”.  Their first project was to make a quilt for each member.  Some of their projects over the years were making rolled bandages for University Hospital, hemmed towels for University Hospital and repairing hospital gowns.  They also sewed for the Salvation Army home in 1931, made 40 arm slings for a hospital, sewed and knitted for the Red Cross during the war years and mailed boxes of goodies to soldiers during W.W.II.  Other projects were making twelve crib sheets and twelve flannelette night gowns in 1946, quilts for Lake County Hope Chest and quilts for Aids babies.  Space doesn't permit listing all of their projects, however they kept very busy.

          Their membership reached 18 in 1940.  Dues started at $1.20 per year.  In 1980, they raised dues to $2.00 where it remained.

At the beginning of each meeting they recited the “Collect” which was adopted from “The Federation Club” which they belonged to until January 1943 when they dropped out due to gas rationing.  Because of the rationing of tea, coffee and gas during the war years, each member brought their own beverage to their meetings.

          They met at each others homes until about 2001 when they began meeting at Breckenridge, the new home of member Bertha Adams.  In order to insure that their “roots” were not lost, they changed their name to “The Valley Club of Willoughby Hills”.

          In 2006 their membership dwindled down to four due to deaths and Helen Drescoe, Mildred Swanger (who was their secretary for many years), Stella Pizzie and Bertha Jane Adams, their last secretary, decided to disband.

          We thank them for entrusting us with their records from 1980 to the end and hope that some day their earlier records will be located and passed on.

          We are grateful to Bertha Jane Adams for passing on to us in 1996, a brief history of their organization, from which much of this article was written.  We also have an earlier history written by Gladys Brichford which was filed at another location and not immediately available for this writing.

January 2007, Reflections Newsletter.  All rights reserved.