A Touch of Cleveland History

Stories from the First 200 Years

Bob Rich


These 57 short stories are an entertaining introduction to the history of Cleveland, Ohio, for natives or newcomers. They highlight exceptional people and notable events from log cabin days to the mighty industrial era, and cover subjects from sports to fashion to crime. For any Clevelander who wants to know a little more about the old hometown.

Softcover / 174 pages / 5.5 x 8.5 in. / 47 photos and drawings

ISBN: 9781938441332


These 57 short stories are an entertaining introduction to the history of Cleveland, Ohio, for natives and newcomers alike. They hit the highlights—colorful people and remarkable moments from log cabin days to an era of industrial might—and cover subjects from sports to fashion to crime. They first appeared as a weekly newspaper and radio series celebrating the city’s bicentennial in 1996.

Bob Rich’s storytelling ability made him one of the most popular adult education teachers at Cuyahoga Community College. His enthusiasm for local history shines through on the page, too, as he touches on such topics as . . .

• “Ballroom” dancing in the log cabin of settler Lorenzo Carter

• The origin of east side/west side rivalry: a feud over a bridge

• Anti-slavery activity on Public Square and at Oberlin College

• Feisty, gloves-off, partisan journalism in the mid-19th century

• The 41st Ohio Infantry regiment’s valiant Civil War service

• A pro baseball game that ended with a score of 132-1, and bicycle races along Millionaire’s Row

• Perfectionist conductor George Szell, who relentlessly drove the Cleveland Orchestra toward world renown

. . . and the enduring pride of Cleveland’s citizens

Any Clevelander who wants to know a little more about the old hometown will be delighted by these fact-filled stories.

Additional information

Weight.54 lbs
Dimensions8.5 × 5.5 × 0.4 in

Table of Contents

Indian Clashes Preceded Cleaveland Expedition

Moses Finds the Promised Land

Log Cabin Hero

Frontier Era Ends as East, West Sides Start to Grow

Life Could Be Rough During Pioneer Days

O’Mic Hanging Reinforced American Indians’ Fears

Perry Drives British from Lake Erie

Early Cleveland Schools Set Up in Log Cabins

Ushering In the Erie Canal

How a City is Forged

Practicing Medicine in the Western Reserve

When Cleveland Almost Went a Bridge Too Far

Herald of the News

Wild West on Erie

Fire Engine Ruckus

Rails’ Uphill Road

Monied Class Sparked Growth in the Arts

Oberlin-Wellington Rescue Struck Blow against Slavery

Journalists Not Shy in Early Newspaper Days

Religious Commune Gave Shaker Heights Its Birth

J.D. Rockefeller’s Influence Extensive

Abe Lincoln Visits Cleveland

41st Ohio’s Heroic Civil War Role

Cleveland Grays, Born to Parade, Lived, Died In War

Loose-Lipped Lincoln Haters Mobbed

Humorist Ward Started With PD

And Now Pitching . . . A Fan

Prosperity Brought Flow of Immigrants

Industrial Age Both Boon, Bane to City

Civil War Liberated Women, Too

Euclid Ave. Once Home to Rich, Famous

Bankrolling Higher Learning

The Sporting Life: How Golf, Football Started in Cleveland

Churches Bore Load of Charity, Schooling

Big-Wheel Bikes Introduced Cleveland to Sport It Loved

City’s Centennial Brought Much to Celebrate

Tom Johnson Rode Streetcars into Mayor’s Office

Hanna Was at the Forefront of U.S., City Politics

Tom Johnson, Hero for Common Citizen

Johnson’s Peak Years Were Rife with Politics

Boss Hanna Was Cartoonists’ Favorite Target

Rockefeller, the Mastermind of Monopoly

Rockefeller’s Trust Travails

A Strong Will Gave Birth to Cleveland Orchestra

Szell Was Musical Turning Point for City

How Millionaires Helped Start the Art Museum

World War I Brings Many Changes: Patriotic Excitement, Racial Hostility

Brothers Plant Seed for Modern Cleveland

Depression Derailed Van Sweringen Express

Depression, Recovery in Hard-Hit Cleveland

Ness, a Mr. Clean Cleveland Desperately Needed

Even Ness Can’t Catch Vicious ‘Torso Murderer’

WWII Brought Myriad Changes to Cleveland

Baseball Wisdom

City Meets Challenges Right from Its Beginning

Cleveland On the Ebb

City with Pride

About the Author

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