Browse Interviews

  • Collection: Shaker Heights Centennial
34 total

Doris Vargo discusses the history of Plymouth Church, its origins in Shaker Heights, and her own personal experiences with the church. This includes the church's community invovlement in Shaker Heights and its progressive beliefs. Vargo also discusses housing in Shaker Heights.

In this 2012 interview, Bob Rawson talks about Shaker Heights as a child and today. His parents were both involved with Shaker Heights, and the city of Cleveland. He talks about his focus on education in the community, reflects on his childhood in Shaker Schools, and discusses what he believes to be current issues in Shaker.

Pat Pogue is an active member of the Shaker community. She was in charge of the Welcome Wagon for 37 years in Shaker Heights until 1999 when the national organization did away with their community representatives. Pogue loved welcoming newcomers so much that she began a program called the Welcome Basket where she fulfilled the same duties of the…

Jim Neville has lived in Shaker Heights since 1970 and works for an architectural firm in the city. He talks about the Shaker Heights board of Architectural Review. He, as of 2012, was still serving on the board. He discusses how the board works, the standards they aim to keep in Shaker, and the value of the architecture. He also talks about the…

In this 2012 interview, Fran King, a longtime resident of Shaker Heights, describes her experience in the Ludlow community. Moving from Boston to Cleveland with her husband and her children, Mrs. King remembers the early days of the Ludlow Community Association. Becoming more active in civil rights, she details Ludlow's fight against white flight,…

In this 2012 interview, Jennifer Mearns talks about her role as a member of the school board in Shaker Heights. She explains some of the programs offered in the school, and the advantages of living in Shaker Heights.

In this 2012 interview, Shelley Stokes-Hammond speaks about growing up in the city of Cleveland and then transitioning to the ever growing diverse community of Ludlow. She speaks about her lack of knowledge of racial aggression as a child, and the peaceful community she was raised in. She briefly discusses the attitude and tensions in the early…

Charlene Higgenbotham, a Shaker Heights resident, recounts her childhood and the formative influence her parents had on she and her sister. Higgenbotham had a lot of jobs over the years and moved around. She was also active in her daughter, Joy's, education and is happy with her success. Higgenbotham is happy to live in Shaker Heights because it…

In this 2012 interview, Geoff Mearns talks about growing up in Shaker and moving back. He spent his high school years in Shaker Heights in the 1970s, and then moved back to raise his kids there. His mother was on city council and then became the first woman to be mayor in Shaker Heights. He talks a little bit about her, as well as his father's…

Barbara Grey, a Shaker Heights resident, served as the president of the Shaker Heights School Board for eight years. She oversaw school closings and integration. All five of Grey's childten went to the Shaker public schools and now she has two grandkids in the schools. She is impressed by the vibrant arts programs at the schools and the active…

Former Shaker Heights Planning Commission member, City Council Member and Mayor, Judy Rawson talks about redevelopment in Shaker Heights. She discusses the problems faced, the achievements, and the issues that still linger. She explains how the community gets involved with politics and what kind of impact that has on the outcome of public policy.…

James Toman is a photographer and author who has written two books on the Shaker Rapid system. An authority on the subject, Toman continues to give talks and present slide shows on the Shaker line and owns a vast personal collection of around 2000 photographs that he has taken of the trains since the 1970s. In this interview Toman relates the…

In this 2012 interview, Robb Forward of Shaker's Brown-Forward Funeral Home, describes his life living in Shaker and the experiences he went through elsewhere. Beginning with his life as a child, he tells stories of Shaker's conservatism in the 1950s and early 1960s, and the role of religion in different ethnic groups. As the turbulent '60s plowed…

Betty Meyers is a member of the Baptist Church in Shaker Heights. In this interview she relates the history of the church, the interactions that the leaders had with the Van Sweringen brothers along with detailing some of the architectural aspects of the edifice.

In this 2012 interview, David and Frances Namkoong describe their journey from Cincinnati to Cleveland in the early 1960s. Encountering anti-Asian discrimination, they soon moved to the Ludlow community where they became actively involved in the integration movement. As the Civil Rights movement was beginning to stir in the US, the Namkoongs agree,…

Margaret Cannon talks about her role as Law Director for Shaker Heights. She discusses the traffic diverter issue and how that impacted the relationship between Shaker Heights and the city of Cleveland.

