Shaker Farm Historic District is officially listed in National Register of Historic Places
On Feb. 15, the Shaker Farm Historic District was formally listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition was the culmination of a process involving many people at the local, state and national levels over more than two years.
The new historic district is essentially the northern portion of land acquired and occupied by the North Union Shaker Community between 1822 and 1889. Because the Shaker Colony had dwindled and aged, the land was sold in 1892. New owners donated the Shaker Lakes and land along Doan Brook to Cleveland for a park in 1896, but it took almost two decades before houses were built on the adjacent land north of the park.
Between 1910 and 1919, wealthy people employed leading architects to build about 60 percent of the homes in the district. Most of the rest of the structures in the district were built to similarly high standards between 1920 and 1929.
Shaker Farm was one of the earliest suburban developments of Cleveland. Establishing streetcar service ensured the success of the development. Wealthy families were lured by the promise of healthy, country living. Development of the area set the stage and established a model for the development of Shaker Heights, which broke off from Cleveland Heights in 1912 and is celebrating its centennial this year.
There are nine other Cleveland Heights historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mary Dunbar is a member of the Cleveland Heights City Council. She nominated the Shaker Farm Historic District for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.