Willoughby is written as a gentle tribute to a special little town located along the banks of the Chagrin River in northeast Ohio.
Settled before Ohio achieved statehood, the community was little more than a cluster of mills and cabins in the early 1800s, but it prospered gradually and began to build a proper town on the ridge above the river. Throughout the century, Willoughby was plagued by fires that destroyed the wooden homes and commercial buildings, but they did not dampen community spirit nor did they diminish prosperity. Benefiting hugely from the arrival of two rail lines and an electric streetcar company, wealthy businessmen rebuilt the village and proudly placed their names on the buildings they constructed, many of which still stand in the historic town
Today, Willoughby retains the look and feel of small-town America, with tree-lined residential streets, a quaint downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and residents who display unabashed, flag-waving, community pride.
For those who already know and love Willoughby, this book will become a treasured keepsake to return to time after time as they reminisce about days gone by, and fondly remember friends, neighbors, and classmates. For readers who have not yet discovered this gem of a town, the author hopes the book will serve as an introduction to Willoughby’s rich history and, perhaps, entice newcomers to visit this welcoming city on the banks of the Chagrin River.
In writing Willoughby, it was the author’s goal to inspire residents to look at the architecture that surrounds them with new perspective, and strive for its continued preservation. For it is architecture that links the past with the present and contributes so much to the sense of place that makes this town beloved in the hearts of so many.