• Photo of the Beaver Marsh by Jeffrey Gibson.

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

Hammond-Cranz Farm

Hammond-Cranz farm.

Hammond-Cranz Farm

Courtesy/Peninsula Library & Historical Society

The story of the Hammond-Cranz Farm involves family cooperation, the influence of growing markets, and innovative farming practices. Located on Ira Road just south of Oak Hill Road, the farm once included a farmhouse, chicken coop, smokehouse, cider house, carriage house, and two barns. Open fields and gently rolling hills surround the buildings. Lewis Hammond arrived in the valley in 1810 with the Hale family, among the first settlers in Summit County. During his life on the farm, Lewis introduced Shorthorn cattle and Merino sheep to the valley. After his death in 1849, Lewis' heirs sold the farm, which eventually passed to William F. Cranz in 1864.

 
Eugene Cranz working in his field.
Eugene Cranz working in his field.
Courtesy/Peninsula Library & Historical Society
 

On the Cranz Farm, William and his family raised 12 cows and 33 sheep. The cows needed to be milked twice a day: in the morning before work or school and in the evening before bedtime. The Cranzs' also produced cheese and butter on the property, instead of taking milk directly to area factories. William most likely received significant help from his wife and daughter, since it was customary for women to be primarily responsible for milking cows and making cheese and butter.

In 1898, William's son Eugene F. Cranz inherited the farm. Eugene and his wife continued operating the property as a sheep and dairy farm. Eugene gained fame for his scientific farming practices, and as an active member of local and state agricultural organizations. An advocate for land conservation, Eugene became involved in the reforestation movement. In 1949, his property was dedicated as Ohio Tree Farm Number 81.

Click to read a more detailed history of Hammond-Cranz Farm.

Did You Know?

Image courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Natural History

American Indians in the Cuyahoga Valley were influenced by the Hopewell Culture, which created large mound complexes in central Ohio from 100 B.C. – A.D. 500? In the Cuyahoga Valley, American Indians built small mounds rather than large ceremonial centers.