Orlando Aldrich was a prominent 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, and he engaged in these avocations from his lovely house located about where Maple Grove Church parking lot is located today. A bit more biographical information can be found in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) pp. 280-282, excerpted here.
The land just south of Henderson and High was originally owned by Asa L. Parker, and was called Maple Grove Farm. Parker had purchased the land at sheriff’s sale in 1875 for $3,144. Judge Orlando W. Aldrich acquired the land from Parker in 1882, for the sum of $10,000. The old Aldrich home was charming, with a tower jutting two stories above the roof of the house. Judge Aldrich had used the tower as a study and a personal art gallery. From it one got a very good view of the Ohio State University buildings and the river valley. (Drawing by Bill Arter)
The farm remained in the Aldrich family until 1923, when Charles F. Johnson purchased it and sold it in turn to Frank Sweigart. Sweigart remodeled the house, converted it into what has been variably called “Southern Colonial” or “Greek Revival”, and moved it so that it would face Aldrich Road instead of High Street. The house was later demolished to make way for a parking lot.
Frank Sweigart worked for Charles F. Johnson for eight years. Sweigart was a sales manager, treasurer and then advertising manager under Johnson. He was also on the educational committee of the Columbus real estate board for two years. and a member of the state educational committee. He eventually resigned from Charles Johnson’s employ to become vice president and general manager of J. E. Martindill Inc., and was in charge of Marburn, a country estate development on Olentangy River Rd. This is a picture of him in 1923, given to me by his granddaughter Karen.
He eventually owned the house which stood just south of the southwest corner of Henderson and High Street. Here’s a picture of his wife, Anna Sweigart, and six of her children on the porch of that house at 22 Aldrich Rd. Her sister is also in the picture. Frank Sweigart is the one taking the photo. (Photos courtesy of Karen Sweigart Longava.)
Here’s a picture of High Street looking north. Lulu Pearle Browne (Ohsner) and her dog are at the entrance to the driveway dividing the Browne and Al Cooke homes—presently the corner of West Cooke Road. The Aldrich house is on the left and Maple Grove church is in the center left. (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)
Elsewhere on this web site, I’ve praised Lulu Pearle Browne, who in 1992 gave a presentation to her church, Maple Grove United Methodist Church, and in so doing preserved some wonderful Clintonville history. Her son Ron and the church allowed me to copy some of the materials that she prepared for these presentations, as I wrote my book. Some of the material can also be found elsewhere on this web site.
Just for the archival record, I’m also including PDFs of the some of the material Lulu wrote.
She wrote her memories of some of the plays the Maple Grove community produced, up to and including the 1950s (29 pages); and she gave a presentation on changes in the neighborhood (24 pages).
(Documents courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)
Ed Cooke was one of the sons of H. C. Cooke. This was the house of Ed Cooke; it was located on the east side of High Street where the Beechwold Theatre building—now the Columbus Sports Connection– now stands.
This is a picture taken from Ed Cooke’s yard, looking northwest toward the Webster and Browne homes. According to the picture caption written by Lulu Pearle Browne (Ohsner), the fence at the right divided Ed Cooke’s “dooryard” and “barnyard;” and a hollowed stone watering trough stood under the big tree at the corner of the picket fence to water horses going and coming from the barnyard. The larger figure standing in High Street looking north is Al Cooke. The barn across High Street is the Hess barn. (Photos courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)
Albert Clement Cooke (shown here) was one of the sons of H. C. Cooke. To the right is a picture of Albert’s house.
Albert’s land was in modern times rented for a Sandy’s restaurant, which later became a G.D. Ritzy’s ice cream parlor. Albert’s son was the first OSU athlete to participate in the Olympics; he ran in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. Albert’s grandsons Carl and Grant Cooke still live in central Ohio (Photos courtesy of Carl Cooke)
The Cooke family cemetery was located near the southeast corner of Cooke Road and High Street. According to genealogy records, the earliest headstone dated to 1817. Most of the graves were moved to Greenlawn or Union Cemeteries when Bishop Watterson High School was built in 1958. A few headstones were later discovered on a lot on Lenappe Drive. I would love to have some pictures of this cemetery.
There was also a John Rathbone Cemetery at the intersection of Morse and High.
George Whipp came to the area with his wife and two sons from Maryland in 1833. His son George P. was 16 years at the time, and initially worked as a carpenter. Son George married Lucinda Smiley, and they had 10 children one of whom was also named George. The family farmed and had two truck stands along North High Street. (Note: Sometimes the family spells its name with one “p”.) A bit more biographical information can be found in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) p. 770 excerpted here.