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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GARFIELD HEIGHTS - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, originally part of the village of NEWBURGH, split off in 1907 as the village of South Newburgh and incorporated as the city of Garfield Hts. in 1930. It is located southeast of Cleveland and occupies approx. 6.75 sq. mi., bounded on the north by Cleveland, on the east by MAPLE HEIGHTS, on the south by VALLEY VIEW, and on the west by CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS The city took its name from GARFIELD PARK RESERVATION, the former Newburgh Park, renamed in 1897 in memory of Pres. JAMES ABRAM GARFIELD†. In the 19th century, the heights above the Cuyahoga Valley were more desirable to settlers than the swamps of the CUYAHOGA RIVER. Local farmers supplemented their income by producing "black salt," a mixture of lye and potash from burned timber, more profitable than grain (see AGRICULTURE). Real-estate developers began to promote the area as a residential community in the 1920s. The population jumped from 2,550 in 1920 to nearly 16,000 by 1930. Whereas early residents were GERMANS, residential immigration after 1920 consisted of working-class POLES, other Slavs, and ITALIANS (see IMMIGRATION AND MIGRATION). The population in 1990 was 31,739 and AFRICAN AMERICANS predominated in some neighborhoods. Garfield Hts., like many commuter SUBURBS, had a small industrial base, which resulted in budgetary difficulties. Overbuilding in the 1920s led to an 80% mortgage delinquency rate in the Depression. For many years, the major industries were the Round Chain Co. and General Chemical. The Garfield Mall was built in 1974. In 1985 the community maintained police and fire departments and a school system consisting of 2 elementary, 1 junior high, and 1 high school. MARYMOUNT HOSPITAL and Convent were located in Garfield Hts.; the city was also home to a branch of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM (CCPL). The population declined slightly by 2000 to 30,734.

Last Modified: 22 Jun 2003 12:11:23 PM

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