Shaker Historical Society


    Dredging Shaker's Green Lake

    Campers at our Shaker Archaeology Dig summer program

    The Shaker Historical Society had a part in developing the plans for dredging Green Lake by seeking protection for John Kneale's 19th century farmhouse buildings and lilac bush (planted beside the old privy), which were studied in our first Shaker Dig Camp in 2015. The result seems to be that they will cart away the dredged material instead of dumping it on the segment of land bounded by Lee, Attleboro and Andover. A benefit to neighbors in terms of minimizing the odor on site perhaps! MANY thanks to the NEORSD for addreessing the concerns of historic preservation and this community!  Thanks also to archaeologist Elizabeth Hoag, who first identified the site as a location where we might find some pre Shaker Heights evidence, and to  master teacher Rosemary Nemeth who helped identify John Kneale's farmhouse as one of the only Warrensville Township farms not affected by the Van Sweringens' development of Shaker Heights. Extra special thanks to the City of Shaker Heights and William Gruber for helping us with permission to dig on City land. We will have Shaker Dig camp 3 again this summer at Shaker and Lee (by the fence)  June 27-30.


    Read more about the dredging project here:


    How does YOUR kitchen compare?

    Do you recognzie any design elements in this kitchen? As the 20th century progressed, people needed to do more work in the home  without the help of domestic employees. This federal kitchen design is  reminiscent of America's Test Kitchen! Now think of your Shaker Heights kitchen. How does it compare to this 1949 design? Is it small with a separate butler's pantry? Does it have a laundry chute or a fold down ironing board? Do you still have a servant's call box? Please share photos with us! All of this and more in the Shaker Historical Museum's next exhibit - Above Stairs: Domestic Service in Shaker Heights.


    Ford M. Clapp and John Williams, his chauffeur

    Staff members are busy researching  the history of local domestic help in preparation for our next exhibit ABOVE STAIRS: Domestic Service in Shaker Heights. Discoveries include this little gem in the Ohio Motorist 1916, which introduced Ford M. Clapp as a new member of the Cleveland Club! He lived just down the street from the Myers family who built their home at 16740 South Park Boulevard.



    Residents of the Van Sweringens' new development of Shaker Village (like the Myers family, the Fullers, or Ford Clapp and his family) needed a car to reach their "South Boulevard" Cleveland Heights Village residences -- according to the 1910 census! The Van Sweringens didn't fully incorporate Shaker Village until 1912, so new residences along South Park, for example, were recorded in Cleveland Heights.
    Ford Clapp must have had a car to go from his home at 3252 South Park Blvd to his Ohio Varnish Company downtown, as this predated construction of the Shaker Rapid. Clapp also had a chauffeur named John H. Williams (not the composer), a 34-year-old widower from Maryland. This census record also shows that a cook and a maid worked at the Clapp family residence. Want to learn more about this history of Shaker Heights and its residents? Come to the Shaker Historical Museum's programs and exhibits to discover more about what really happened here!


    Above Stairs: Domestic Service in Shaker Heights opens March 24, 2017.