History of the West Park

Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

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Virginia Herrington Mohr
Descendant of Pioneer West Park Family

By Gary Swilik
(A variation of this article appeared the West Park Historical Society newsletter)

Photo: Virginia Herrington, daughter of Louis & Lillian Rettberg Herrington.
On the Herrington property at the SE corner of W. 150th & Lorain Avene.
Looking south. 1924.

Mrs. Virginia Herrington Mohr is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Elijah and Sarah Herrington who established a farm in about 1824 at present West 150th and Lorain Avenue, buying land from the family of our first settler, Nathan Alger.

Virginia was born in 1919 on the original Herrington homestead in a wood-frame, single-story house at 14911 Lorain Avenue in what is now a K-Mart parking lot. The county auditor estimates the house was built in 1880 but that's just an official guess. (Photo, right.  Courtesy Wm. & Virginia Mohr.)

 "I lived in that little house with my parents, Louis and Lillian Herrington, until after I graduated from John Marshall in 1937," says Virginia. "It was mostly open country around us. We even had a round cement fish pond behind the house."

 "When my grandmother Anna died (1938) we moved in with my grandfather Alpheus Herrington in his big house on the same property," Virginia remembers. "Alpheus used to farm the land and also started the West End Coal Company nearby. His house at 14901 Lorain later became the office of Trailer Gardens residential trailer park, torn down for K-Mart in the early 1980s."

Surprisingly, the little house where Virginia was born still stands!  In the mid 1940s it was moved to its current site at 3878 West 150th (Photo, left.) at the southwest corner of Schuyler Avenue. Local resident Leonard Solomon, 87, remembers seeing the house make the trip on a trailer from its old location.

In November, 2007, with the kind permission of owners Edward K. Muhlhan and his daughter Kerrie Kruichuk, a representative from westparkhistory.com and members of the West Park Historical Society accompanied Virginia on a return trip to her birth home, discovering bark-covered logs in the basement and visiting the front bedroom where Virginia first came into the world. Few would ever guess this deceptively new-looking little house has such a long history.

Today Virginia lives in Westlake, Ohio, with her husband of seventy years, William G. Mohr, who grew up in West Park from age 11. He attended school at both the old John Marshall on Lorain Avenue and the current building on West 140th.

Incidentally, an additional reminder of the influence of Virginia's ancestors on local history can be found at the busy southwest corner of Lorain Avenue and West 150th where the title on the electric company building reads "Harrington Substation," a misspelling referring to the Herrington Family.

Virginia Herrington Mohr, 2nd from left, was born in this house in 1919.
With Virginia are daughter-in-law Sandra, Husband William G. and son James W. Mohr.
28 November 2007.

The West End Coal Company, founded by Virginia Mohr's grandfather Alpheus J. Herrington,
was on of West Park's best known businesses for over 75 years.
Courtesy of Virginia Mohr.

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Updated:  23 June 2014