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‘Churches’ Category

Broadway House No. 1

Friday, October 10th, 2008

North Broadway was developed by the Loren and Dennison company in 1897; it was intended to be the place to live, and it was. James Loren originally planned to call it the Oakland Addition, but the post office requested he change the name to avoid confusion with another neighborhood. It had a small railroad depot and post office at North Broadway’s east end at the Big Four Railroad track. This house at 510 North Broadway Street was the first house built in the subdivision. It was built around 1890.  It was sometimes called Acton Place, for reasons I was unable to discover.  By 1894 it was owned by a man named E. Howard Gilkey.  The William W. Daniel family purchased it in 1896, and the house remained in that family’s hands until 1961.  It burned down in 1966. My Clintonville and Beechwold book has a photograph of the original house; this photograph shows the fire. The spot is now occupied by Columbus Speech and Hearing Center.  (Photo from an unnamed newspaper clipping)

St. James in the Woods

Friday, October 10th, 2008

All the literature for St. James Episcopal Church states that it was organized in 1881, and that church members met in local schools before they had their own church building. I admit to being skeptical of that date and believe 1891—when James Loren began developing East North Broadway and donated a lot on Beech Hill Avenue (now called Calumet Street) for the church–is nearer to the mark. Some sundry facts about this, the oldest continually running Clintonville church:
• The original exterior was a Tudor Revival Style. The cornerstone was laid in 1894, and the mission was consecrated in 1896.
• The church was enlarged to a seating capacity of 200 in 1927; that was also when the church building got indoor toilets.
• The original church was traditionally covered with ivy. The ivy growing on the church grew from a shoot brought from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, which in turn got its ivy from somewhere in “old England.”
(Photo courtesy of St. James Episcopal Church)

North Congregational Church

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

This church is not in Clintonville, but because it is so close to Clintonville I could not resist including North Congregational Church located at East Blake and East Avenues, on this website. The photograph was taken in 1900. (Photo courtesy of Judy Cohen)

Never Too Many Cookes…(the article)

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

I wrote this article for the Clintonville Historical Society newsletter and am reproducing it here for your convenience…

Never Too Many Cookes…
by Shirley Hyatt
© Shirley Hyatt

We often think of Clintonville as having been established in 1847 near the intersection of Orchard Lane and North High Street on Bull family land, but we mustn’t forget that today’s Clintonville extends north to Worthington, and that other families contributed significantly to the development of Clintonville’s northern reaches.

One of the most vibrant little communities was centered near the intersection of today’s Henderson Road and North High Street (or more precisely, Cooke Road and North High Street). In streetcar days this was known as Cooke’s Corners, because it was established by the extended Cooke family.

Roswell Cooke came to Ohio from Connecticut in 1800 with his wife and five children. The two oldest sons, Chauncey and Rodney, took up adjoining land in the vicinity of today’s Henderson Road and North High Street. At the time the land was densely wooded, and the Cookes had to clear the land to establish their farms. By 1827 they operated large productive farms, had built grist and saw mills along the Olentangy River (near Weisheimer Road), and also operated a distillery.

Roswell died in 1827 at the age of 63. Son Rodney (1793-1833), a veteran of the War of 1812, married Laura Cowles and together they had nine children: Esther (married to L. J. Weaver), Roswell (m. Lorinda Skeels), Helen (m. John Good), Rosalia (m. John Webster), Rachel (m. William Buck), Laura (m. Lester Roberts), Rodney Romoaldo (m. Chloe Williams), Demon, and Henry C. (m. Abigail Taylor). Sadly, Rodney died when his youngest child was just 3 months old; wife Laura supported the family by working as a tailor. She herself lived until she was 73 years old.

Genealogies state that Henry C. was born “near Olentangy Park in 1825.” After his marriage to Abigail in 1852, he moved back to the old Cooke family homestead and gradually purchased property from the other Cooke heirs. Eventually he consolidated 300 acres of good productive farmland. Henry and Abigail had seven children: Clara (married to Wellington Webster of Findlay OH), Flora (m. J. L. Armstrong), Albert Clement (m. Lulu Brown), Edwin (m. Ella Haines), Mary (m. David Maize), Alice (m. Charles Hess), and Harry Lester.

Henry C. Cooke worked for awhile as a teacher, then as a farmer. He also went into the stock business (i.e. shipping stock). In 1879 he went into business with A. G. Grant to form Cooke, Grant, and Cooke, which constructed heavy masonry bridges. (This company’s projects may include the present Henderson Road bridge and a few others in the area.) Henry was one of the promoters of the Worthington and Columbus streetcar line. He was prosperous, and built a magnificent house along present-day North High Street at Deland Avenue. (You can see its photo in my book.)

I named the spouses of Henry’s children above to show how tightly knit the community was. The Webster’s family farm was south of the Cookes’ along today’s North High Street. The Armstrongs, the Maizes, and the Bucks, and Albert Clement Cooke, all lived a very short distance from Henry. Daughter Alice—a schoolteacher at the Clinton Heights school—had married one of the great-grandsons of Balser Hess and they lived in Henry’s grand home.

