april art walk and month of april

AT PILGRIM CHURCH: Tremont History Project presents: A VISUAL HISTORY OF TREMONT, from birth to rebirth. This Tremont history timeline will be on display at Pilgrim Church beginning on Art Walk Friday, April 13 from 6 to 9 pm at Pilgrim Church located at the southwest corner of W. 14th St. and Starkweather Ave. The display will also be available to view each Sunday after liturgy, approximately 11am through 12:30 – 1:00 pm, and during normal business hours, through the moth of April (April 29). Go to Pilgrim’s website: http://pilgrimalive.org

Add comment April 9th, 2012

Memories of Maria Cairns-Yuras

“Lincoln Park – Sundays people would gather on the grass and benches to chat with friends or play cards, checkers, dominos and chess on the picnic tables.  Some would bring picnic baskets from home while others stopped after church.  Children played soccer or played at the pond that was in the center of the park, they also had a carousel and swings, too.  Water fountains were at the corners of the park off Kenilworth/W11th and W14th & Starkweather.  There were bushes completely around the whole park and Post Lamps that lit up the park at night.  They had toilets, but Mom remembers them being dirty.  Mom seemed to think there were no sidewalks on the inside of the park in the early days, but brother Mike says there were always there.  I remember goldfish in the pond and Mike says they broke ground in 1957 to put the swimming pool in that still stands today.  Swimming was free from 7 years old and up, but you had to sign in your name and age before getting in.  They would check our toes and make us take a quick outside shower spray before getting through the bar gates.  Wednesday was Family night for swimming where parents could come.  Teenagers would climb the fence and skinny dip late nights, too.  There were Easter egg hunts and Band Concerts in the Park, also……

Our milk was delivered to our doorstep in glass bottles with cardboard caps.  My brother Mike delivered the Cleveland Press Newspaper and then later turned it over to brother Bill who turned it over to Roman and me.  We raised chickens, rabbits and pigeons in our backyard.  We never locked our doors, someone was always home and kids running in and out all the time……

My mom was a cleaning lady and raised 4 children.  She paid off her home and has lived in the same house in Tremont for 55 years so far.  She has seen many changes over the years from good to bad to good again.  There are still a few oldtimers like my parents that have hung on through thick and thin and still reside here in Tremont……”

 With Memories and Sincerity, Maria Cairns-Yuras (Dowhaniuk Family)

*Used with permission from Maria Cairns-Yuras.  These are only a few of the memories from Maria and are written as given to us.  We do not guarantee historical accuracy for this or our other oral/written histories/memories.  These are memories from the 1950’s/1960’s timeframe.

Add comment August 30th, 2008


John G. Jennings was born in 1825 and died on December 16, 1896 at his residence at 194 Jennings Avenue.  He was buried at Riverside Cemetery.  He created the University Heights allotment in 1851.  Mr. Jennings taught Sunday school in 1859-1860.  The people of the area wanted their own church rather than traveling east of downtown and meetings were held at the home of John Jennings on Scranton Avenue.  On November 13, 1859, University Heights Congregational Church was founded.  When a new church building was added in 1869, this church was named Jennings Avenue Congregational Church after the street which was named after Mr. Jennings.  Mr. and Mrs. Jennings were generous to the church and he was a deacon of the church for more than 25 years.

Add comment July 15th, 2008

Thomas Holmden

Thomas was born in 1817 in England and died February 3, 1886 at his residence , 829 Scranton Ave.  He was buried in Monroe Cemetery.  Holmden Avenue was named after him and was also called “Dutch Hill”, where children would sledride.  In 1860, he lived in Allegheny, Venango County, Pennsylvania.  He was Venango County Commissioner from 1863-1865.  He sold his land in Allegheny for $25,000 to an oil drilling company when oil was found on his property.  This land became known as Pithole City and there was a huge oil boom there.  By 1865, Pithold had a population of 15,000.  In 1866, the wells began to dry and by the end of 1867, Pithole was dead.  Thomas Holmden arrived in Brooklyn Township in 1866.

Add comment May 26th, 2008

St. Wendelin Church history

church.jpg2281 Columbus Road.  The Early Days:  Reverand Joseph Koudelka, the pastor of St. Michael Church on Scranton Road, first approached Bishop Ignatius Horstmann about the possibiity of establishing a parish to serve the needs of the Slovak community.  Bishop Horstmann recognized the language difficulties this community faced and their need to continue their ethnic traditions.  It was on May 3, 1903 that a group of pioneer parisioners received Bishop Horstman’s approval to build a new church.  This new church was given the name, Saint Wendelin.

