Businesses That Fade Away – Now Found

Last Sunday ther Plain Dealer printed a wonderful article entitled “Signs of Lost Times” by Marcia Pledger (one of my favs at the PD). I had the honor as author of “Lost Cleveland” of offering a little quote. Pretty cool. The article details the hundreds upon hundreds of signs that pay homage to Cleveland companies that no longer exist. I really enjoyed the read. A lot of my favorite signs were included in the photos section. To see the fabulous photos by Plain Dealer photographer – Thomas Ondrey click HERE.

One of the great outcomes of the article was an email I received from John TePas, the patriarch and genealogist of the TePas family, whose great grandfather came to Cleveland from Holland to found the Cleveland Co-Operative Stove Company. The Company just happened to be included in one of the many photos by Thomas Ondrey.

John’s email is below:

This one gave me goose bumps. Today’s Plain Dealer feature story in the Business Section has a story about businesses that have faded away, but the buildings and the identifying signs are still visible.  On the front page,  is the CLEVELAND CO-OPERATIVE STOVE CO.  where he made his living. I have searched fruitlessly for years trying to get a lock on this site and here it is

Now quoting directly from his obit in a 1903 Plain Dealer ” Deceased was a native of Holland and came to Cleveland in 1848.  He was one of the incorporators of the Cleveland Co-Operative Stove Company and for years was on its board of directors”. This helps explain his 1893 (??)  will wherein he left two houses and three lots to his sons John, Theodore, and Albert.

The sites listed below get you on the article and then further into it and lastly to the building.

For even m0re fun, go onto one of the satellite map sites, or  and enter the address 2323 East 67, Cleveland, OH.  If you know your way around the Google site, you can see photos of the bldg from front and north side as well as close ups.It’s on the SE corner of Central & E 67with the Pennsylvania RR line on the rear.  I’m sure when Dad traveled to Washington as he did many times he took the Penn rr from the E 55 station and went right by his grandfather’s business, hopefully knowingly.  


Thanks John for sharing your excitement and joy. I really appreciate it. The story, and John’s email, reminds me that Cleveland has so many stories to tell about its past and many mysteries to offer and for us to solve. Enjoy the links, Cleveland.


Christmas in Cleveland

As always, I am a bit belated in getting up my homage to Cleveland’s Christmas past. This season was such a blur this year. And with the crazy publicity that Lost Cleveland received during this holiday season I don’t know if I ever actually new what the date was until Christmas Day. Anyway, I was walking down Euclid Avenue a few days past when I was struck by a few thoughts…the first being,how beautiful the decorations in Playhouse Square and the annual Festival of Lights at Public Square were this year. My second thought was – what was the Christmas Season like in years past in Cleveland? I found some very spirited photos showing what Christmas used to be like in Cleveland and they are marvelous. And next year I promise to do some more research on Christmas on Euclid Avenue – because I have a sneeky suspicion that are some great photos I did not get to uncover this year.

Hey – are you ready for a Christmas Parade?

Photo provided courtesy of the Cleveland Press Archives.

Where did all these people come from? This photo was taken in 1955 moments before Cleveland’s annual Christmas Parade along Euclid Avenue. This particular shot was at the Cole Shoe Store on the south side of Euclid between East Fourth and Euclid pointing towards Public Square. Very near where House of Blues would be today. The crowd is crazy large.

This photo was snapped very close to where the above photo was taken – East Fourth and Euclid albeit from a different vantage point and different year – 1966. But what a gorgeous street scape. Look at all those signs and Christmas decorations!

Photo provided courtesy of the Cleveland Press Archives.

The next shot is one of my favorite photos in the bunch – it was taken in 1967 under the canopy of the Sterling Linder Store (which would be on the corner of E. 13th and Euclid again looking west toward Public Square).

Photo provided courtesy of Cleveland Press Archives.

Look at all these shoppers! Crazy. Look how bright Euclid Avenue looks with the Halle Building across the street. Very exciting. Speaking of Sterling Linder – it was a Cleveland tradition to take the family to visit this gorgeous department store to view the large Christmas tree that was set up in the lobby.

Photo provided courtesy of the Cleveland Press Archives.

What a magnificent lobby! With the tiered floors looking down on the large Christmas tree. It is a shame that half of this store was torn down to make a surface parking lot. Just doesn’t seem fair to destroy this beautiful building for a few cars, does it? I would love for Cleveland to experience this type of rich Christmas experience in its Downtown area. But until then, we can admire the wonderland that was Christmas in Cleveland.

Lost Cleveland – Book Signing Tour

Hello Cleveland! I am proud to announce a number of book signings that will be coming up soon to promote my book – “Lost Cleveland: Seven Wonders of the Sixth City.” I am totally digging the great reception for the book. During the last few weeks I have been lucky to talk with a ton of people about the book and the reception has just been great. Please join me at one of the following events.

Book Singing Tour

December 4th @ Visible Voice Books – 7pm to 9pm (

Before I sign any books I will be telling a few stories on Cleveland History. So get there early!

Twitter: @visiblevoiceCLE

December 8th @ Cleveland Press Club – 5:30pm to 7:30pm (

December 18th @ Barnes & Noble – 2pm to 4pm (Chagrin Road at Eaton Center)

Online Stores to Purchase


Barnes & Noble:


Anyone who purchases “Lost Cleveland” gets this offer from me. I would honored to sign each and every copy purchased. Please let me know how we can connect and I will make it happen.