John Buck was one of the early pioneers who received a military land grant in the area; some records state that he sold the original Cookes their land. Descendents of John Buck had a market on North High Street; long-time residents still remember Buck’s market today, and short-time residents may still recall the Buck residence, an Italianate-style house just north of the northeast corner of Henderson and North High. The Bucks were related to the Cookes by marriage.

George Whipp came to the area with his wife and two sons from Maryland in 1833. Whipp had received 160 acres of land in return for military service, and he also purchased the mill property that had been built by the Cookes. (At some point in time the old mill on the river was called “Whipps Mill” and Henderson Road bridge was known as “Whipps Bridge.”) His son George (b. 1817) was initially a carpenter, and was credited with building many of the houses of Clinton Township. Son George married a neighbor named Lucinda Smiley in 1838, and they had 10 children (one of whom was also named George). The family farmed, and though much of the acreage was eventually sold off, the Whipp family continued to own a truck farm in the area. Old timers can still recall the big orange sign for Whipp’s Orange Mill, a fruit stand located at 4588 North High Street featuring fresh squeezed orange or pineapple juice. The Whipps were related by marriage to the Bucks. (Note: sometimes the family spells its name with one “p”.)

An article about this tightly-knit community warrants mention of two other families, the Aldrich family and the Phinney family. Orlando Aldrich (b. 1840) was a prominent judge, lawyer and OSU law professor. Aldrich was the first president of the Worthington, Clintonville & Columbus Street Railway Company and served in this position from 1891 to 1898; he subsequently held an office of the Columbus, Delaware, & Marion Electric Railway. Aldrich had purchased 23 acres of land on the southwest corner of Henderson and North High in 1882; it was a fruit farm called Maple Grove Farm. Aldrich had three great hobbies: horticulture, collecting great art, and collecting rare books about archaeology. He engaged in these avocations from his lovely house located about where Maple Grove Church parking lot is located today. According to artist and local historian Bill Arter, Aldrich had a magnificent view of the river and OSU campus from the turret of his house. This house was moved slightly, rotated, and completely revamped in the 1920s by subsequent resident Frank Sweigart. (For more information, see my web site, www.clintonvillehistory.com.) It’s from this farm that the area around Henderson Road and North High Street and the church get their names today.

Barnabas Phinney (ca. 1813-1899) came to the area in 1838, and purchased 60 acres of land near the northwest corner of today’s Henderson Road and North High Street. In addition to farming, Phinney was an investor in the toll road running from Columbus to Worthington, and in the electric streetcar company. He married Mary Smiley and was probably brother-in-law to George Whip. Their house was said to be majestic. They had no children, and after his death most of the property was sold. At some point (circa 1893) the house was sold to the Schreyer family, and then chopped into apartments. I would love to see a picture of this grand old home. In 1913 a fire broke out; the city fire department was called but there were no water lines that far from the city, and so the building burned to the ground. (Luckily, no one died in the blaze.)

By the early 1900s, this was a tight and thriving community. The houses were handsome. The Cooke family held annual reunions at the Cooke house—old photos show the family eating at long tables arranged in the shape of a “C,” and they kept an ongoing register with names of attendees and minutes. The community held plays to entertain each other, went sledding on today’s North High Street, went horseback riding along Indian Springs Drive, worked and had fun, and worshipped.

The original Cookes were said to be Universalists, but somewhere along the way most of them became Methodists. In 1842 Chauncey Cooke had leased a 32-foot by 99-foot portion of his land on the corner of Henderson and North High to the Clinton Township School district to be used for both education and religious purposes. A school house was built in 1878, and it was used by the Clinton Township School District as well as by local Christian worshippers. When Orlando Aldrich purchased his beloved Maple Grove fruit farm, his tract surrounded the school and church property, and Aldrich expanded the land dedicated for school and church purposes to three-quarters of an acre. In 1919, when the school district had ceased using the building for educational purposes, ownership of the building and land reverted to the Cookes. Family members agreed to sign quit claims, and the property was put into the hands of the Como Avenue Methodist Church until a neighborhood church could be formalized. In 1920 Maple Grove Methodist Episcopal Church officially organized and assumed ownership of the church they had probably long worshipped in.

The Cooke family had a family cemetery located on the southeast corner of Cooke and High. When Bishop Watterson High School was built in 1958, the graves were disinterred and moved to Union or Greenlawn Cemeteries.

Luckily the activities of the neighborhood were documented by Lulu Brown Ohsner–a Cooke family member, neighborhood resident and parishioner of Maple Grove Church who has since passed away—in some presentations to Maple Grove Church about 15 years ago. And, many Cooke and Whipp family members still live in the Columbus area, and have family photos and memorabilia. Henry C. Cooke’s contracting company Cooke, Grant, Cooke is still in existence; the current name of this company is the Fritz-Rumer-Cooke Co., Inc. It incorporated in Ohio in 1911, and still specializes in railroads and other general contracting. Sadly, most (though not all!) of the lovely homes owned by the Cooke family members have been torn down.