The next step was to find a location for the new church.  Word spread that a property along Columbus Road near W. 25th St. had become available.  This property, which was owned by the Meckes family consisted of two lots measuring 120 ft. by 330 ft.  On the property stood a brick buildeing which was purchased for $6,500.  The front part of the building was remodeled into a parish house, and the rear of the building was transformed into a two-room school.  On one side of the property stood the Phoenix Brewery.  On the other side, there was a salooon. Read more …

Add comment May 26th, 2008

Holy Ghost Greek Catholic (Now called Byzantine Catholic) Church

holyghostbyzantine2420w14th.jpgSouthwest corner of Kenilworth and W. 14th Streets. 

At the turn of the 20th century, both before and after 1900, waves of immigrants from the Carpathian Mountains of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in east Slovakia, West Ukraine, Southeast Poland and the northern tip of Romania and still with no country of their own), followed Irish and German settlers to the Greater Cleveland area.  These people are not Slovak, Ukrainian, Russian, or other ethnic group.  They are a separate ethnic group and founded a number of churches in the Cleveland area, both Greek Catholic and Orthodox. ***More about Rusyns and Carpatho-Rusyn churches will be written on this website.

Finding work in the steel mills and industries centering around the “Flats”, these Ruthenians (known more correctly as Rusyn – not Russian -) immigrants next turned their thoughts to establishing places where they could worship in accordance with their Byzantine Catholic heritage. Read more …

Add comment April 9th, 2008

Cleveland University

In 1850 a group of prominent Clevelanders, including Mrs. Thyrza Pelton and John Giles Jennings, began plans for the founding of Cleveland University.  They purchased 275 acres of land from the Kellogg, Barber and Branch farms, on the bluff overlooking the flats.  One of the founders was Governor William Slade, Jr. who platted the surrounding area into a subdivision with streets bearing such intellectual-sounding names as Literary St., University St., College St., and one that would become Professor St.  Next to Slade’s allotment, the university was incorporated on March 5, 1851 and one building was constructed near the corner of College and University Ave.  The plan included a female seminary, an orphan asylum, and a retreat for aged persons.  The residence for the president, Rev. Asa Mahan of Oberlin Institute, was also constructed on the corner of W. 14th and Fairfield.  Pelton Park (now known as Lincoln Park) was established as part of the campus.  The trustees included Ahaz Merchant, Samuel Starkweather and Richard Hilliard. Read more …

Add comment February 7th, 2008

Lincoln Park Baths

lincolnparkbaths1201starkweather.jpg1201 Starkweather Ave.  Currently condominiums, the Lincoln Park Baths opened in 1921.  The baths were built to serve a community whose housing lacked modern plumbing.  There were separate entrances for men and women and the patrons paid between a penny and a nickel for the use of the facilities.

Info and picture courtesy of Tremont West Dev. Corp.

Add comment February 7th, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church

Originally at 2139 W. 14th St.  Construction of the innerbelt caused the move to 4470 Ridge Rd. in 1958.

More to come.

Add comment February 6th, 2008

St. Andrew Kim Korean

2310 West 14th Street.  St. Andrew Kim was previously the home of Sacred heart of Jesus Polish National Church.

More info to come.

Add comment February 6th, 2008

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

2187 West 14th Street.  The congregation was organized in 1910 as the Pan Hellenic Society with services held downtown in a hall on the corner of Bolivar and Ontario Streets.  In 1918 the Society became known as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation.  The current church’s construction also began in 1918.  Until 1937 this was Cleveland’s only church for Greeks.

Courtesy of “A Guide to Cleveland’s Sacred Landmarks” by Armstrong, Klein, Armstrong and

“Tremont’s Churches” by Victoria George and Drew Rolik, HABITAT magazine, February 9 / February 13, 1990

Add comment February 6th, 2008

St. George Orthodox-Antiochian

2587 West 14th Street.  St. George is the former Lincoln Park Methodist Church.  This Romanesque church was built in 1892.  St. George added small onion domes to the base of the steeple.

*more info to be added

Add comment February 6th, 2008

St. John Cantius

906 College Ave. This parish was established on April 14, 1898.  They originally met in a converted car barn in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.  By 1908, the parish had grown to 400 families.  The current church was constructed in 1925.

Add comment February 6th, 2008

El Calvario Penticostal Church

elcalvariopentecostal2536w143.jpg2536 West 14th St.  This church was built in 1908 and was the former Emmanuel Evangelical United Brethren Church made up of a German congregation.  Because of a declining German population in the area, the church was sold in 1968 to the Cleveland Baptist Temple.  This congregation remained there until 1994 when Calvary Pentecostal Church (known by its members as El Calavario) purchased the property. 

