Historic Ridgewood.....Rich in History

The original farmhouse at 140 19th Street, NW, was built in 1890 and was the home of John Lehman, superintendent of Canton City Schools at the turn of the century.  The Belden family enjoyed this historic home for many years after.  It is the only property standing today that predated the Leonard Development Agency's establishment of the Ridgewood Allotment, which started in 1918.  Between 1919 and 1930, 185 homes were constructed by the Leonard Development Agency.

Canton historically considered William McKinley their most important legacy.  However, McKinley died in 1901 and Canton passed into a new era characterized by industrial growth.  This began at the time of World War I and accelerated through the 1920s and the Great Depression.  Nearly all of Canton's significant industries were established by 1920 and most of these "Canton Titans" started from humble beginnings.  Their success was due largely in part to their vision, energy, and dedication to hard work.  By the time property in the Ridgewood Allotment went on the market in the 1920s, many of these men had secured the resources to purchase a lot and build a house.

Renowned architects such as Herman Albrecht, John Sherwood Kelly, Charles Firestone, and Louis Hoicowitz, among others, were commissioned to create unique and high-quality homes for these important Canton men and their families.  These titans included steel, industrial, and retail merchants, owners of real-estate and insurance companies and agencies, lumber companies, auto dealers, and transportation companies. Bankers, lawyers, and physicians also made their homes in Ridgewood.  These homes reflected their owners' lifestyles with architectural distinction and notable features.  Lavish gardens, carved fireplaces, slate roofs, servants' rooms, and grand dining rooms may still be seen today.

Many of the primary architects continued to build custom homes through 1999 when the last Ridgewood home was built.  Most of these 105 homes of Ridgewood that were built after 1920 were highly individualized, showcasing many of the most recent architectural designs of the times.

Barbara Fawcett Schreiber is one of Historic Ridgewood's most notable residents.  In May of 1998, she wrote an article for the neighborhood newsletter, describing life in Ridgewood's early years. Working closely with the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum and its volunteers, we were able to bring Barbara's story to life.  Use the link below to view her story.  

Barbara Fawcett Schreiber Biography

Barbara Fawcett Schreiber (1915-2002) served the Canton community in countless ways over the course of her storied career. She was born in Canton to Ralph and Leta Fawcett. Her mother founded the local Philomatheon Society of the Blind. Her father was president of Republic Stamping and Enameling and later Monarch Rubber Company.  Barbara was the oldest of three girls. She graduated from McKinley High School and briefly attended Duke University as one of the first women to be admitted. She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in English from Connecticut College and then a master’s degree from Kent State University which allowed her to teach high school English, French and history. She married Robert Schreiber, who went on to become president of the Canton Recreation Department Board and who was a well-known Canton sports figure. They had four children together- son Ralph and daughters Linda, Barbara and Susan. The Schreibers lived in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Canton. Read more...

Original Newsletter Article

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