Side A: The changing use of this land, now Lakewood Park, reflects the development of Lakewood, Ohio from a small agricultural community to a thriving modern suburb. Early settler John Honam’s property stretched north from Detroit Avenue to Lake Erie, between Belle and Cook Avenues. His 1834 home was restored by the Lakewood Historical Society and now serves as the Oldest Stone House Museum. Later, the property was the site of the lavish Robert Russell Rhodes estate, “The Hickories.” As the population grew, so did the need for civic amenities. In 1919, the City of Lakewood purchased the estate, using the land for Lakewood Park and the mansion as a hospital annex during the Flu Epidemic and then as City Hall until 1959. Only one piece of “The Hickories” remains; the original stone wall engraved with the estate name.
Side B: Robert Russell Rhodes built his summer cottage, “The Hickories,” in 1881. Over the years, he expanded the home, eventually making Lakewood his year-round residence. “The Hickories” was one of many large estates lining Lake Avenue. The City of Lakewood converted the mansion into government offices in 1919, housing 47 employees by the 1950s. For instance, the original family sitting room was converted into the Engineering Department. “The Hickories” was torn down in 1959.