Add comment July 27th, 2007

Tom Woznicki, Tremont Neighborhood, Spring 2006

My name is Thomas J. Woznicki.  I am 85 years of age, born December 10, 1919.

I was born in the Tremont area and resided there for 30 years, then moved to the Brooklyn area after my marriage.  Our family resided on West 7th Street (2443) during our childhood and then moved to West 14th Street in 1936.  While living on West 7th, we did go to the Lincoln Bath House and recreation center at times.  The neighbors that we knew and associated with were Guzik, Harchar, Brookes, Proszek, Lestechin, Lapinski and Barr families. Read more …

Add comment July 27th, 2007

Zion Evangelical Church

03.jpgLocated at the corner of W. 14th St. and I-490.  In January of 1867, forty German immigrant families living in the section of Cleveland, then known as University Heights (now Tremont), met with Rev. Stemple, pastor of West Side Church.  Many of the families had been attending Rev. stemple’s church, but with the great walking distance and increasing German population in this area, they decided to start a church of their own.  In the spring of the same year, a corner lot on College Avenue and Tremont Street was purchased for $400 so a permanent church building could be constructed.  The cornerstone was laid on May 12, 1867, marking the date we have come to regard as Zion’s birthday. Read more …

Add comment June 25th, 2007

Merrick House History

oldmerrickhouse1920s.jpgThe first building was at W. 11th St. and Starkweather Ave.  What you see is the original building.  The present building, built in 1949 is located at 1050 Starkweather Ave.

ORIGIN:  At the close of World War I, the once restricted “University Heights” district located on the bluff of the west bank of the Cuyahoga River had gradually changed.  Often marked by poverty, its homes were neglected, unpainted, and unrepaired.  Isolated by a river gully and a web of railroad tracks, the district became known as Tremont Area.

Poles, Russians (editors note: most likely they were Rusyns), Ukrainians, Slovaks, Germans, Irish, and people of many other nationalities lived in the congested area.  Census studies showed 144 persons per net acre as compared with 22 for the city as a whole.  Recreation facilities were inadequate.

In this area came Merrick House in 1919.  Founded under the auspices of the National Catholic War Council as a part of its post-war reconstruction work, it was a settlement and a day nursery doing non-sectarian work under Catholic auspices.  In 1923, its first headquarters was purchased with funds from the Catholic Charities Corporation.

The name “Merrick House” was taken in honor of Miss Mary Merrick, founder of the National Christ Child Society, in recognition of the interest and service given by the Cleveland Christ Child Society. Read more …

Add comment June 25th, 2007

History of Immanuel Lutheran Church

immanuel50thanniversary3.jpg2928 Scranton Rd.  Immanuel Lutheran Church traces its history to Trinity Lutheran Church on West 30th St. in Cleveland.  In 1853, Trinity opened their first school on the West 30th St. property.  Because so many of the members were locating in the “Brooklyn” (of which Tremont was a part) area, a second school was erected facing Seymour Ave., off Scranton Road (in Tremont).  Candidate of Theology, Henry Weseloh, was brought to Cleveland from Germany to assist Pastor Niemann, of Trinity in 1876.  Aside from being assistant pastor at Trinity, it was understood he should devote himself especially to “Brooklyn” with the thought of establishing a new congregation there. Read more …

Add comment June 14th, 2007

Ted Woznicki

October 5, 2005 Interview with Ted Woznicki at the Jefferson Library
Interview done by Mollie Alstott and Eileen Sotak

Mollie:  What is your age?
Ted:  82

Mollie:  What years did you live in Tremont and where did you live?
Ted:  I was born on W. 6th St. originally and uh incidentally, at that time all births were done by midwives.  You didn’t go running to a hospital.  And then we moved from there to W. 7th St., and I lived at 2443 W. 7th which is at the intersection of Jefferson and W. 7th.

Mollie:  What did your house look like?
Ted:  Well, we had really a 3-family house.  Our family lived on the first floor and the front of the house had a small bakery store.  My mother sold baked goods and upstairs we had two suites, two rental suites. Read more …

Add comment June 2nd, 2007

Mary Hennel

Interview with Mary Hennel on April 29, 2005
Interviewer was Eileen Sotak


Eileen: Did you have indoor plumbing in that house when you were little?
Mary: We had to go outside.

Eileen: What was that like, was that scary?
Mary: Oh yeah, especially at night at 2-3:00 in the morning. Sometimes you would see a rat go by.

