Thursday, August 30, 2012

THE EARLY YEARS



My Plymouth Place Neighborhood – The Early Years


My East Cleveland experience began in 1940.  At that time my home at the corner of Shaw Avenue and Plymouth Place was about twenty years old.  It was about the same age as the other houses on Shaw between Plymouth Place and the railroad.  It was part of a housing development constructed right after World War I.   That development was a part of an original parcel owned by Fred J. Welton.  The history of that parcel is told in a very fine website called Cleveland Area History.  The Welton property is discussed at the following site:


The original Welton house pictured in the above site was there, when I delivered the Cleveland Press in that neighborhood back in 1950.  At that time it had been subdivided with one family upstairs and another downstairs.  The house is still there today. 

The Welton house website contains two very interesting maps both of which are on file at the Cleveland Public Library.  One is from an 1898 atlas and shows the original Welton parcel and an adjacent parcel owned by Sarah Richmond.  The Welton parcel extended from Euclid Avenue to the railroad.  A second map from a 1913 atlas shows the Welton Property as it existed, when I lived there with the exception of the missing Plymouth Place development.  Plymouth Place was added in the large rectangular parcel on the left hand side of the 1913 map.  Welton Drive and Richmond Place shown on the 1913 map still exist today as do the houses shown on Shaw and Welton.  There were never any houses on Richmond.  That street was on the Welton property and next to the Richmond property.  

The house on the Richmond property shown on the 1913 map was there when I lived there.  In my previous posting I describe it as the Ramage house.   The Richmond property and the one next to it both sloped down to the field at the end of Plymouth Place.  Sometime during the mid 1960s those parcels were developed into high rise apartments.  In order to do that they needed to fill in the rear of the parcels to bring them up to the Euclid Avenue grade level.  Remember, Euclid Avenue is on a glacial beach.  At about the same time the field at the end of Plymouth was developed into two story garden apartments.  The two vacant parcels in front of the original Welton house were also developed with single family houses during the 1960s. 

The three houses on Euclid Avenue were there when I lived and delivered papers in that neighborhood.  The one on the corner of Shaw and Euclid and the one next to it were the Abel Funeral Home.  It was behind that garage that I found many a bouquet of flowers for my mother after they had been discarded by Abel’s.  Abel’s went out of business and the houses were torn down. A gas station now occupies that parcel.  The third house on Euclid Avenue in that 1913 map was Owens Plantation.  It was a first class party center run by the Owens family.  The family lived there and the first floor was a restaurant and party center.  The building is now used by the Boyd Funeral Home.

Those houses on Euclid Avenue across the street from Shaw High School had originally been single family homes.  They were built at a time when Euclid Avenue was a desirable site for such homes.  By the time I lived there, most large homes on Euclid Avenue had been torn down or converted to a commercial use such as the funeral homes.  Another example was a large beautiful home on the South side of Euclid west of the High School.  It was called the DeBoe House for Tourists. One of my classmates at Prospect School was Linda DeBoe, who lived in that fine house.  The house is still there.  A link to her house is:  

 

For further reading about the early history of East Cleveland you can read “History of East Cleveland by Ellen Loughry Price.  That book is out of print, but it may be available at some libraries.  


Another fine book about the History of East Cleveland during the 1920s and 30s is “A Special Time, A Special Place: East Cleveland Remembered” by George Havens.  You can purchase that book from Mr. Havens ghavens@prodigy.net. 

4 comments:

  1. I grew up in East Cleveland first living on Savanah, then on Welton Drive right across the street from the aforementioned house, attended the old prospect and the new one. Then would walk with my brother and sister all the way down Euclid Ave to Christ the King to go to school. My father was an East Cleveland Police Officer. What a wonderful place to grow up and the people were great. I remember being all over East Cleveland and the 4th of July parades and fireworks at Foresthill Park. Tobin Rexall, boy scouts, the best and biggest peaches ever. Just great. I wish the people and the city the best.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It seems as if we had similar experiences in East Cleveland. I lived on the corner of Shaw and Plymouth and delivered the Cleveland Press on Welton. Although I moved to the Caledonia neighborhood in 1953, I will always have a special place in my heart for that Shaw/Plymouth neighborhood and the people who lived there. I hope you read the other postings on this blog as well. I will be relating some of my experiences at Kirk and Shaw in future postings. Thanks for reading.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Was there a mom and pop restaurant in the city , possibly near Euclid and Taylor area? Would have closed in the 90's my co worker is trying to remember the name of it. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. There was a wonderful Italian restaurant at Taylor and Coit. It was called Rondini's. It was run by the Rondini family including brothers and cousins. When I grew up there in the 1940s and 50s, it was a wonderful treat to have dinner at Rondini's. I particularly loved the Italian bread they served with all the meals. We also used to get Rondini's spaghetti by the quart to take home. I think they did go out of business some time in the 1990s. Two of the Rondini cousins were in my class at Prospect and Shaw. Art Rondini stayed in the restaurant business. I ran into him several times when he was the Chef at the Blue Grass Hotel and at a high end restaurant in Akron. Like me, he is probably retired now. Thanks for reading and come back again.

    ReplyDelete