Historic tours of Heights neighborhoods scheduled for this fall

FutureHeights will host the last installments of its app-enhanced neighborhood tours on Oct. 20 and Nov. 3. They are part of four neighborhood tours created by FutureHeights, with help from the Cleveland Heights Historical Society, the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, and the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University.

On Saturday, Oct. 20, Mark Souther, associate professor of history at Cleveland State University (CSU) and member of the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, will lead an app-enhanced bicycle tour of Cleveland Heights's historic Noble-Monticello neighborhood. The free tour will start at Oxford Elementary School at 9:30 a.m., and end at the same location at 11:30 a.m., with a tour of the school and its WPA-era artwork. The tour will take place rain or shine.

Souther will guide cyclists through the northern portion of Cleveland Heights, with stops at the Inglewood Historic District, Nela Park and the Warner Swasey Observatory. “The Noble-Monticello area was largely farmland until about a century ago,” said Souther. “Dairies, orchards, and farms made it something of a breadbasket, while bluestone quarries yielded the stones that helped build Cleveland. Wealthy industrialists built their country estates here, Nela Park opened in 1910, and then the area opened to suburban development.”

To help bring history to life, Souther will use the Cleveland Historical mobile phone app, which was developed by his team at CSU. Participants can download the free app prior to the tour at the App Store (for iPhone), the Android Market or at www.clevelandhistorical.org.

“You don’t need to own a smart phone or be an expert cyclist to enjoy the tour,” said Souther. “We’ll take a leisurely pace and use the app to enhance the tour with historic photos and audio clips of people telling the history of their neighborhood. If you have a smart phone, bring it, and we’ll show you how to download and navigate through the Cleveland Historical app."

On Saturday, Nov. 3, Deanna Bremer Fisher and Hugh Fisher, authors of Euclid Golf Neighborhood, an Arcadia Images of America-series book, and of the National Register application for the neighborhood, will lead an app-enhanced tour of the Cedar Fairmount area, in conjunction with a planned unveiling of signage for the Euclid Golf Historic District.

“Euclid Golf was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, and we’re thrilled to finally have signage that reflects that,” said Hugh Fisher. “Euclid Golf was named after the upper nine holes of the Euclid Club’s golf course that was on the property from 1901 to 1912, when the club disbanded. John D. Rockefeller owned the land and sold it to Barton R. Deming to develop top-quality housing.”

The time and starting location for the tour is still to be determined, as plans for the unveiling ceremony are finalized.

Through the Cleveland Historical app, residents and visitors can explore the Heights at their own pace, using their smart phones. Tours of Coventry Village were held in June and August, and a tour of Dugway Brook was held Sept. 22.

The project is generously funded by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, and with support from Coventry Village Special Improvement District, Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley, the City of Cleveland Heights, the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District, Nighttown Restaurant, Council Member Dennis Wilcox, Cleveland Heights Historical Society and others.

For more information, visit www.clevelandhistorical.org or call FutureHeights at 216-320-1423.

Heights Observer Contributor

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 9:52 AM, 10.03.2012