Read more …

Add comment June 2nd, 2007

Preschool Pilgrim Church, 1919


Add comment June 2nd, 2007

Union Gospel Press

cleveland-university33.jpgOn January 5, 1895 in Annandale, New Jersey, The Reverend Mr. Musselman and seven women from his church began a home missionary ministry that is now known as the Gospel Worker Society. The purpose was to reach homebound people in their communities and to encourage people to receive Jesus Christ. The purpose was accomplished through missionary meetings of different venues. In 1896 a womens and a mens Society were formed. In 1897 the name of the Women’s Home Missionary Society was changed to the Gospel Worker Society because the women had become known as “Gospel Workers.”
Read more …

Add comment May 6th, 2007

Camp Cleveland

campcleveland4natarchives15.jpgDuring the Civil War, there were four camps located along what is now Woodland Avenue between E. 22nd and E. 55th Streets.  These camps were called:  Camp Taylor, Camp Wood, Camp Brown and Camp Todd.  There were two additional camps, Camp Wade and Camp Cleveland, which were located west of the Cuyahoga River in the area known today as Tremont.  These were considered camps of rendezvous and training where local regiments organized before being sent into service.  Two houses on the corner of Auburn Ave. and W. 11th St. were used as a hospital for sick and wounded soldiers (presently the site of the Ukrainian Labor Temple).  Recruiting was done in a barn on Auburn Ave.

Camp Cleveland in Tremont was Cleveland’s largest and best-developed Civil War camp.  It was organized in July 1862 on a 35-acre site bounded by Herschel (W. 5th) St., University (W. 7th) St., Railway St. (Railway Ave.) and South St. (Marquardt Ave.).  Approximately 15,230 officers and men, almost 5% of the troops raised in Ohio during the war, trained there.  The camp also housed federal units in transit from one assignment to another, as well as two groups of Confederate prisoners.  At the war’s end, over 11,000 troops were paid off and discharged at Camp Cleveland, and it was closed in August, 1865.

Camp Wade, located on land later to be occupied by Camp Cleveland, was used by the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Cavalry from August 26 – October 21, 1861.  It’s boundaries (what are now W. 5th St., W. 7th St., Literary Rd., and Jefferson Ave.) differed somewhat from those of the later camp.

 Information courtesy of:  John Whipple, Berea, Ohio and from National Archives and Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Add comment April 22nd, 2007

Lemko Hall

lemkohall.jpg1048 Literary St.  Lemko Hall was built in 1911 by Andrew Koreny and was originally a social hall with a saloon, gambling rooms and a spacious ballroom.  It remained the home of Andrew Koreny until purchased by the Lemko Association Branch No. 6.  The local branch was formed in 1929, and the larger group was organized in Cleveland in 1931 to serve the Rusyns from the “Lemko” region of the Carpathian Mountains.  The first Lemko Social & Civic Club in Cleveland was located at 1037 Starkweather Ave. in the mid-1930’s.  By 1937 the hall moved to 1205 Starkweather, until 1946 when it moved to W. 11th St.   In 1977 the hall gained fame when it was used to film the wedding feast in the film The Deer Hunter.  In 1988, Lemko Hall was declared a landmark.

Add comment April 22nd, 2007

Pilgrim Congregational Church, its founding and early years

Pilgrim church exterior2592 W. 14th St.  In 1850 there were just five families in University Heights (as Tremont was known at the time). These five families were Branch, Kellogg, two Aiken families, and the Hadlow family. These original families are of interest because they have been connected with Pilgrim Church. In 1854 a Sunday school was started.  In 1857 Mr. Hadlow brought his pastor, Rev. William H. Brewster, home with him. At that time Mr. Hadlow was connected with a Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church on Euclid Ave.  Rev. Brewster would preach in the little school house on the site of the present Tremont School. He and Mr. J. G. , Jennings, Cleveland Heights Sunday School Superintendent, conducted a Sunday school in the same place. People felt the need of a church of their own, and gatherings were held at the Jennings’ home located on Scranton Avenue. Congregationalism was settled upon. On November 13, 1859, the “University Heights Congregational Church” was declared organized. Mr. Hadlow, known as”Father Hadlow”, was the very founder of the church. Brewster Pelton and Jennette, his wife, were most loyal helpers and supporters.  Mr. and Mrs. Jennings  gave liberally as well.

In 1858, Professor Humiston, already well known in the city of Cleveland as a teacher of exceptional ability, was induced to open a school in the former “University” building.   The school was known as “Humiston’s Cleveland Institute.”  In approximately 1860, he offered the use of Humiston Institute for church services.  Sunday school and prayer meetings were held in the school house.  After five years the church numbered only forty-eight, and was still holding preaching services in the Institute, but planning for a new building.  Mr. Pelton gave two valuable lots on the corner of Jennings Ave. and Howard Street, and in the spring of 1865 the building was begun. In the fall of 1869 the “Connecticut Colony” arrived, including three new families who brought greatly needed elements of strength, both personal and financial. In previous years, Thomas H. Lamson was most generous to the church as was his brother Isaac P. Lamson and his partner, Samuel W. Sessions.  In 1883 the name of the church was changed to Jennings Avenue Congregational Church, which name it bore until June 17th, 1892 when the present and final name of Pilgrim Congregational Church was chosen.

