(a 501c3 organization)

     The North Ridgeville Historical Society was founded in 1977 by Manhatten &
Marcellen Lengel, Harry & Dorothy Painter, Frances Smith, Jerry & Branka
Malinar, and others. Our first president was Harry Painter.

In 1978, the Beckett Corporation on Center Ridge Road allowed the use of 3
rooms for meeting & museum space in the Samuel Cahoon House, adjacent to
their factory. The Cahoon House is a circa 1845 brick Italianate-style home, built
by one of the town's pioneer families, and recently completely restored by the
Beckett Corporation. The Historical Society maintained a museum in the Cahoon
House from 1978 to 1987; then for the next 2 years, the museum collection was
displayed temporarily -- first in the Lunas Professional Building on Sugar Ridge
Road, and finally placed in storage at the North Ridgeville Water Treatment
Plant in Sheffield Village.

In 1989, the City of North Ridgeville generously agreed to allow the Historical
Society the use of the first floor of the Old Town Hall on Center Ridge, for
museum & meeting room space. Donations over the years by area residents of
local historical artifacts have resulted in a very nice collection (with rotating
displays) of North Ridgeville artifacts & mementos from the city's nearly
200-year history. Museum exhibits include farming/agricultural & mechanical
items, military items from the various wars, furniture, music or entertainment
exhibits, kitchen utensils, clothing & uniforms, the 1976 Bicentennial Quilt,
Ridgeville High School class pictures & yearbooks, historical papers, photographs
& archives, and many other artifacts, souvenirs, etc.

In the 1990's, the North Ridgeville Arts Council (courtesy of Nancy Franks)
provided a monthly "Art Gallery" in our meeting room, where local artists
& residents displayed their creations and collections.

For a time in the late 1990's and early 2000's, the North Ridgeville Fire
Department added a temporary display of Fire Department memorabilia to our
collection; these items were removed last year in preparation for the 2004
opening of the N.R. Fire Department Museum, next door to the Old Town Hall --
this new museum will feature the renovated 1931 "Buffalo" fire pumper truck
(a project which our Historical Society has contributed to, monetarily).

About the same time that the Historical Society was offered space in the Old
Town Hall (1989), the Sullivan family deeded us the 1859 one-room school on
Jaycox Road, just south of Mills Road. This frame schoolhouse was in use as a
school (grades 1 to 8) from 1859 to 1924. The building and property required a
great deal of renovation, cleanup, and new materials. Again, generous help &
donations (by various business, the City of North Ridgeville, the Lions Club, Corn
Festival Committee, and many individuals), plus the hard work of several Society
members, allowed us over 14 years to "restore" the school to its original

Grant money from the State Bicentennial Commission and the Lorain County
Commissioners (via the Community Development Department and the Lorain
County Historical Society) have enabled us to finish many projects at the
museum & school, and to expand our activities and programs for children &
adults. Many groups of Girl & Boy Scouts, school children, and various clubs and
organizations have toured the Old Town Hall museum and Jaycox Road School;
we've also presented our history slide show at many meetings or club programs.
Fund raisers have included our Annual Swiss Steak Dinners at the First
Congregational United Church of Christ, and sales of our North Ridgeville
Historical Calendars and other items (1896 maps, Lorain County Sesqui books,
commemorative plates & bells, T-shirts, etc.). A former Historical Society
president, the late Miss Frances Smith, donated over $5,000 of profits from
sales of her book, "The Elm Tree Talks," toward our Jaycox Road School project.
We've also participated in the annual North Ridgeville Corn Festivals, First Night
celebrations, and various parades & other ceremonies and events through the
years. Donations of local historical items, artifacts, family or business
information, souvenirs, photographs, yearbooks, etc., are always accepted for
preservation and possible future display at one of our buildings.

Anyone with an interest in the city's heritage is encouraged to join us at a
regular Historical Society meeting (3rd Wednesday of each month) or at a
Museum/Schoolhouse Open House (last Sunday of each month).

(Updated 01/16/09)