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Willoughby Hills Historical Society, Inc.

Historical IndianThe Mission of the Willoughby Hills Historical Society is to discover and preserve the historic resources of Willoughby Hills and Willoughby Township, and to encourage a preservation ethic in our community.

The Willoughby Hills Historical Society was founded in March of 1988 and was certified as a Not-For-Profit Corporation on May 23, 1988.

It collects, preserves and displays or otherwise provides for study as far as may be feasible of printed material, photographs, and material objects illustrative of life, conditions, events and activities of the past.

The Society meets on the fourth Wednesday of the odd numbered months (except July) in the lower level of the Community Building in the "Historical Society Room" and our newsletter, REFLECTIONS, listing our program for the meeting, is sent to our members the week before the meeting.

Individual memberships are $5/yr. or $100 for life membership.  Family memberships are $7.50/yr. or $150 for life membership.  Click here for membership application.

For more information or a membership application, contact Frank or Mary Cihula at (440) 946-5557 or e‑mail at whhs-oh@att.net.

Meeting/Program Schedule for 2017:

January 25, 2017, 7:00 PM        Last Stop Willoughby, from the TV program
                                                    Twilight Zone.

March 22, 2017, 7:00 PM           John Lillich will present his program on the
History of Dodd’s Mills, the Dodd family and the
                                                          HACH-OTIS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY.

May 24, 2017, 7:00 PM               Lake County Historical Society's Program
                                                    Director, Tonya Busic, will Present
                                                    "Mansions and Scandals". 
September 27, 2017, 7:00 PM   Willoughby Mayor David Anderson presents
                                                    "Walking Down Memory Lane".  
                                                    His 26 years as Mayor of Willoughby.  

DID YOU KNOW?  Posted 8-1-17

The Connecticut State Legislature, in May of 1795, voted to sell 3,000,000 acres of land in what was to become the state of Ohio.  The land ran from the east side of the Cuyahoga river to the Pennsylvania line.  By the beginning of September 1795, they had sold all of it at 40 cents an acre to 48 different buyers.  The deeds were recorded in Connecticut and later moved to Warren, Ohio.  The proceeds of the sale were to go to support public schools in Connecticut.

          On September 5th 1795, all the buyers met and formed the Connecticut Land Company.  They adopted articles of agreement and appointed a board of directors consisting of Henry Champion, Moses Cleaveland, Samuel W. Johnson, Ephram Kirby, Samuel Mather, Roger Newbury and Oliver Phelps.  The directors then appointed a committee of three to take the deeds from the buyers of the land and issue stock certificates in the Connecticut Land Company in return.

          Since the deeds were only quit claim deeds, and few settlers would be willing to risk moving out to the wilderness without a guarantee of title, the United States government offered to give up any claim to jurisdiction over the land if Connecticut would give up all their claim to jurisdiction.  In April of 1800, the United States ceded its right to the land and thus allowed the Connecticut Land Company to have clear title.

          Meanwhile the land needed to be surveyed and divided up.  During the winter of 1795-96, the company appointed Moses Cleaveland superintendent of the survey.  He employed Augustus Porter as chief surveyor and deputy superintendent, Seth Pease as surveyor and astronomer, four assistant surveyors and 42 linemen, axmen, cooks and laborers.

          They traveled to Buffalo, negotiated with the Iroquois Indians and proceeded along the south shore of Lake Erie to Conneaut Creek on Monday, July 4th. 1796.  They held a celebration and named their landing site Port Independence.

          On July 7th, three surveyors and five axmen began tracing and measuring the Pennsylvania line from the lake south to the southeast corner of New Connecticut, 68 miles from Lake Erie and at south latitude 41o.  From there they set up parallels and meridians five miles apart to the west.  They then set up townships five miles square.  The townships were numbered from the 41st parallel north.

          Moses Cleaveland and a few companions traveled west in search of the Cuyahoga River.  They came to the Chagrin River thinking it was the Cuyahoga at first.  After traveling up river a bit, they realized their mistake and went on west to the Cuyahoga and established a settlement.  He surveyed the area and laid out lots, and it was named Cleveland in his honor.

The above information taken from an article in the News-Herald, Tuesday, January 5, 1960.

July 2005, Reflections Newsletter.  All rights reserved.