Historical Places

Corning Place

Warren and Mary Helen Corning acquired property on October 9, 1890, at the very end of what is now Corning Drive from trustees Daniel Eells and William Harris, who had purchased the property on July 10, 1885, in a judgment against James and Elizabeth Fitch.

The Cornings assembled “Corning Place” as a summer campground located immediately west of Dugway Brook.  The 36.52 acres that now comprise Corning Drive were initially owned entirely by the Corning family. Their city home was at 3201 Euclid Avenue.

Corning built only one small structure on the property to house a dining room and kitchen. Family members and guests camped out in huge canvas tents that sat two feet off the ground on oak platforms elaborately furnished with oriental rugs, brass beds, and mahogany dressers. A drawing-room, a library, and a dining room tent were also on the grounds.

Goat carts, pony carts, riding horses, and lawn tennis were a few of the means to pass the time. An orchestra entertained guests such as Mark Hanna and William McKinley. Corning had a steam yacht moored behind a long breakwater in front of the property at Dugway Brook. Often guests would sail across Lake Erie to Canada and return late in the afternoon in time for supper.

Warren Corning did not have many years of enjoyment at Corning Place. In 1895, he had an operation performed for the removal of cartilage from his knee.  Blood poisoning set in, which resulted in amputation.  He was left in a weakened condition.  He died on September 3, 1899, at age 58.

With Warren Corning’s death, the family had to decide what to do with Corning Place.  On July 30, 1901, the family members deeded the land to a family-controlled entity named the Standard Land Company.  The land company initially made winding trails through the parkland. Eventually, the land was surveyed into 24 lots for future development, including a road down the center of the property perpendicular to Lake Shore Boulevard that was variously known as Corning Place or East 109th Street.

Warren and Mary Helen Corning’s son, Henry Wick Corning, acquired a large sublot on the northeast corner of the development along Lake Erie on November 8, 1917.  Known as sublot 24, the property consisted of 8.5 acres and ran south along the western shore of Dugway Creek.

East 109th Street remained a private drive until 1936, when the residents petitioned the village to dedicate the road for public use.  The Bratenahl Village Council accepted the street dedication on December 18, 1936, with the new road known thereafter as Corning Drive.