BROOKLYN CENTRE 1812-2012 Presented by the Brooklyn Centre Community Association with assistance from Horizon Denison School-the former East Denison School.
Early Settlement• Brooklyn was settled in 1812 along an American Indian trail that broke off of the Lake Trail and followed the current alignment of Pearl Road until reaching the ridge edge of the prehistoric Lake Whittelsey.• The Township of Brooklyn was established in 1818. By 1830, Brooklyn Centre was a small trading post for the largely rural township and by a generation later, it had grown into a hamlet with merchandising, manufacturing, trade and a residential area for Cleveland business people and industrialists.• By the time the Civil War ended in 1865, Brooklyn had become a self sufficient village with its own school system, fire department and constable.• In 1894, the village was annexed by the City of Cleveland, after which the neighborhood developed rapidly, spurred by new civic improvements such as paved streets with utility lines, and the extension of police and fire protection into Brooklyn Centre.SEE: http:// www.nps.gov/nr/travel/ohioeriecanal/bro.htm
ResourcesMany of the images and content for this slide presentation have been compiled using collections found at Cleveland Public Library, the Cleveland Memory Collection, the Brooklyn Centre Wiki, and the National Park Service.
Brooklyn Centre Photos at Cleveland Public LibraryThe George Ketteringham Collection consists of materials that Ruth Ketteringham collected over the many years that she researched Brooklyn- Centre and other areas of Cleveland, Ohio.Ruth Ketteringham (1906-2006), daughter of George Ketteringham, was devoted to preserving the history of the area. Her research was extensive and allowed her the ability to lecture on various aspects of Brooklyn-Centre.Ruth was the recipient of the Herrick Memorial Award in 1990. An honor awarded by the Early Settlers Association to individuals who have promoted and brought honor to Cleveland.Upon Ruths death at the age of 99 in 2006, her books were donated to the Cleveland Public Librarys History Department; four or five file cabinets worth of papers were donated to the Western Reserve Historical Society and two boxes of material were saved from the trash by the Brooklyn Centre Community Association.
Brooklyn Centre Historic DistrictThe neighborhood achieved the status of Historic District on May 7, 1984, with a formal dedication ceremony held on May 20, 1984 at Archwood United Church of Christ. The Brooklyn Centre neighborhood is home to many landmarks of historic note including cemeteries, fire station, medical buildings, residences, commercial buildings and churches.The above photo shows Italianate Mallo House (1904), which is now the office of the Donahue Foot Clinic on West 25th St. It includes one of the oldest structures in the neighborhood with the back portion of the house dating to 1857.
Masonic Hall - 3800 West 25th St., Cleveland, Ohio(while under construction in 1932 Architect Daniel Farnum-EXTANT) Fraternal Orders like the Free Masons and Grand Army of the Republic were important to the early settlement
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall – community meeting place and, for a time, the location of the public library.3797-99 West 25th St., Cleveland Ohio - Brooklyn Post #368-demolished
Grand Army of the Republic Hall - 3797-99 West 25th St., Cleveland, Ohio (appears in the background of this Masonic Hall dedication photo)
Lake at Riverside Cemetery —Drained before 1918. The cemetery was founded in 1876 from land that was settled as a farmstead by Titus Brainard. (Source: http://csudigitalhumanities.org/exhibits/items/show/2502)
The two tributaries to the Cuyahoga River still flow under the cemetery buried in culvert
Riverside Cemetery -2012Lake has been drained-scenic valley remains.