In this 2012 interview, Emilie Barnett describes her Shaker experience. Wife of Irving Barnett, she began getting involved with the Ludlow Community Association from the very beginning, collaborating with notable Ludlow activists like Drew and Fran King. She describes the neighborhood dinners and meetings that predated the LCA, which eventually…

William Gruber is a life-long resident of the Cleveland area whose family owned the popular restaurant Gruber's. Growing up in Beachwood and Shaker Heights, William eventually settled down with his wife on the edge of Shaker and the city of Cleveland. In this interview Mr. Gruber relates his experiences growing up in Shaker Heights, discussing…

Ruth Kymon talks about her experience doing the initial survey for the Ludlow neighborhood through Case Western Reserve University. She then talks about her experience in the civil rights movement in Cleveland where she goes to school in a church the day they closed Cleveland public schools.

This interview is a discussion about the history of Laurel School with Hope Murphy. She gives a chronological overview of the school's history and talks about important changes. There is some discussion about the type of education received at Laurel School and the curriculum. There is also discussion about when the school moved to Shaker Heights…

Kathleen Crowther in this 2012 interview talks about coming to Shaker Heights while growing up and then living in Shaker Heights. She remembers coming to Shaker square for special occasions, like Sunday dinner and Christmas. She also discusses Cleveland Restoration Society's restoration project, the Asa Upson house on Chagrin Boulevard. She…

In this 2012 interview, Herb Ascherman talks about his experience as a longtime Shaker resident. He focuses on Shaker Heights education and the elitist attitude that he thinks was instilled in Shaker Heights students in the 1950s and 1960s. He describes current and past race relations, and the problems Shaker now faces as a community. Later in the…

In this 2012 interview, Thelma Tucker describes her childhood live experiences that will eventually lead her the Shaker community. Originally raised in New York City, she was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants who valued education at a young age. She describes the racial discrimination she witnessed as a child, and how her Scandinavian background…

Annabelle Weiss is a long-time resident of Shaker Heights, having been drawn to the area primarily because of the reputation of the school district. In this interview Weiss speaks extensively about school and residential integration in Sussex and Ludlow, describing who the people were that led the push to integrate, reactions of the communities…

Winston Ritchie, a Shaker Heights resident, was the Vice Mayor of that city. He describes his childhood experiences and how issues of race affected him as a child. Some of these issues were faced by his children while they were going to school. While Ritchie used race a light-hearted source of humor during his campaign, he takes the integration of…

Donita Anderson is the executive director of the North Union Farmers Market in Shaker Heights. A biologist and chef, Anderson discusses her journey in bringing local farm markets to the Cleveland area and expresses her concern regarding environmental issues that may affect local agriculture's near future. Additionally, she shares her historical…

Mary Webb Scibana talks about her experience moving to Shaker in the late 1960s. She and her husband lived in the Lomond Neighborhood. She relates her experiences in buying the Moses Warren house and its history. Her husband at that time, Tom Webb, was on city council and was influential in getting streets blocked. Mary was assistant to Mayor…

In this 2012 interview, Jan Devereaux talks about her involvement in Shaker Heights politics. She was on City Council, and explains her involvement in different projects under both Mayor Mearns and Mayor Rawson. She also talks about the Landmarks Commission: how it works and its role in local government. She also talks about the process of getting…

In this 2012 interview with Jeanne Cutillo, she speaks about her childhood growing up in Shaker Heights, where her father, Albert Pucciani, built many homes there. She speaks about the innocent time of the 1930s through the 1950s, where kids played on their own without fear or danger. She also talks about the many famous residents that lived in…

In this 2012 interview, Annette Sutherland describes her childhood living in Shaker Heights. Being one of the first students to volunteer to integrate Moreland School in Shaker in 1971, she grew up with a very open mind. She tells stories of activities she did as a child, involving Horseshoe Lake, Thornton Park, and Shaker Square, among others. As…

Norma Rodgers is a "boomerang" resident of the Cleveland area, in that she grew up in the city and moved away before returning to settle with her husband in Shaker Heights. Norma is a graduate of Hiram College and married to a retired psychologist who worked for the Cleveland Clinic. In the interview Norma discusses at length the desirability of…

David Hartt, a Shaker Heights resident, was an urban planning consultant and served on the city's planning commission and was the commercial areas coordinator. He talks about some of the advantages of living in Shaker. He describes various urban development projects in the ciy of Shaker Heights. He discusses changes in the philospohy of urban…

In this 2012 interview, Myra White talks about moving into the Ludlow neighborhood of Shaker Heights specifically because it was integrated. She became involved in housing integration in Shaker Heights, worked for the city, and eventually became a realtor. White talks about housing in Shaker from the sixties to present day. She talks about the…

George Cannon is originally from Indiana and moved to Shaker later in life after marrying his wife who resided there. An educator and principal for a number of years within the Shaker school system, Cannon describes working within the for the schools along with describing the home that he lived in which was constructed by Jacob Strong in 1842.