Cleveland Heights Congregations provides rare glimpse of the past
The richness of Cleveland Heights history continues to be revealed in the latest book by Marion Morton, "Cleveland Heights Congregations" (Arcadia Publishing). In this new book in Arcadia’s Images of America series, Morton tells the story of the evolution of Cleveland Heights' many religious congregations.
Most Heights congregations had their origins in some of the earliest religious institutions in Cleveland. As times changed, they made their way to the Heights, as did so many individuals during the early part of the 20th Century. Morton identifies the origin of each congregation and chronicles further changes in the rich histories of these great institutions. Central to Morton’s story is that no matter how much Cleveland Heights has evolved and changed, the city’s religious institutions have remained an important stabilizing influence.
Images of America series books are all about the pictures, and Morton serves up an excellent collection of images focused mainly on the buildings associated with Cleveland Heights’ congregations. Arguably, congregations are about people, and Morton has plenty of photos featuring people. But her focus on the built manifestation of each congregation serves the reader well since most of the structures and scenes shown still exist in one form or another. Where they don’t, we get a glimpse of what our community looked like in the past. Significantly, Morton has found rare images of Cleveland Heights buildings. Certainly there are many of the usual suspects, the classic images of our city, but Morton has uncovered generally unseen images by digging into the archives held by the congregations themselves. For any connoisseur of Cleveland Heights imagery, this alone makes the book worth having.
Images of America series books are often let down by their photo captions. Not so in this case. Morton’s captions are well researched overall and usually provide the reader with thematic context, date, location, and commentary on interesting details in the photos.
Morton’s new book is a must have for anyone who loves Cleveland Heights history.
Hugh Fisher lives in the Cedar-Fairmount area and is the co-author of Arcadia’s Euclid Golf Neighborhood.