At one time, the Stearns brothers, who settled between 1815 and 1832 in what is now North Olmsted, owned more than eight hundred acres of land here. Their farms stretched along Lorain Road from just west of Dover Center Road all the way to the Lorain County line.
So what about these Stearns? Who were they, what do we know about them, and why are they important to City of North Olmsted? We all know, of course, that there’s a road named after them. You can’t live in North Olmsted very long before you learn a little about Stearns Road. And not just where it is located. When I first moved out here from Cleveland some thirty years ago, I soon learned that this road was viewed by many as the beginning point of the west end of the city. A place that had less retail development. A place to draw the line, some would say. The quieter side of town. But the Stearns are important for another reason, one that is less geographical in nature. Not only were they one of the first families to farm North Olmsted, they also produced the first settler, helped found the first church, and organized the first township government. Because of all this, we can justifiably call them North Olmsted’s first family.
More information about the Stearns family:
Article about 3 Surviving Children of First Settler David Stearns
1911 – Anniversary celebration – Willard Stearns family
1922 N.O. Map with Stearns Houses circled (red)
1940 circa – DJ Stearns House when it was 110 years old – Charles D Stearns owner – Press Article
A resident of North Olmsted since 1983, Jim Dubelko was employed in the City Law Department for three decades, retiring as Director of Law in 2009. Currently a member of the City Landmarks Commission, Jim earned a master’s degree in history in 2012 and is a writer for Cleveland Historical.