Historical Places

Coit House

Coit House - Eddy Road & Lake Shore Boulevard
Coit House - Eddy Road & Lake Shore Boulevard

The Coit House, located on the northeast corner of Eddy Road and Lake Shore Boulevard, was one of the best suburban hotels and regarded as a familiar landmark.

Following the death of Henry Coit in 1870, his son, Charles Coit, capitalized on his family’s reputation for hospitality by converting his father’s farmhouse in Coit's grove on the lakeshore into a summer resort hotel called the Coit House with facilities for swimming, boating, and fishing.

Tavern keeper Jacob Silverthorn made it a popular resort. The Coit House had no bar, but the geniality of the host and the fame of his wife’s chicken and creamed potatoes plus oyster suppers attracted a large following. Parents felt no qualms about permitting their daughters to attend the hotel’s oyster suppers without a chaperone.

The building was a two-story country hotel with porches all around. Nearby cottages were also available for guests. A fountain in a grotto spouted on the flowers and lawn. Picnickers could watch cargo ships sail by while sitting at wooden picnic tables placed in a grove. Children enjoyed a hand-operated merry-go-round. People had access to boats left at the basin to enjoy fishing or pleasure. The hotel's billiard room was safely tucked away in the bathhouse.

Female guests took leisure strolls to a pair of bridges that arched over scenic Dugway Brook. Then, there was an easy walk to the beach. Unfortunately, ladies correctly attired in the newest long-sleeved navy or black bathing attire spent little or no time on the beach, being handicapped with knee bloomers, long skirts, stockings, and slippers.

The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad built a small railroad station in 1873 with a siding east of Eddy Road north of the tracks. A wagon ran from the depot to the Coit House for the convenience of guests.

Coin House 1893
Coin House 1893

The Coit House Hotel closed in 1878 after operating for eight years. Charles built a new hotel closer to the lake in the mid-1980s. In 1890, it became the setting for the Bit & Bridle Club, a small, informal group of horseback riders who frequently rode from their Euclid Avenue mansions to open country along Lake Erie, meeting at the Coit property.

Charles Coit sold five acres, including the hotel, to the Country Club in 1889. Major A. W. Hanson held a ten-year lease on the building and had been an occupant

The hotel, including two barns, was destroyed by fire on October 12, 1894. Hanson was the manager of the hotel and lost about $2,000 with no insurance

The fire started in the basement and spread rapidly. George Anderson, an employee, first discovered it. He was in front of the hotel and saw a flame coming from one of the windows.

Anderson sounded the alarm, but the Glenville fire apparatus was so meager that they rendered little assistance. Cleveland sent an engine company, but the hotel and the number 2 barn were nearly consumed on its arrival. Nevertheless, they succeeded in saving the numerous summer cottages surrounding the property.

Most of the hotel furniture was carried from the building. Major Hanson had some valuable paintings which were ruined.

The Cleveland Golf Club leased the grounds from Charles Coit in 1895. The club laid out a short nine-hole golf course and built a shack for use as a pro shop and caddy shack.