Huntington Beach, Ohio in Bay Village History

Huntington Beach, Ohio and Reservation is a beautiful spot with multiple ways to be utilized for photos. You have the beach portion, obviously, which is stunning in both the warmer months and the colder months with the lake icing over. With the piles of ice it looked and felt like another planet! I will warn you though, don’t go out far on the ice. You never know how thick it really is and there is no one who can really save you out there! When it’s warmer and the water is low you can climb the massive sandstone rocks. You can use the path and shelter above the beach for photos, also. Across from the beach is a small, open field. If you continue going back you will reach Lake Eerie Nature reserve, which is a pretty cool place to explore but no photo ops there. It contains live fish and other rescued animals in the back, lots of fun things to look at and some educational programming. Also, worth a mention (if you know anything about ice cream): Honey Hut Ice Cream is open during the summer there!

little girl in pink dress looking and smiling at the camera while touching and standing in a field of yellow flowers

Huntington Reserve was bought by the Cleveland Metroparks

In 1925 Huntington Reserve was bought for $500,000 and holds an extensive variety of Ohio wildlife and three miles of nature trails. These trails go through many different habitats: forest, creek, and meadow.

Huntington Beach, Ohio History

Now Huntington Reservation is known for the beach. But there is some pretty cool history behind this beach. The Native Americans, bison roaming what was then an Indian path but has now become Lake Road. Yes, bison lived in Ohio at one point. According to history, the year 1803 was the year Ohio became the 17th state of the Union, an event that is celebrated, but this year was also the year that the last wild bison was shot and killed in Ohio. The last bison was shot near the Vesuvius Furnace in Lawrence County, which is at the southernmost edge of our state. This sad event was the beginning of the end of Ohio’s wilderness era, a time that will never come again in Ohio.

Named after John Huntington

The Huntington Reserve was named after industrialist John Huntington (1832-1893), who had ties to John Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. He built a steam engine which pumped in water from Lake Erie to irrigate his small farm. It also provided him with drinking water in the summer at his summer house. This bit of land is a huge 100-acres of Lake Erie shoreline in what’s now known as Bay Village.

mom squeezing daughter and kissing her cheek

Moses Cleveland

Prior to European arrival, this land was sought out hunting grounds for the Native Americans, but the area became empty prior to the Revolutionary War. In 1796, people like Moses Cleaveland (the founder of Cleveland, Ohio) started to parcel the land along the south shore of Lake Erie. The land became Bay Village was laid out in 1806. The Lake Erie microclimate was essential for settlers. This “microclimate” existence provided perfect conditions for settlers to grow orchards and vineyards. But to make that happen, they had to clear a ton of massive 17-foot circumference sycamore trees. Pioneers also created fruit farms in Dover Township around 1810.

In 1880, that huge 100 acres of the Dover Township shoreline became John Huntington’s summer and small farm, as I mentioned prior. He also built a water tower, which is one of the few structures he built that still stands today! It looks like a lighthouse, but it a water tower, which was built somewhere between 1880-1890. If you look down below you can also see the brick pump room (where you’ll see lifeguards during the summer sometimes). That pump room was what brought water from Lake Eerie up to the water tower! So cool!

mom lifting little girl up as she laughs and they stand in a field of yellow flowers

Want more information about Huntington Beach, Ohio?

If you’d like to learn a little more about Bay Village, John Huntington and Huntington Reservation, check out this link: Learn More About Bay Village!

And if you were still curious about those bison, I talked about earlier you can learn more here: Learn More About Bison in Ohio!

mom dipping daughter into the yellow flowers

I hope you can get out and visit Huntington Beach, Ohio! Ready for more Cleveland Content? Then don’t skip over the blog links below! But before you go, check out my family photography portfolio and get inspired to start to conversation about your child’s milestone session!

Best Playgrounds in Northeast Ohio

Best Places for Ice Cream in Northeast Ohio

Happy 4th Birthday to My Daughter

Are you a mom in NE Ohio? Do you want a supportive group that’s filled with support from other location Moms across NE Ohio? Look no further and join my Facebook Group called Caffeinated Moms of NE Ohio! (Loving coffee and ice cream is a plus, too, but not required!)