Water and Transportation --Lake Erie Cuyahoga River and tributaries --Historic Indian Trails /Crossroads /Pearl & Denison --Horse and Buggy /Railroad /Canal /Streetcars --Auto/Bus HighwayNote: this map shows neighborhood as Brooklyn Centre /Bikesof Brooklyn Township
Farming and HomesteadsThe first families to settle Brooklyn Township relied on neighbors and community for food, wood and necessities-first families include the names FISH, FOSTER, and BRAINARD. Brooklyn Township, the land west of the Cuyahoga River, was known as the Lord and Barber allotment. – All settlers would have purchased their land from Samuel P. Lord and Josiah Barber. The first permanent white settler of Brooklyn was James Fish. Brooklyn Centre consists of two of the main lots , #65 and #74, as surveyed and marked out for the Western Reserve. Early settlers of Brooklyn Centre were brothers, Ebenezer and Moses Fish on lot #65 and Ozias Brainard on lot #74.Stearns Farm in Parma Township (later City of Parma) provides a great present day window into the world o
First Families in Brooklyn CentreText from brass historic marker archived at Cleveland Public Library-formerly on cornerstone of Brooklyn Branch Library 3706 Pearl Rd. Cleveland OH 44109:Brooklyn CentreJames Fish arrived in this area with his family from Connecticut in 1811, making them Cleveland’s first white settlers west of the Cuyahoga River. Fish built his first home on this site, a log cabin of hand-hewn logs in 1812. On May 9, 1814, his fifth child, Isaiah, was born here. He was the first non-Indian child to be born on the west side of the river. The fish family’s first permanent frame home was built just west of the log cabin. It housed the first schoolroom in the area.
Burial Grounds—Scranton, Riverside and Denison CemeteryAs part of the Connecticut New Western Reserve, James Fish was the first permanent white settler in the territory that became Brooklyn …William Gannon Rose stated in the 1812 section of his book that the Fish Family burial lot became the first public cemetery west of the Cuyahoga River. James deeded it to the trustees of a school district. (This should have been School District No. 2, and the deed was not found, but there is a deed from Ebenezer Fish to the school district No. 9 which would be the old Brooklyn Burial Ground, now Denison Cemetery, in 1835.) p.1The plot in the rear of the vault was donated in the year 1819, by James Fish, to the North Brooklyn Township, for the burial of indigent people of School District #2.Source: Scranton Road Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio Introduction, Inscriptions and Interments by Cynthia Turk (2004.)
Early Architectural StylesMany of the first homes built in Brooklyn Centre can still be found on AAnnexed to Cleveland near the end of the 19th century, Brooklyn Centre underwent rapid growth that continued through 1915. The Brooklyn Centre Historic District, which was designated in 1984 includes many homes from the turn-of-the-century with most homes constructed between 1910-1920.
Brooklyn Centre Historic DistrictAbove walking tour was compiled by Historian Craig Bobby in 2004—see Brooklyn Centre Wiki and Brooklyn Centre Community Association for more information on current streets and homes.
Color Schemes-Many homes follow Victorian and Early American color palettes
There are a number of reminders of the past inBrooklyn Centre—carriage house garages forhorse-drawn carriages. The Fire Station onWest 25th has a hayloft that can be seen on theback side of the building. There are walk-upchurches like the above Good News Churchwhich started out as Ammaus EvangelicalLutheran, and served German immigrants whomade up the neighborhood in 1912-when thechurch was built.
Glazed brick house 3400 Mapledale above was built by Snow family next to location of their first house shown at upper right (bric-brac is gone today). Bliss-Fish family house also on Mapledale was relocated from original location at corner of Pearl Rd. to accommodate construction of the Third Church of Christ.
Origin of Brooklyn Center/Centre Neighborhood designation?This early Cleveland planning document shows entry to Brooklyn Townshipsettlement at intersection of Pearl and Broadview—which never materialized.1874 Township maps show all centers of townships as “Centre”-see Dover Centreetc.
Highway Construction Construction of Interstate-71 and I-176, the Jennings Freeway, destroyed a number of historic structures on the historically German north side of Brooklyn Centre and in the Polish Catholic St. Barbara parish neighborhood of Brooklyn Centre, known as Barbarowa. Photo left shows Kohl house- which still exists and has been restored on Library Ave.
Brooklyn Centre-2012Brooklyn Centre grew from a sleepy rural township to a bustling commercial crossroads with the streetcar era. In the fifties, as highways accelerated the move to the suburbs, the neighborhood declined and was rediscovered again in the nineties. Population shifts have always made this a neighborhood of immigrants. After American Indians lost this territory, immigrants from Connecticut and the Western Reserve settled here, followed by waves of German immigrants during the Industrial Revolution and later Poles and other Eastern European immigrants working in the steel mills and other industries along the Cuyahoga River.Today, you are more likely to hear Spanish or an African language as new residents settle from Central America and African countries. But, Brooklyn Centre will continue to welcome New Americans and will always be a neighborhood built on memories that celebrate our blended cultural heritage.