HUNTING VALLEY

HUNTING VALLEY,originally part of Orange Twp., incorporated as a village in 1924. It is an 8 sq. mi. (7 sq. mi. in Cuyahoga Co. and 1 sq. mi. in Geauga Co.) residential village of private estates, farm acreage, and large suburban homes, located approx. 15 miles east of downtown Cleveland. It lies on the CHAGRIN RIVER, bordered on the north by GATES MILLS, on the south by MORELAND HILLS, on the east by Geauga County, and on the west by WOODMERE and PEPPER PIKE. Orange Twp. was settled in 1815 and established in 1820. Some of the first families laid out their farms in the 1820s in the area where Fairmount Blvd. now crosses the Chagrin River. During the 19th century, ORANGE was a thriving farming and dairy community (see AGRICULTURE). At the beginning of this century, Cleveland industrialists began to purchase property in this area. JEPTHA HOMER WADE II bought 455 acres on Fairmount Rd. and called it Valley Ridge Farm. In 1913 ANDREW SQUIRE developed a working farm and a horticultural and landscape gardening center, where Western Reserve Univ. (WRU, later CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV.) students studied the arboretum and the 95-acre pharmaceutical garden. In 1934 Squire bequeathed the estate, Squire Valleevue Farm, to WRU. In 1940 the population of Hunting Valley was 374.

In the 1920s, ORIS AND MANTIS VAN SWERINGEN bought a large tract east of SOM Center Rd. for their country home, called DAISY HILL. They envisioned it as part of a vast development called Shaker Country Estates, but the Great Depression terminated the plan. In 1940, after their deaths, the property was sold and divided into more than 60 private estates according to a plan by landscape architect ALBERT DAVIS TAYLOR. Zoning restrictions included a five-acre lot minimum and banned most commercial and industrial land uses, which enshrined a pastoral setting. Daisy Hill Greenhouses was the only commercial enterprise in the village until it closed in 2010. In recent decades, the village worked with other jurisdictions to conserve the Chagrin River watershed in the face of development pressures in surrounding suburbs. The prohibition of smaller lots also implicitly guarded Hunting Valley’s social exclusivity. As late as 2010, Hunting Valley counted only 0.6% African Americans. Hunting Valley had the highest median household income and median home value in Cuyahoga County and among the nation’s highest per capita incomes. Many residents of the close-knit village were descendants of families that originally lived on EUCLID AVE., later in WADE PARK, then BRATENAHL. In 1970 UNIV. SCHOOL established a 175-acre campus in Hunting Valley. The village, governed by an elected mayor and council, is part of the Orange Local School District. The population was 477 in 1950, rose to 797 in 1970, to 799 in 1990, and was 707 in 2010.

Updated by Mark Souther


See also SUBURBS.


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