Chestnut House

Friday, September 26th, 2008

And another amazing old photo of North High Street from Stu Koblentz. This photo also looks north, and was taken just south of the intersection of High and North Broadway. The house on the west (left) behind the little shack (marked “ice”) is the Chestnut house, described in this web site’s “Water for Cookies” entry and also found in my book. The school on the east (right) side of High Street is the old Clinton Township school building, a picture of which is also in my book. You can click on the image to see it in more detail.

Stu’s theory about the Chestnut house is as follows:

The image shows the Chestnut house, facing North High Street, about where it currently stands. The facade that faces Wall Street today is the facade facing High Street. This is verifiable in the chimney placements.

So I went through Joe Testa’s web site and I think I know what happened to the house.

As far as I can tell the house stood approximately at 3327-29 North High Street. In the 1910s, when the house (which appears to have been built in the 1860s or 70s) is pictured, the house had been moved on a pivot to its current location, with its northeast corner remaining close to its original placement. This would account for the front lot build out, the twist in the alley and the sudden reemergence of Wall Street as well as the placement of the house in the picture, and the current location of the house.

What is interesting to me is why did they go to all that trouble, when its fairly common in urban settings to build a street facade onto a house and call it a commercial building. I think that part of the reason is that the house sat further back from High Street, making it too far away to convert to a commercial space commonly found in that era.

Almost another Calvary Church…

Friday, September 26th, 2008

As early as 1819, Methodists in Clintonville worshipped in people’s homes—the home of Eber Wilson has been mentioned– with circuit riders as preachers. Methodism was, in those days, a young and evangelical sect. When Thomas Bull, one of Clintonville’s early settlers, died in 1823, he left land in his will to build a church for the members, and that church was erected 15 years later at 3100 North High Street near Walhalla Road & High Street. Southwick Good Fortkamp Funeral Chapel occupies that building today.

The church membership decided in 1881 to sell the chapel and move the church to the thriving community of North Columbus, and they built a new church on East Tompkins. Several members dissented from this decision and, under the leadership of Eli Batterson, met at homes and at the Clinton School. In 1905 Howard Westervelt—great-grandson of Thomas Bull—reorganized a Methodist Sunday School, and church members worshipped in the home of Frank Dankworth at 70 West Lakeview. They founded Como Avenue Methodist Church in 1910. By 1924 they had outgrown that church and decided to build a new church edifice at North Broadway Avenue and Broadway Court. There were three candidates for the new church’s name: St. Paul, Calvary, and North Broadway; North Broadway was chosen.

Behind every successful man…

Friday, September 26th, 2008


In my book I mentioned that the women of Clintonville were instrumental in building the community of Clintonville. According to North Broadway Methodist Church records, in 1906, the Ladies Aid Society was organized at Como Methodist Church. They pledged to earn $3000 a year for 5 years. They held bake sales and dinners, quilting parties and luncheons, and they met their goal. Their efforts were indispensable to construction of the Como Avenue Church Building and the Broadway Church. (Photo courtesy of North Broadway Methodist Church)

James Boyd Martin

Friday, September 26th, 2008

The North Broadway Methodist Church (built 1924) was designed by architect James Boyd Martin, who also designed his own house at 190 East North Broadway. His home is complete with an architecturally-consistent play house to the rear. Martin’s house was made of Indiana Limestone with green roofing tiles. (The original plans for the church called for limestone as well, but changed to brick for budget reasons.) Martin also built the house at 155 North Broadway as a wedding gift for his daughter. His son, Boyd Gibson Martin, eventually joined the architectural firm (Martin, Orr & Martin) and designed his own house at 256 East North Broadway as well as the Worthington Presbyterian Church (in 1927) and the Worthington and Westerville Libraries. Sadly, the Great Depression put the architectural firm out of business. (Photo courtesy of Lynn McNish)

The play’s the thing

Friday, September 26th, 2008



In 1925, members of Maple Grove Church presented a play at the church. The play was Friendly Helpers Class. It was a success and was taken on the road to the Linworth and King Avenue Methodist Churches. The left photo shows cast members Katherine Cooke (Barbee) and Lulu Browne (Ohsner), Dorothy Cooke (Hambleton) and a neighbor playacting for the camera in 1925. The photo on the right is the program for the June production. (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner Family)

Crestview Presbyterian

Friday, September 26th, 2008


Crestview and Overbrook Presbyterian Churches were organized by the Reverends Walter Houston and Harry Barr, and both claim this “tin church” as their first home. In 1915 the Crestview congregation purchased five lots at Tulane and Esmond. They met in the tin church until 1918, when a more permanent structure was erected. In 1922 a larger church was built; the first brick structure was converted to a manse. (Photo courtesy of Overbrook Presbyterian Church)