The founding of
The foundational document:
the petition that in July 1911 created Shaker Village out of Cleveland Heights Village.
The archives of Cuyahoga County are housed in a large brick annex behind the Robert Russell Rhodes House, built in 1874, on Franklin Boulevard on the Near West Side.
The file box on the table shown on
the right contained the original records of several annexations and
detachments that took place in the years 1911 through 1915. It
included the record of the separation in 1911 from the southern part
of Cleveland Heights Village to create Shaker Village.
The signature of 26-year old William J. Van Aken appears first, suggesting that he had a role in initiating and circulating the petition. It was the beginning of a lifetime of service to Shaker Heights. [more on William Van Aken] The Van Sweringen brothers signed near the bottom of the third page.
The last page of this petition in the County Archives, shown above, lacks the customary defined end showing the date it was submitted, and a signature and seal acknowledging its receipt. Thus there may have been additional pages.
Other documents showed how the cash and
debt of Cleveland Heights Village would be apportioned.
Based on the appraised valuation of properties, the new
village would get 11.2 percent of the cash held by
Cleveland Heights Village, but would also have to assume
the same share of its substantial debt. To see more
documents related to the founding, including the
valuation calculations and the County order that Shaker
hold its first elections in August 1911,
Some questions about the petition
The July 6, 1911 Plain Dealer reported the news on page 9.
Shaker Heights would be marketed as the finest residential area in the nation. For an example, see a two-page advertisement in the Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday magazine of September 29, 1912. See the ad, full size (2.4 Mb).
Our pages in honor of the Shaker Heights Centennial