H. Caves & Cynthia Robinson

277 Bratenahl Road (East 105th Street)

Harry and Cynthia had no siblings and had no children of their own, they opened their home to servants and a gardener. They had many greyhounds and shepherds that lived in the kennels built to accommodate Cynthia’s passion for dog breeding.

Harold Caves Robinson was born on May 21, 1891 in Wellington, Ohio. He graduated from Culver Military Academy After graduation from college, he married Cynthia Ploss.

Harry was a founder and co-owner of a bus company that provided service between Detroit and Buffalo. It was sold in the early 1930s and merged into the Greyhound Bis lines. Mr. Robinson later started in the real estate management business.

Harold died on March 17, 1970. Alone and lonely, Cynthia befriended Bob Loebsack, the manager of the local A&P grocery store. She quickly learned that he had a wife, Virginia, and two children, but no dogs. When Cynthia’s cockapoo had pups, she encouraged Bob to take one home. He repeatedly declined. One day, Cynthia approached him and urged, “I have this dog in the car, why don’t you come to see it?”

Bob and Virginia had their cockapoo named Butchie for eleven years. Each year on Butchie’s birthday, Cynthia invited Virginia to have lunch. Each year Virginia politely refused. In 1982, after seven years of declining the offer, Virginia finally accepted.

What Cynthia really needed was someone to help her organize her personal affairs and her business holdings. She had not opened her mail in ten years.

Virginia helped Cynthia a few days a week for a nominal salary and quickly became a friend. At this point in her life, Cynthia’s visits with Virginia brought her companionship and more joy than she had experienced in years.

In November 1993, Cynthia purchased the vacant twelve-story Howard Johnson Motor Inn at 5700 South Marginal Road. Robinson, head of a partnership known as Lisa Lemon Inc. purchased the 200-room building on 2.7 acres overlooking Lake Erie. The building, once called the Lakefront Plaza Hotel, had been a vacant eyesore for years. Despite its history of unsuccessful ventures, experts felt it had a future. Cynthia sold the property in 1998 and the building was eventually demolished in 2009.

Cynthia contracted cancer. She was aware of her condition, but her fear of cancer made her choose to keep the news to herself. She refused to eat and gradually grew weaker. On October 18, 1995, Cynthia died at the age of 75. Her death certificate stated heart failure but cancer was the cause of death. Cynthia is buried in Ridgeville Cemetery in North Ridge.