During the late 1800s,
iron and steel industries grew dramatically. Large numbers of
immigrants were drawn to Cleveland by the relatively abundant low-skilled
jobs that these industries offered. As the city’s population grew, it
crowded existing neighborhoods adjacent to the factories and
transportation lines. Commerce and urbanization began to encroach more
and more upon the once tranquil neighborhoods surrounding Euclid Avenue,
where Cleveland’s industrial elite had made their homes. The advent of
the electric street railway in the 1890s, gave Cleveland’s elite the means
to climb to the “Heights” and escape to a more peaceful, healthful
suburbanization occurred earlier and more rapidly than in other American
cities, and Cleveland’s elite pioneered its suburban expansion, especially
to the east. In 1900, 10% of
elite already lived in suburban locations. By 1915, the figure had
grown to 34%. By 1931, 82% of Cleveland’s wealthiest citizens lived in
the suburbs. Cleveland Heights was one of the first centers of elite
suburban growth. In 1900, 1.5% of
elite lived in what would become
By 1915, the figure was 9%; and, in 1931, 35% of Cleveland’s elite made
their homes in
Although only 5 miles from the center of downtown Cleveland, mid-nineteenth
century Cleveland Heights was primarily farmland, quarries and vineyards.
The land that was to become Euclid Golf was a timber farm. The steep
incline that exists at the entrance to the Heights and forms the western
boundary of the Allegheny Mountains’ Portage escarpment, made large-scale
development impractical until the 1890s when traction technology became
available. In 1896 the Cleveland Electric Railway Company entered into
an agreement with the Euclid Heights Realty Company to bring a streetcar
franchise up Cedar Glen to service its nascent residential development,
located just north of Euclid Golf.
1890, Patrick Calhoun, a prominent southern lawyer and grandson of U.S.
Vice-President John C. Calhoun, began planning one of the first suburban
Euclid Heights, on 300 acres of land at the top of Cedar Hill. He
called it “Euclid” after the grand avenue where
most prominent citizens lived; “Heights” described its lofty and healthful
location. Landscape architect E.W. Bowditch laid out Euclid Heights on
the “Garden City” model. Abundant trees were planted along gently
curving streets that carried English names. Calhoun’s Euclid Heights
Realty Company instituted deed restrictions that controlled the size of the
lots and the minimum costs for homes. The restrictions also prohibited
commercial uses, the very thing that threatened the
way of life.
Meanwhile, the Garden City Movement was taking hold in Cleveland.
Cleveland’s rapid industrialization had produced overcrowded conditions,
noise and pollution that threatened the city’s health. By the 1890s,
leadership sought relief through the organization of a park system.
The Shaker Heights Land Company, predecessors of the Van Swerigen’s Shaker
Heights Improvement Company, took advantage of the new emphasis on green
space to enhance the salability of their land in the Heights. They
donated a portion of their land along Doan Brook and convinced the Amblers
(Ambler Heights), Calhoun and John D. Rockefeller, Sr. to do likewise,
creating parkland and roads (North Park, South Park and East Boulevard) to
connect the Heights to Wade Park,
Park, Gordon Park and Lake Erie below.
Their foresight increased the value of the land immediately adjacent to the
parkland and enabled its development into elite residential neighborhoods
that took on many of the characteristics of “Garden Cities.”
elite to move to Euclid Heights, Patrick Calhoun planned a first-class
recreational facility. The Euclid Club, a country club, town club and
golf club, opened in 1901.
The Euclid Golf Allotment is so named because it was developed on the
upper nine holes of the former Euclid Golf Club Course.
Euclid Golf Club became
first professionally designed eighteen-hole golf course. Architects
Meade & Garfield designed the English style clubhouse. The course
itself was laid out by William Herbert (Bertie) Way, golf pro at the Detroit
Country Club who had just placed second in the 1899 U.S. Open.
Patrick Calhoun soon discovered that he did not have enough land for a
proper eighteen-hole course, so he worked out an agreement with neighboring
property owner, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., who was a golf enthusiast.
Rockefeller owned 141 acres just across Cedar Road, south of Euclid Heights.
He agreed to lease his property to the club, rent free, with the stipulation
that golf not be played on the Sabbath.
The course was laid out so that both the ninth and eighteenth greens were
situated near the clubhouse. On Sundays, members would play the lower
holes twice. (See the layout of the links.)
1906, Rockefeller permitted the Cleveland Street Railroad Company to place a
streetcar line through his property (and consequently directly through the
upper nine holes of the Euclid Club) to connect the Cedar Road line to
With the increasing availability of streetcar transportation, many
residential developments were springing up in the Heights. Patrick
Calhoun’s Euclid Heights development lay to the North, and M.M. Brown’s
lay just East of that. Ambler Heights lay to Euclid Golf’s West.
In 1904, The Shaker Heights Land Company had put forth a plan to subdivide
and develop land that began on the Eastern edge of the lower Euclid Club
golf links and ran through Rockefeller’s property to the
Lakes. Street plans were developed on Rockefeller’s property that look
remarkably similar to those that Deming eventually built; however, the
company went bankrupt and the plan was never completed.
In 1907, the Van Sweringen brothers took up where The Shaker Heights Land
Company left off and began developing a section just East of Euclid Golf.
The Euclid Golf Club was becoming surrounded with residential developments.
Back to Contents