In 1826, the Township of Parma was formed. Below, you'll see maps, plats and deeds pertaining to the area where we currently live. Click on the photos and they will bring them up in a larger format, making it possible for you to read the captions. We thought we'd share our discoveries with everyone!
Virginia Avenue was dedicated on September 13, 1919. According to the book, The Best Kept Secrets of Parma, The Garden City, the owners of the land were George and Minnie Friedrich, Emma Ball and W. L. Douglas, Ira D. and Barbara Siegfried. At the time, the area was known as the Village of Parma. The developer was the Wooster Park Lane Company. Our street was named after Virginia Brown Fox who was the daughter of Thomas B. Brown, the sales director for the H. A. Stahl Company. (H.A. Stahl is credited with trying to create a Garden City in Parma. He began his dream -- had all the streets dedicated and many of the improvements were complete. But then the Depression hit. H.A. Stahl died of heart failure on December 24, 1931, at the age of 56.)
The Redemans were the first family to live in our house. Prior to that, the property was land, probably used for farming. Frank and Katherine (Rena) (McAuliffe) were the first owners of our house and lived in it for a few years around 1930. They had sons John (Jack), Charles and Frank. The younger Frank came for a visit, with his nephew Frank (son of Charles). Frank remembers his father carrying him on his shoulders as a young boy toward what is now W. 67th Street, to get the dogs. At that time, our street ended at W. 67th Street, and beyond that it was woods. Frank also remembers a big garden next to the house (where 6810 Virginia now stands). Frank Sr. became ill from his service in World War I, as well as his occupation) and the family moved to Brunswick in search of a healthier environment for Frank. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1936.
Interestingly enough, when nephew Frank saw our Cadillac room, he mentioned that his Uncle Jack (eldest son of Frank and Rena) owned a Pontiac and Cadillac dealership in Painesville!
The Redeman gentlemen gave us Rena's prayer book, with her name and our address in it -- as well as an incredible book of old photographs from Ireland! What wonderful keepsakes for us to have about the history of our home!
According to the 1940 census, the Mertes family moved into the house before 1935. They were paying $45 per month rent. The family consisted of Florence Mertes (age 41), wife Katherine (age 37), children John (age 18), Eugene (age 12), Ida Rose (age 10), Nickolas (age 3). Florence had completed four years of college, Katherine and John had completed four years of high school. Florence, Katherine and John were born in Pennsylvania. Eugene, Ida Rose and Nickolas were born in Ohio. Florence was a clerk in a steel mill and John was a laborer in a tool factory. Florence made $2,000 a year and John made $450 a year.
We have heard from a neighbor that when she moved on to Virginia Avenue in the early 1950s, there was an apple orchard next to our house (where 6810 now stands). Zillow shows the house at 6810 being built in 1950, while the current owners were told the house was built in 1959.
At some point Theresa (Szabo) Fox owned the house. Theresa was the widow of Peter Fox, who died on February 15, 1938. At that time, the Fox family lived on W. 50th Street in Cleveland. When the 1940 census was taken, Theresa was still living on W. 50th Street, with her daughter Margaret (age 13).
Margaret Fox went on to marry Robert Roberts. They lived in the house on Virginia Avenue with Margaret's mother Theresa, and their three children. The youngest was Jeanine, who married Roy Rodgers.
In September, 1983, Theresa sold the house to her granddaughter Jeanine and husband Roy.
We bought the house in April, 1989 from Roy and Jeanine Rodgers.
Still trying to fill in all the blanks, but we're making headway! It's hard to imagine that we've been here over 25 years already. Guess it is true: time does fly when you're having fun!
Hi Carol - my name is Marsha - this was my grandfather's house and my father was Charles (although we called him Dad!) - so nice to see you document the house like this - good fun! Nice to see it has so much love!
The guestbook is empty.
© Carole King Murray Photography