Monday, April 2, 2012

A Road Less Traveled - The Village of Waite Hill, Ohio

Travel down Eagle Road in Kirtland and you'll pass through Waite Hill.  Heading south down SR 306 towards Kirtland turn right onto  Markell Road and you'll pass through Waite Hill.  Return from the Pine Lodge Ski Center in Chapin Forest any winter day and chances are you'll pass through Waite Hill.  I had an uncle who lived there in the 1970's.  I've passed through there for more than thirty years.  What do I know about it?  Very little and maybe that is the beauty of Waite Hill.  It is only 4.3 square miles total.  Fancy topiaries, rolling hills, and tree branches that shield the view of many of its 183 households are the norm.  The 2011 census data  attached a population total of 547, a nearly 23% increase since the last official tally. Most homes are generally less than 10,000 sq. feet.  According to former Mayor Arthur Baldwin, " architecturally any style house is permitted as long as it remains true to that style."  Notable residents include Jerome Osborne, Rich Osborne, and former Cleveland Browns coach Sam Rutigliano.  A notable ex-resident of Waite Hill was Art Modell.

Historically much is known about neighboring Kirtland and Kirtland Hills.  What is known about Waite Hill is that in 1830 a Disciple Church was located there.  It was an offshoot of a nearby Congregational Church in Mentor.  In 1895 as transportation improved an influx of residents moved into Kirtland and the Waite Hill area.  The 1920's was the heyday of the summer people and Waite Hill was incorporated.  Waite Hill lies at the crossroads of many roads less traveled in Lake County.  A 1915 poem by Robert Frost talked of a road not taken.  I encourage you to travel down that road less taken and pass through the small Village of Waite Hill, it will make all the difference.

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