History of South Euclid
The Centennial is a great time to learn more about the History of our community. Click on the links below to view pdf versions of the two history books written about our city. A limited number of paper copies are available for purchase from the SE-L Historical Society.
The book “South Euclid” part of the Images of America Series can also be purchased from the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Historical Society.
GOLDEN JUBILEE – CITY OF SOUTH EUCLID 1917 – 1967 – THE PROUD HERITAGE OF SOUTH EUCLID, OHIO
Click on the links below to view and download sections of the books.
THRESHOLD OF A NEW CENTURY – CITY OF SOUTH EUCLID 1967 – 1999
by Nancy L. Schuemann
Click on the links below.
Eons ago the earth beneath our feet sat at the bottom of a shallow sea. It was then that the sand and silt became deposited that formed the shale and sandstone, topped by heavy clay soil, now evidenced in gullies such as that cut by Euclid Creek. Through continental drift, the subcontinent west of us collided with an eastern subcontinent forcing this land hundreds of feet above sea level and creating the Appalachian Mountain Range. Our locale, known locally as “The Heights,” is the first western foothills of that range. The ice ages added thick glaciers over this region, further compressing the land to form the dense fine sandstone dubbed “Euclid Bluestone” because it was first discovered here in Euclid Township. When the glaciers retreated from here over 10,000 years ago it left a very large shallow lake that has since retreated to the current borders of Lake Erie. The then exposed swampy landscape has largely dried to the form we now enjoy.
Little is known of early American Indian settlements here. Original settlers were more interested in eking out a living than in archaeology. And the disputes over fur trapping among the various tribes, known as the “Beaver Wars,” kept any large tribes from remaining hereabouts. Since the beaver population had long since declined here the Iroquois were willing to negotiate settlement of the easterners wishing to come.
All the original colonies had been granted western reserves stretching westward from their north and south latitudinal boundaries all the way to the Mississippi. After the Revolutionary War, all of them ceded these lands to the Republic save Connecticut who retained the small portion beneath Lake Erie in Ohio. It gave the western part of it to its settlers whose homes had been destroyed by the British during the war. These became known as “The Firelands.” The remainder was sold to the Connecticut Land Company. General Moses Cleaveland of the Connecticut Militia, and a director in that company, then traveled here with a large group of surveyors to lay out the territory for sale. After further negotiating with the Iroquois for rights to settle here they began surveying. The terrain and other conditions were far worse than the surveyors anticipated and they revolted. Moses Cleveland offered them a modest discount on land in a township mostly of their choosing and they got naming rights. They named it “Euclid” after the Greek mathematician whose plane geometry formed the basis of their field.
Original settlers began farming primarily orchard crops (strawberries, apples, etc.) and two local wooden basket factories provided the containers for sale. Several quarries for Euclid Bluestone began operation shortly after the Civil War. In 1917 to stop the Township Board of Education from closing their one school, Euclidville (renamed Lyndhurst in 1921) incorporated to control this school. Since they then controlled also the schools of adjacent unincorporated territories, in defense both Claribel (renamed Richmond Heights in 1918) and South Euclid incorporated within a few months. All three cities will celebrate their centennials in 2017.
A Catholic Women’s College (Notre Dame) located here as well as Rainbow Hospital (for children) joining the few businesses, few homes, and many farms here. Our huge housing boom occurred shortly after World War II. One thousand homes were added in 1950 alone. Several shopping districts accompanied this. Our demographics have since changed from nearly entirely young families of European descent to the truly diverse all-American population we now enjoy. A visit to website http://bluestoneheights.org or http://SE-Lhistory.org can provide our history in greater detail.