Historic Ridgewood… Rich in History
The original farmhouse at 140 19th St. NW was built in 1890 and was home to John Lehman, superintendent of Canton schools at the turn of the century. The Belden family enjoyed this historic home for many years to follow. It is the only property standing today that predated the Leonard Agency’s development of the Ridgewood Allotment starting in 1918. Between 1919 and 1930, 185 homes were constructed by the Leonard Development Agency.
Canton historically considered William McKinley as 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 built after 1930 were highly individualized, showcasing many of the most recent architectural designs of the times.