One of my favorite places in the park is the Frostvile Museum in Rocky River Reservation. This living history village has a quiet, tranquil setting that immediately makes me feel like I’m living back in 1800s Olmsted Township. The homesteads and barns, the little white church and the flower beds blooming with old-time favorites bring to mind what seems like a more peaceful era. Wandering among the pastoral homes, I imagine life in an earlier time, watching for a horse and wagon to come clip-clopping down Cedar Point Road or listening to cows munching contentedly. In reality, I know life 150 years ago was not always peaceful, beautiful or simple, yet on a summer morning when the dew is heavy on the grass, Frostville Museum is a very pleasant place.
Prechtel House as it looks today.
The Olmsted Historical Society runs and maintains Frostville Museum. The name honors Elias Frost, who opened Olmsted Township’s first post office in 1829. The only building original to the site is the Prechtel House, named for Martin and Margaret Prechtel who came to the United States from Bavaria in 1852. In 1876 they moved into their house and raised hogs on their farm. As I wander through Frostville, my imagination rarely goes as far as to hear those squealing hogs.
View of Frostville grounds in 1937.
The Prechtel House is visible to the left of the large tree next to the road.
The oldest dwelling at Frostville is the Jenkins Cabin. Built sometime around 1820, Benjamin Clark lived in it with his family of eight! This is probably my favorite of all the homes at Frostville, but visiting this charming cabin always makes me thankful that I live in a home with a little more breathing room.
Jenkins Cabin as it looks today (right) and in an historical photo, date unknown.
About 10 years after Clark built his tiny cabin, John Carpenter constructed a large, Federal Style home. This elegant residence seems to stand watch over all of Frostville Museum. A short while later in 1836, the Briggs Home was built. This Greek Revival Style home stayed in the Briggs family for over 130 years before it was moved to Frostville Museum.
Carpenter House in an undated photo, at its original location
Briggs house as it looks today
No village seems complete without a little white church, so the Barton Road Church was moved to Frostville. Weddings still take place there, with brides and grooms enjoying the serenity of a bygone era.
The Barton Road Church as it looks today
Two barns, one built for events and another to display antique items, a General Store, and a new workshop make the Frostville Museum almost a complete village. The only thing missing is a school but the Olmsted Historical Society hopes to add that in the future.
Spend some time in the past with a stroll through Frostville Museum, located at the intersection of Cedar Point and Lewis Roads in the Rocky River Reservation.
The Frostville Museum is open every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. during their Farmer’s Market, and also for special events. See their website for details. www.olmstedhistoricalsociety.org
Kathy Schmidt, Naturalist
Rocky River Nature Center