Whatever Happened to the

Whatever Happened to the "Paper Rex" Man? and Other Stories of Cleveland's New West Side

by The May Dugan Center, May Dugan
     
 

Do you remember the “broken cookie store?” Free dish night at the Marval Theater? Saturdays at the Rollercade? Crusin’ on Lorain Avenue? Riding the interurban? The smell of fresh bread coming from the neighborhood bakery?

If so, this is the book for you. Inside are 72 stories about life on Cleveland’s Near West Side in the first half of

Overview

Do you remember the “broken cookie store?” Free dish night at the Marval Theater? Saturdays at the Rollercade? Crusin’ on Lorain Avenue? Riding the interurban? The smell of fresh bread coming from the neighborhood bakery?

If so, this is the book for you. Inside are 72 stories about life on Cleveland’s Near West Side in the first half of the 20th Century, including . . . Summer afternoons at Perkins Beach . . . Playing “cops and robbers” in the alley . . . Hanging out at Heck’s . . . Visits from the “umbrella man” . . . penny candy at the corner store . . . and lots more!

Editorial Reviews

Sun News
This book is a ‘must read’ for anyone who enjoys taking a walk down memory lane. The delightful little vignettes put a human face on many area institutions and shed a new light on many parts of our city we overlook or take for granted.
The Plain Dealer
The authors have poured a lot of themselves, and Cleveland’s rich neighborhood history, into these delightful vignettes about the Near West Side. Where else can you browse through one book and discover the paaaaper-rex man, the tinker, Perkins Beach or the Fairyland Theater? You won’t find John D. Rockefeller or Marcus Hanna in these pages. But you might recognize a long-lost neighbor from 1950.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780963076014
Publisher:
Gray & Company, Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Pages:
108
Sales rank:
640,296
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Really—Where is the “Near West Side”?

Many people say it reaches from the “Boulevard” (W. 102nd) to the River and from the Lake to what is now Denison Avenue. But it wasn’t always like that. The development of the Near West Side began a long time ago, when, in 1807, pioneer families the Lords and the Barbers came from the East Coast to the area as investors in what some say was one of the biggest real estate deals ever.

The Lords and Barbers were part of a group of early settlers who bought the right to own land in the Western Reserve, which was then owned by the state of Connecticut. The Western Reserve stretched from the Pennsylvania border 120 miles west to the area near Sandusky between Lake Erie on the north and the area just south of Akron and Youngstown.

Together, this group of investors put up over one million dollars—a huge amount of money back then. Each investor was given the chance to obtain plots of the land through a drawing in April, 1807. The Lords and Barbers pulled the largest parcel, which stretched from the Cuyahoga River to W. 117th and from Lake Erie to Brookpark Road, naming it Brooklyn Township.

These pioneers had the land surveyed, and in 1836 further incorporated an area from the Cuyahoga River to W. 58th Street, from Lake Erie to Walworth Run, near the present day Rapid tracks. They called this area the City of Ohio. The center of the City of Ohio was called Market Square, and it extended from W. 25th to W. 38th Street. The turnpike (what we now refer to as Pearl Road or W. 25th Street) was the main road in the area.

Until 1854, the City of Cleveland and the City of Ohio were totally separate. In June of 1854, the City of Ohio and some of the area surrounding it was annexed to Cleveland. It then grew to become known as the Near West Side of Cleveland.

More recently, other kinds of “labels” have been given to divisions of Cleveland’s lands. The Strategic Planning Areas (SPAs) define areas one way; the police districts another; and the City Council yet another.

Many “regular” people don’t use any of these categories when they say where they live or work —they just say “around such and such street” or the Near West End.

Overall, we consider the Near West Side as the part nearest the Cuyahoga River, out west to about the Boulevard, and from the Lake south to Denison.

– Patricia Ehlen Milenius

[Excerpted from Whatever Happened to the "Paper Rex" Man?, © The May Dugan Center. All rights reserved. Gray & Company, Publishers.]

Meet the Author

The May Dugan Center is a not-for-profit social services agency serving Cleveland’s near west side.

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