OUT: Workers guide the old Stearns home on the roadway during
its April 19 move to the Olmsted Historical Society’s museum
campus in the Metroparks. (Photo by Larry Bennet)
Stearns carriage house moves to new home
By Jeff Gallatin
Published April 26, 2006
classic piece of North Olmsted history has moved into a rapidly
developing new neighborhood.
Members of the Olmsted Historic Society, state workers,
city employees and workers from AA House Movers in Cleveland were
able to move the old Stearns family carriage house from the Lorain
Road area to the society’s museum campus in the Frostville Reservation
of the Cleveland Metroparks April 19 without problems.
“It went extremely well,” said Society Vice President
Paul Schumann. “We were able to get it out of its old area and onto
the road without major problems. Then it got through the traffic
a little easier than the (old Barton Road) church was able to last
year since the carriage house is a little smaller. So we were able
to get it to the museum campus where we’ve got it waiting to go
into its permanent site there.”
Society members last year moved the historic church
from its old location at Barton and Lorain Roads to the museum campus
on Cedar Point Road in the Metroparks. Society officials have initiated
a series of building protests that have put a number of historic
structures and items on the museum campus together.
Schumann said the carriage house and remaining work
at the old Stearns house will keep Society members busy along with
other projects still under way.
“We’re still working on the remainder of the church
restoration project since we’ve got the bell tower together again,”
Schumann said. “We’re going to be pretty busy taking timber and
other materials out of the old Stearns house for the schoolhouse
Society members had the carriage house moved as part
of the site preparation so the city could begin construction of
the new Fire Station 2 on the property. Society workers are taking
timbers and materials from the old Stearns house to build a replica
of an old school house on the museum campus with the materials.
“We’re glad that we can use materials from a home
like the Stearns residence for a historical project that we’ve been
wanting to do for some time,” Schumann said.
In addition, Metroparks Executive Director Vern Hartenberg
has recommended that the Metroparks support the project with funds
and materials. He also has recommended that it be restored and modern
restroom facilities installed for use by the public. City officials
plan to get the fire station construction work under way in the
next few weeks.
North Olmsted Mayor Thomas O’Grady said the carriage
house and timber removal are great examples of cooperation between
several different agencies.
“It’s another example of regionalism working,” O’Grady
said. “You have different governmental bodies working together with
historical groups and businesses to get something done which will
benefit the city, the parks and all the people who use them and
enjoy the benefits provided by the historic society’s work.”
O’Grady said he enjoyed seeing the work in progress.
“It was something special seeing it moving down the
road with a police escort and then going into the museum area,”
City council members also are pleased.
“It’s great that we’re preserving historic portions
of the community for people to see in the future,” said Michael
Gareau Jr., chairman of council’s building, zoning and development
committee. “This is something we need to do as preserving important
parts of our community.”
Ward 2 Councilman Paul Barker, a former member of
the city landmarks committee, said the moves are welcome.
“It’s a far cry from years ago when we had some historic
structures lost to the community and there wasn’t much cooperation
going on in this kind of project,” Barker said. “The society does
great work and I’m glad to see it getting supported.”