FROSTVILLE is a living history museum located in Cedar Point Valley in NORTH OLMSTED, on land that is today part of the CLEVELAND METROPARKS Rocky River Reservation. The museum is staffed and operated by the Olmsted Historical Society, pursuant to a license agreement with Metroparks. Frostville was created in 1965 by the Olmsted Historical Society (then known as the North Olmsted Historical Society) in order to preserve the Prechtel House (built circa 1876), the last surviving residence in Cedar Point Valley's once vibrant farming community, as a museum. Frostville is named after an early nineteenth century post office operated by Dr. Elias Carrington Frost out of his house, which was located on the corner of Columbia and Kennedy Ridge Rds., near Cedar Point Valley. The creation and opening of Frostville museum coincided with North Olmsted's Sesquicentennial celebration.
Originally, the museum consisted of only the Prechtel House which was furnished with nineteenth century items donated by descendants of early North Olmsted settlers. Over the years, the museum grew into a complex of buildings. A number of these buildings are early nineteenth century houses and other structures which were moved to Frostville in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, when they were facing demolition as a result of the growth of North Olmsted as a Cleveland suburb and regional retail center. The first such house moved was the Briggs House (built circa 1836) which, in 1969, was relocated to the museum grounds from its original site at 29172 Lorain Rd. Over the years that followed, these additional historic buildings were moved to Frostville: in 1976, Jenkins Cabin (built circa 1820); in 1987, the Carpenter House (built circa 1830); in 2005, the First Congregationalist Church (built circa 1847); in 2006, a carriage house (built circa 1910) that sat on the homestead of the city''s first settler, David Johnson Stearns; and in 2017, the Thompson House (built as a cabin in 1838, and enlarged to a two-story house in 1850).
Other buildings in the museum complex include the Strelau Events Barn, in which the Olmsted Historical Society's archives are kept; and the Gifford General Store and Wensink Display Barn. The latter building has on display many items of historical significance to North Olmsted and Olmsted Township, including a 1929 Seagraves fire engine which was purchased during the administration of North Olmsted mayor LEON MELVILLE COE pursuant to legislation instigated by then Councilman and future North Olmsted mayor CHARLES ALDEN SELTZER as part of the latter's plan to create a professional fire department for the municipality. The barn also has on display a side saddle once owned by Buffalo Bill's Wild West star Adele Von Ohl Parker, which she used for trick riding. Another small building on the museum grounds houses the early nineteenth century horse-drawn hearse used by officials of Olmsted Township, and later the Village of North Olmsted, to transport the remains of residents to local cemeteries for burial. It was built by John Ames, a carpenter who built a number of the first houses and other early buildings in what is now North Olmsted, including the Carpenter House and the First Congregationalist Church.
Frostville, which is open to the general public, is supported by donations and fund-raising events by the Olmsted Historical Society.