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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; 6-24-18)   (From September 2008 Newsletter)

      The Maple Grove Grange #1430 was recently sold to the City of Willoughby Hills for the price of $100.  The property was owned by the “Trustees of Maple Grove Grange”.  The Grange membership has dwindled to only a handful of long-time members.  They are no longer able to do fund raising dinners and other events to keep up the building, insurance and taxes.  Grange Executive Board Member Don Hantak contacted Frank Cihula to see if the City would be interested in purchasing the Grange Property for the cost of the transaction.  He passed this information on to Willoughby Hills Mayor Robert M. Weger and the rest is history.  Mayor Weger said he hopes to preserve this facility.

      What is the Grange?

National Grange is the nation's oldest national agricultural organization, with grassroots units established in 3,600 local communities in 37 states.  Its 300,000 members provide service to agriculture and rural areas on a wide variety of issues, including economic development, education, family endeavors, and legislation designed to assure a strong and viable Rural America.

The Grange is also a fraternal order known as the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.  Founding members determined that a fraternal organization would be best able to combine loyalty and democratic ideals to provide service to others.  The National Grange was one of the first formal groups to admit women to membership on the basis of equality with men.

The Grange is not only an agricultural and community organization, but is also a fraternal order.  Each Grange meeting is opened with a prayer and the salute to the flag.  As a community organization, each Subordinate Grange elects its own officers and plans its own program.

Persons of 14 years of age and older may join a subordinate Grange.  Each applicant must wish to work with others on advancing agricultural interests, improving community life and receiving the benefits of Grange membership.

      On January 6, 1896, a group of people met in the Maple Grove School House on the corner of River and Eagle Roads, for the purpose of organizing an order of Patrons of Husbandry.

The new Grange was named “The Maple Grove Grange” because it was started in the Maple Grove School House, which was so named because it was located in a grove of maple trees.  The first winter the meetings were held in the ball room on the second floor of the Old Mill House on Dodd Road.  When this mill house was rented as a dwelling, the Grange meetings were moved to the second floor of the Brichford packing house on River Road.  The Charter for Maple Grove Grange was granted in April 6, 1896.  The first Master was Thomas Brichford, father of Al Brichford.

In the summer of 1896, the present Grange Hall was built on land donated by John Ward.  This hall was then situated on the east side of River Road, opposite of the present site.  The building was so planned that the meetings were held on the second floor and as members then came in horse-drawn carriages, the first floor was used to shelter the horses.  The Grange Hall was lighted by coal lamps on brackets fastened at intervals around the room, later a tank was installed and gasoline lights were used.  On February 23, 1921, the hall was moved 100 feet south, due to the Chagrin River encroaching on the property.  As the automobile was replacing the horse, the building was raised and a dining room and kitchen were built on the first floor.  Willoughby Village had electric lights by this time and some of the poles were on Ridge Road, so the Grange members decided to extend the electricity to the Grange Hall.  They dug the holes, placed the poles and strung the wires.  The cost of the material amounted to $1,800.00 and was assumed by the Grange.  This money was to be paid back by charging each property owner who hooked on to it.  In 1948, an acre of ground was purchased directly across the road from the Grange Hall, and on September 26, 1951, the hall was moved across the road and placed in its present location.  A 16 foot x 26 foot addition was added to the Grange building with a basement underneath.  On the first floor, the 1951 addition houses the present kitchen and the second floor was enlarged to its present 26 foot x 62 foot hall.

The above information from Ray Willis, Beth Nugent (deceased), Stella Pizzie and, the Internet.

Frank Cihula, Willoughby Hills Historical Society.  All Rights reserved.