Early Settlers

 Collinwood Village 1883 - 1907

On June 4, 1883, Collinwood Village was established out of the Collamer section of East Cleveland and Euclid townships.

Collinwood, with a population of 1,500, was laid out on a liberal plan with streets enough for a small city. It had churches, three schools, six stores, four doctors, two drug stores, one hardware store, two boot stores, one clothing store, two millinery stores, one hotel, The Warren House, two livery stables, two news depots, one wagon and blacksmith shop, one harness shop, three meat markets. A post office was established in 1875.

The village was also the site of several lakefront vineyards. Farmers sold the grapes in bulk, but, there was some wine produced. J. J. Preyer's Lake View wine farm was one of the most recognized wine-producing places in the county.

LS & MS Shops Collinwood
LS & MS Shops Collinwood

The Lake Shore Railway merged with the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad in 1869 to form the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway, giving one company the whole route from Buffalo to Chicago, passing through Collinwood. The first locomotive traveled the entire length of 1,013 miles.

The building of railroad repair shops and roundhouses began in 1873 and finished in 1875.

By 1890 Collinwood was a significant switching point of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad as well as the site of vast rail freight yards. The Collinwood Railroad Yards eventually included more than 120 miles of track and extensive repair shops, providing the basis for the area's early growth.

An influx of immigrant workers settled in the area when the railroad purchased 160 acres to build a repair yard and roundhouse in 1874. The need to provide housing for workers gave birth to a new settlement named Collinsville after the railroad’s chief engineer, Charles Collins. Collinsville became a significant switching point and the location of its vast freight yards. The railroad yards eventually included over 120 miles of track and extensive repair shops, providing the basis for the area's early growth.

The LS&MS railroad built a station just east of 140th Street south of the tracks attracting wealthy Cleveland residents to build summer homes in the North Collinwood area.

George Gilbert, Sage Coe, and John Shipherd developed the 40-lot Gilbert Shipherd allotment on both the north and south sides of Lakeshore Boulevard immediately east of Coit’s property in 1870.

In 1870, Osborn and Stockpole allotment came immediately to the east. Eight small, wood-sided homes ranging from 800 to 1,600 square feet were built on twelve lots in the subdivision. They were one to two stories in height and situated on lots of one-tenth to two-tenths of an acre.

In 1870, John D. Rockefeller purchased fifty-acres of lakefront acreage in East Cleveland Township east of the Osborn and Stockpole allotment from the Sheldon Parks estate.

Just as with Glenville, there was talk of the annexation of Collinwood by the city of Cleveland. Petitions were circulated with the view of Cleveland annexing all of Collinwood Village. The more conservative property owners viewed the movement with suspicion, believing annexation would increase tax rates.

Based on petitions signed by nearly 1,000 voters requesting annexation, the Collinwood council prepared to introduce an ordinance for annexation to Cleveland. The board was bitterly opposed. A letter from citizens opposed to annexation was received before the presentation of the ordinance, allowing postponement of any action.

Collinwood council hastily called a secret session to bar annexation. The council passed an ordinance detaching a strip of territory along the westerly line bordering Cleveland. The effect made Cleveland and Collinwood non-contiguous with the hope of preventing annexation. Council was charged with cutting off the most beautiful part of the village to hold positions of village officials and their jobs.

Cleveland city council passed an ordinance to annex Collinwood. The result was the tangle going before the county commissioners. The statute clearly stated that commissioners should form a township following action of village council voting to detach. There was a disposition of the commissioners not to take such action that would stand in the way of developing Cleveland.

Owners of lakefront properties in Collinwood shared a desire to preserve their domestic tranquility through self-government.

The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern railroad expressed a desire to have its Collinwood property remain separate from the City of Cleveland, believing that they could receive more improvements from Collinwood.

Alvah Chisholm, Horace Fuller, and others representing themselves to be a majority of the freehold electors along Lakeshore Boulevard sent a petition against annexation to the county commissioners. The petition comprised a separate wedge intended to prevent immediate annexation.

In a second petition, about twenty people living in Collinwood Township, owners of suburban homes along Lakeshore Boulevard, asked the county commissioners to cut off their section of the township if Collinwood voted to become part of Cleveland, they would escape coalition. The petitioners stated they did not want to be included in Cleveland.

The separation was to be only a precautionary matter. If the annexation matter came up in the fall election and Collinwood decided that it didn’t want to become Cleveland, they could go back to Collinwood.

Following a ferocious debate, a petition was presented to the county commissioners to detach a portion of North Collinwood to become Bratenahl Township. In November 1907, the petition was granted. Later, Collinwood Township became annexed by Bratenahl Village. Bratenahl Village expanded to 1.03 square miles, including three miles of muddy streets.