In November, 1891 a movement began for a new building. On April 5, 1893 a crowd gathered to take part in the breaking of the ground. Present were Deacon J. G. Jennings, Mother Hadlow, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Olney, to whose generosity the Church owed so much. In November, 1894, the structure was completed.  The original church was sold to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and became St. Augustine Catholic Church.

Sources:  Seventieth Anniversary, History and Year Book, Pilgrim Congregational Church and Tremont West Development Corporation

Add comment April 4th, 2007

The South Side

“The South Side, the Tremont area, is a hillcrest neighborhood five minutes south of downtown Cleveland.  North, south and east of it is The Flats, the industrial valley of the city.

The South Side was home.  It was immediate family.  It was aunts, uncles and cousins.  It was schoolmates whose parents were Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Slovak, German, Irish, Greek and Syrian.  It proved to be a stage deep and wide enough for any dream.

The South Side was St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Church, Pilgrim Congregational Church—and fourteen others.  It was Tremont Elementary School and Lincoln High.  It was the Merrick House, one of the oldest settlement houses in the city.  It was the Dinky, a yellow trolley pretty in memory as a toy.  It was Lincoln Park, a square block of grass, trees, playgrounds and benches.  A man named Dominic used to sit on a bench, smoke his pipe and talk about the old country, dream about it, as he must have talked and dreamed about the new.  It was Fairfield Hill with three and sometimes four layers of children on a sled whistling down the January dark.  It was the Jennings Theatre with nickel movie matinees every Saturday and Sunday afternoon; with love and innocence conquering all in double features every night; with dishes on Wednesday; with Banko and cash prizes on Saturday.

Read more …

Add comment March 27th, 2007

History of Our Lady of Mercy Church

church1922.jpg2425 W. 11th St.  What you see is the original church.  For several years previous to the year 1917, Slovak Catholics residing on the South Side, or “Heights”, as it was called, clamored for a parish independent of the Mother Parish, St. Wendelin, located on Columbus Road.  The reasons alleged were, that it was too distant to send children to St. Wendelin School, also too dangerous, since the children had to cross three street car lines and one railroad track.  To avoid crossing the railroad track, the children would have to cross over the Abbey Street Bridge, which worked quite a hardship on the children, especially in winter.  Therefore, the Slovak residents of the South Side petitioned Rt. Rev. John P. Farrelly, then Bishop of Cleveland, to grant them a new parish on the South Side.  This parish was to be a division of the parish on Columbus Rd., St. Wendelin. Read more …

Add comment March 27th, 2007

Tremont – A Brief History

Because of the difficult topography, Tremont was somewhat slow to develop.  A few farmers came in from Connecticut between approximately 1810 and 1840.  Isaac Lamson, Thomas Lamson and Samuel Sessions were New Englanders who came shortly after and were the first to build a factory.

Industry was then on the move in Cleveland and immigrants swarmed to the area because of the availability of jobs.  The Irish and Germans were the first to arrive after the New Englanders.  Soon the lowlands teemed with industry and the high ground teemed with laborers newly arrived from Poland, Austro-Hungarian Empire (Slovaks, Rusyns, some of whom were called Lemkos and Ruthenians, and Ukrainians).

The immigrants thought they were coming to a land of gold-paved streets, but they spent their lives working 12-hour days, six days a week in unsafe workplaces and for low wages.  These newer arrivals were noticed immediately.  The women wore babushkas and the men wore course woolen trousers.  Despite the poor wages, many immigrants still earned more money here than they could ever have earned in their “old country.”  Many came and saved their money in order to bring other family members over or to send money home.  Men who came alone typically lived in boarding houses.  Boarders could live well on about $8 a month in the 1890’s.  Typical wages were about .10 – .20 cents an hour.

Most immigrants struggled to learn English and raise families.  They chose to live in ethnic enclaves that were much like their own countries with a common foreign language, stores, churches, newspapers and social halls.  It wouldn’t be until after World War II that they and/or their descendants would begin leaving Tremont for the suburbs of Parma, Lakewood, Brooklyn, and beyond.

By the 1960’s the principal influx to the Tremont area was by southern whites and Puerto Ricans.

Add comment February 6th, 2007